15 April 2012

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2012

The first issue of the magazine Royalty Digest Quarterly this year arrived in my mail box just before I was heading for Mandal to spend the Easter weekend there, but I haven't had enough time to have a look at it before now. The editor Ted Rosvall has chosen to write about Queen Elizabeth's 60th anniversary as a British sovereign in his column, listing other European monarchs who can boast of long reigns.

Rosvall has also written the first article in this issue, Sasja - the charming scoundrel, which deals with Princess Victoria of Schaumburg-Lippe, née Princess of Prussia (1866-1929), and her scandalous marriage to her Russian tennis partner, Alexander Zoubkoff (1901-1936), in 1927.

No Royalty Digest Quarterly without a family album - this time the magazine's historical consultant Charlotte Zeepvat has chosen to write about The Children of Emperor Franz Stephan and Maria Theresia, Queen of Hungary in Habsburg - A Family Album: part I. The album includes 60 images of various Habsburgers as well as a photo of Hofburg Palace. In addition you will find 3 pages with family tables.

The third article, The Winter Palace in Flames, is written by Marion Wynn, and as the title suggests, focuses on the descruction of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg by fire in 1837.

Michael L. Nash has chosen The last King of Finland as the topic of his article. He is of course referring to Prince Friedrich Karl of Hesse-Kassel (1868-1940), Landgrave from 1925, who was elected by the rump parliament (those on the wrong side in the previous civil war were excluded) in 1918 as Finland's new king. He never formally accepted the throne, however, so the title of the article is a bit misleading.

The author Randi Buchwaldt has written many books about Danish royals and royalty-related topics, and this time she has landed on Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark. A kind-hearted, sweet and warm person. Princess Caroline-Mathilde (1912-1995), the second daughter of King Christian X' younger brother Prince Harald and his wife Helena, née Princess of Glücksburg, married in 1933 her first cousin Prince Knud (1900-1976), who would have become a King of Denmark in 1972 if it had not have been for the changes to the succession law in 1953, when cognatic succession was introduced (full cognatic succession was not introduced until 2009), and King Frederik IX' daughter Princess Margrethe, today Queen Margrethe II, became first in line of succession to the Danish throne.

Leka Zogu, or King Leka I of the Albanians, died in Tirana on 30 November 2011, and the Zogu dynasty expert Neil Rees has written an account of Leka's life. It includes among others photos from his funeral on 3 December 2011 and of the cemetery where his wife Susan, his mother Geraldine as well as himself are buried. Plans are under way to bring the bodies of his father King Zog and his sisters from the Thiais cemetery in Paris to Tirana, as well as other members of the royal family from their resting places in exile. This is supposed to happen in 2012 in connection with the centenary of Albanian independence, but I don't know at present if it will really be carried out as planned. The idea is that the royal mausoleum built for King Zog's mother and now being rebuilt, is to house all the deceased members of the Zogu dynasty. Leka Zogu's funeral was also a topic at the traditional Royalty Weekend, which took place this very weekend (14-15 April 2012). I attended last year's conference, but was not able to travel this time, as most of my travel budget for 2012 will saved for the trip to the USA).

Paul Minet, founder and editor of the original Royalty Digest magazine and "a specialist dealer in royal books', died on 6 February 2012. Charlotte Zeepvat has written a really interesting obituary where we also get the history of the Royalty Digest and the Royalty Weekend. Regrettably I never met Paul Minet, but was in contact with him from time to time in connection with my subscription to the magazine and my many book orders, and he was always very friendly and helpful.

Charlotte Zeepvat's last article of this RDQ issue is titled Dressed for the nation. Zeepvat opens her article by writing that "One of the fascinations of old photographs is the insight they offer into clothes worn by royalty for all manner of occasions'.

There are no book reviews this time, but as usual the readers can enjoy the column The World Wide Web of Royalty with news of "Births, marriages, deaths and other events in the extended European Royal families". Due to the wonders of Internet, the news are usually a bit old when the magazine is printed, but it provides a record for future references.

Information on Royalty Digest Quarterly can be found at its editor's website Royalbooks.se. See earler presentations of RDQ here.


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