8 December 2016

No Her og Nå Royal Yearbook in 2016

The Norwegian weekly magazine Her og Nå has from 2012 published a yearbook called Året rundt med Kongefamilien («The Year with the Royal Family»), which with many photos and short texts have presented the main events of the Norwegian royal family throughout the year. I made a presentation of the first issue in 2012.

The yearbook was also published in 2013, 2014 and 2015, but I haven't found it in the newspaper kiosks this year. The publisher Egmont Hjemmet Mortensen confirmed to me today that the «special magazine» has not been published in 2016. I guess it hasn't sold well enough. So far I haven't come across any royal yearbooks by other publishers either.

6 December 2016

HRH Prince Liam Henri Hartmut of Nassau

The Grand-Ducal Court of Luxembourg announced today that the son of Prince Félix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg has been given the names Liam Henri Hartmut. In accordance with the decree of 21 September 1995, the child has received the title Prince of Nassau and the style of Royal Highness.

The press release in English translation:
The Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess are pleased to announce, together with Prince Félix and Princess Claire, that the name of their grandson is His Royal Highness Prince Liam Henri Hartmut of Nassau.
Prince Liam, who was born in Geneva on 28 November 2016, is the second child of Prince Félix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg. It is easy to guess that the second name Henri is after Liam's grandfather Grand Duke Henri, and the third name Hartmut after Princess Claire's father Hartmut Lademacher.

Liam is an Irish short form of Uilliam, a derivative of William, Wilhelm (Willahelm) and Guillaume. As both Prince Liam's uncle and grand uncle have the name Guilluame, I guess Liam is a sensible way of not creating too much confusion. I suppose that the name in French is pronounced differently than in English.

1 December 2016

Longest reigns page updated

After King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) of Thailand died on 13 October 2016, the proclamation of the designated heir, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, was put on hold as the crown prince needed some time to mourn with the people.

Today, 1 December 2016, Vajiralongkorn was formally proclaimed king, and I have therefore updated the Longest reign (current monarchs) page. As I wrote on 29 October, the page will be updated again later in December after the new King of Malaysia has been installed.

28 November 2016

Second child for Prince Félix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg

The Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg has announced that Princess Claire, wife of Prince Félix, gave birth to their second child, a boy, at Clinique Générale-Beaulieu in Geneva, Switzerland on 28 November 2016 one minute to 4 a.m.

The newborn prince, whose name is not made public yet, is fourth in line to the Grand Ducal throne of Luxembourg (after his uncle Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, his father Prince Félix and his elder sister Princess Amalia, who was born on 15 June 2014).

Prince Félix, second son of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, married Claire Lademacher in 2013.

Last time updated on Tuesday 29 November at 11.50 (time of birth was obviously a.m., not p.m.).

15 November 2016

Queen Sonja one of the contributors to Juleroser 2016

Juleroser («Christmas Roses») was a Christmas magazine (booklet) published between 1881 and 1944 (with a short break 1937–1940) by Ernst Bojesen in Copenhagen, Denmark. The magazine contained literary texts and illustrations by well-established authors and artists.

Juleroser was intended to be a Christmas magazine for all the Nordic countries, and from 1895 the magazine also had editors for Norway and Sweden. According to the nynorsk («New Norwegian») version of Wikipedia, the magazine had the subtitle Skandinavisk Juleblad («Scandinavian Christmas Magazine») from 1885 to 1888 and in 1892, while in the period from 1889 to 1891 the subtitle was Nordisk Juleblad («Nordic Christmas Magazine»).

Juleroser was revived as a literary Christmas magazine last year by the publishers Samlaget and with the singer and actress Herborg Kråkevik as editor. 

In this year's edition Queen Sonja of Norway has contributed with four photos, of which 3 stem from the series «Former» («Forms») taken at Svalbard. See one of the photo illustrations in today's VG.no. Other contributors are Kim Leine, Anne B. Ragde, Kolbein Falkeid, Brit Bildøen, Gro Dahle, Bit Vejle, Vetle Lid Larssen, Helge Torvund, Theodor Kittelsen, Marianne Heske, Håkon Gullvåg and Sverre Malling.

Photo: Cover of Juleroser 2016, Samlaget.

Grave of Odd Nansen, Haslum Cemetery, Bærum, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)

© 2009 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth
The architect, author and humanitarian Odd Nansen (1901–1973) was the second son and fourth child (out of five children) of scientist, explorer, diplomat and author Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930) and his first wife Eva Helene Nansen, née Sars (1858–1907).

Odd Nansen is buried at Haslum Cemetery (kirkegård), Bærum outside Oslo, grave no. 112-00-009, together with his wife Karen «Kari» Nansen, née Hirsch (1903–1985) and their youngest child and second son Odd Erik Nansen (1942–2001).

Fridtjof Nansen's grave at Polhøgda in Bærum can be viewed here.

5 November 2016

Norskættede ishockeyspillere i NHL (ice hockey players of Norwegian descent in the NHL)

Nettavisen skriver i en artikkel publisert 4. november 2016 om ishockeyspilleren Brady Skjei, f. 1994, som spiller i New York Ranger og som står overfor et gjennombrudd i den amerikanske hockeyligaen NHL. Han omtales som «den tredje nordmannen» i NHL ettersom oldefaren var norsk. Fra før av spiller de vaskekte nordmennene Mats Zuccarello og Andreas Martinsen i henholdsvis New York Rangers og Colorado Avelanche.

På slutten av artikkelen kommer journalisten endelig på at også Dustin Byfuglien, f. 1985, som for tiden spiller for Winnipeg Jets, har norske røtter. På morssiden har Byfuglien røtter i Valdres og på Geilo. Byfuglien var for øvrig med på å vinne Stanley Cup med Chicago Blackhawks i 2010.

For sikkerhets skyld skriver journalisten at det altså er «minst to andre spillere med røtter i Norge». Jeg lurer på hvor mye tid han har brukt på å sjekke spilleroversiktene i NHL-klubbene, for det må være flere andre norskættede som spiller i NHL i dag, både i USA og i Canada. Kriteriet må være at vedkommende er i en NHL-stall i dag og at han har spilt minst én kamp. Utfordringen er at mange slektsnavn kan være både norske, svenske og danske – det er ikke så lett å si hvor Anderson, Erikson, Matheson, Johnson eller Hanson kommer fra. Josh Anderson, f. 1994, i Columbus Blue Jackets, er er et godt eksempel. Canadiske Damon Severson (Syversen?) i New Jersey Devils er også en god mulighet. Og man kan jo stamme fra Norge kognatisk, dvs. gjennom kvinneledd, og da blir utfordringen straks vanskeligere.

Men vi kan gjøre et forsøk. Riley Tufte, f. 1998, som tidligere i år ble draftet av mitt favorittlag Dallas Stars, kan vi se bort fra, for han har ikke debutert i NHL ennå, og spiller for tiden i NCAA for University of Minnesota-Duluth. Paul Gaustad, f. 1982, kunne ha vært kvalifisert, men han la opp etter sesongen 2015–2016 etter å ha spilt for Nashville Predators de siste sesongene. Trevor Moen, f. 1982, ser også ut til å nærme seg karriereslutt. Han er nå såkalt «free agent» etter å ha spilt for Dallas Stars de to siste sesongene.

Brødrene Staal fra Thunder Bay, Canada kan derimot godt vise seg å være av norsk ætt. Jordan Staal, f. 1988, spiller for Carolina Hurricanes, broren Eric, f. 1984, spiller for Minnesota Wild, Marc Staal, f. 1987, er i New York Rangers sammen med Zuccarello og Skjei, mens yngstebroren Jared Staal, f. 1990, har debutert for Carolina Hurricanes, men spiller mest for farmerlaget Edinburgh Capitals. De er oppført som nederlandskættede på Wikipedia, men figurerer også på oversikten «Norwegian Canadians», så her må det undersøkes mer. Samme utfordring med Strome-brødrene? Dylan Strome, f. 1997, spiller i Arizona Coyotes, mens storebroren Ryan Strome, f. 1993, er i New York Islanders. Men her må det også forskes mer.

Men canadieren Ryan Johansen, f. 1992, i Nashville Predators skal visstnok være norskættet. Nick Bjugstad, f. 1992, i Florida Panthers, er bankers. Samme med Erik Gudbranson, f. 1992, i Vancouver Canucks. Jack Skille, f. 1982, høres ikke norsk ut, men årsaken til at han valgte å dra til Norge og Rosenborg under lockouten i 20012–13 var visstnok hans norske aner.

Så da er det minst 6 norskættede spillere per dags dato i NHL, og kanskje også 11 hvis 3 av Staal-brødrene og de to Strome-brødrene kan bekreftes.

English summary: This article is about ice hockey players in NHL of Norwegian ancestry. Some of the players need to be investigated to be absolutely sure about their roots, such as the Staal and Strome brothers, but Erik Gudbrandson and Nick Bjugstad are definately of Norwegian descent, while Jack Skille and Ryan Johanson most surely are. Dustin Byfuglien and Brady Skjei are already confirmed.

Oppdatering 5. november 2016 kl. 19:55: Jeg har opprettet en egen tråd på Digitalarkivets brukerforum. Etter en liten omvei ser det ut til at Brady Skjeis aner kan spores til Nedre Stjørdal i Nord-Trøndelag: https://forum.arkivverket.no/topic/205058-nhl-spillere-med-norske-aner/

Sist oppdatert søndag 6. november 2016 kl. 00:40 (en setningsfeil rettet opp). 

29 October 2016

Longest reigns page updated


It was on time to update my Longest reigns (current monarchs) page tonight. Following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) on 13 October 2016, I had planned to wait for the formal proclamation of the designated heir, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, but as that has been put on hold for the time being, the website had to be updated.

There will soon be another change to the list, as the King of Malaysia (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah ibni Sultan Badlishah, the Sultan of Kedah, currently no. 22 on the list, will step down on 13 December 2016 to be succeeded by the Sultan of Kelantan, Muhammad V, b. 1969, following the election by the Conference of Rulers on 14 October 2016.

According to the Constution of Malaysia Article 32 third paragraph, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Head of State) is elected by the Conference of Rulers for a term of five years. The Conference of Rulers (Majlis Raja-raja) is formed by the nine rulers of the Malay states (nine out of 13 states) which have hereditary royal rulers). Normally the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Deputy King/Head of State) is elected as the next king, and that is what happened here, as Muhammad V (Tuanku Muhammad Faris Petra) of Kelantan has served as Deputy King since 2011. The next Deputy King will be the Sultan of Perak, Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, b. 1956.

This means that unless something happens in in Thailand before 13 December, the new King of Malaysia will enter the list as no. 29. while the monarchs of Tonga, Andorra (on of the Co-Princes, that is), The Netherlands, Qatar, Belgium, Spain and Saudi Arabia will go one place up (from 22nd to 28th).

By the way, no. 8, the Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II, b. 1945, is on the list as he still is the reigning Prince and head of state, even if Hereditary Prince Alois, b. 1968, has served as Regent since 15 August 2004. This might deserve a footnote on the Longest reigns website, but that can wait until December. Prince Hans-Adam II succeeded to the throne of the Principality of Liechtenstein on 13 November 1989 upon the death of his father, Prince Franz Josef II.

27 October 2016

Genealogen no. 2, 2016

The latest issue of Genealogen, the newsletter of Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening (The Norwegian Genealogical Society), arrived in my mailbox today. On the front cover there is a photo of Steinvikholm Castle at Skatval in Stjørdal municipality north of Trondheim.

My contribution this time is a short (2 pages long) presentation of New England Historic Genealogical Society, the oldest of its kind in the United States. I have been a member since early spring this year, and I visited the society's headquarters in central Boston in early August. Unfortunately there was no room for the photos I had provided for the article, but I will instead include them when I in the not too distant future write a presentation of the society for Slektshistoriewiki, the Norwegian Genealogy Wiki.

Among the other articles are:
  • Manhaffte korporal Niels Christensen Krog ca. 1658–1733 by Petter Vennemo (about one of the Krog families in Norway).
  • Bolkesjø-gårdene i Gransherad («The Bolkesjø farms in Gransherad [Telemark county]») by Odd Arne Helleberg.
  • Sikt- og sakefallslister i lens- og amtsregnskapene på 1600-tallet (an introduction to lists of fines paid to the king for various crimes in the 17th century) by Rune Nedrud, who is also chairman of the Norwegian Genealogical Society as well as head editor of the newsletter.
  • Landsturnstevnet og Trøndelagsutstillingen i Trondheim 1930 – og to flybåter i svenske farvann (about the finding of old negatives, which among others included the national gymnastics meeting and the Trøndelag Fair in Trondheim in 1930, and we get some insight into the author's Berg family too) by Carsten Berg Høgenhoff, editor of Genealogen.
  • Hvem eier egentlig slektstreet du har på nettet? by Melanie Mayo (originally published as «Who Actually Owns the Family Tree You Have Online?», Family History Daily August 2016)
  • Bot og bedring?, a book review by Johan Marius Setsaas of Olof Holm et al. Böter och fredsköp. Jämtlands och Härjedalens saköreslängder 1601–1645, Landsarkivet i Östersund och Jämtlands läns fornskriftsällskap, Östersund, 2016.
  • Norwegian Death Index (NDI), an introduction by its database owner and editor Kjell Arne Brudvik.
In addition you will find the minutes as well as an article about the annual meeting, which took place in Trondheim in May this year and a list of books donated to the society's library during the period May–October 2016.

Not to forget the ad for Genea-LAN, the social gathering for genealogists which take place in the weekend of 19th and 20th of November. 28 hours with non-stop genealogical research, in addition to lectures, a «DNA corner», competitions and much more. It is the fifth time the LAN party takes place, probably the first of its kind!

26 October 2016

Eurohistory. The European Royal History Journal, Vol. 19.2, Summer 2016

The front cover of Eurohistory. The European Royal History Journal, Issue CX, Volume 19.2, Summer 2016, has the portrait of Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, who died on 12 May 2016, 91 years old. The editor and publisher of the magazine, Arturo E. Beéche, has written a rather personal and well-written obituary.

The opening article has the subject title Claremont and Britain's Most Important Room and is written by Katrina Warne. Claremont is the residence where Princess Charlotte of Wales died, a sad event that of course changed the course of royal history of the United Kingdom. Many royals have spent shorter or longer time at Claremont, and Warne gives a good summary of the residence, which today houses a school.

The next one out is the article Crown of Tears by Shelby F. Morrison. The article gives an outline Queen Marie Antoinette of France and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, whose lives ended in tragedy.

Ilana D. Miller then continues her Who Is in the Photograph series, this time the focus is on Three Greek Beauties: The Daughters of Prince Nicholas of Greece, i.e. Princess Marina, later Duchess of Kent, Princess Elizabeth, later Countess of Toerring-Jettenbach and Princess Olga, who married Prince Paul of Yugoslavia and became the mother of among others Prince Alexander mentioned above. Marina and Olga are both fairly well-known, while less has been written about Countess Elizabeth. Maybe someone could take the task of writing more about both the countess and the family she married into?

The third and last part of the article Princess Augusta of Cambridge, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz by Marlene Eilers Koenig tells the story of the last years of the British-born princess. Despite being British through and through, her annuity was suspended in September 1914 as she was a German subject by marriage. A «politically correct» decision, perhaps, but perhaps a bit harsh.

Much has written about Queen Marie of Romania, née Princess of the United Kingdom and styled Princess of Edinburgh. Coryne Hall tells her story in the article Europe's Most Flamboyant Queen. The article is well-written, but as the the story of Queen Marie, her life and different roles and the royal house she married into is rather complex, one could perhaps wish for more pages to get more details. It is for instance claimed that Queen Marie's «finest hour came [...] when her political and diplomatic efforts at the Paris Peace Conference [after WW1] gained considerable territory for Romania», but I am left with wondering exactly how she influenced such an outcome. There are of course books about Queen Maria as well as about Romania's political history one could read ...

Besides the obituary of Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, Arturo E. Beéche has also written the obituary of Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern, who died in Munich, Germany on 2 March 2016, 83 years old.

There are three book reviews in the current issue. Martijn Arts presents the Eurohistory book From Tyranny to Freedom ... Memoirs of My Life by Countess Viktoria Luise of Solms-Baruth, who first was married to Prince Friedrich Josias of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and secondly to Richard C.B. Whitten.

Coryne Hall has reviwed the following two books:
  • Schloss II. More Fascinating Royal History of German Castles by Susan Symons (Roseland Books, Cornwall, 2015, ISBN 9780992801410. I bought a signed copy in connection with the Royal Gatherings conference in the Hague last year, by the way. The third volume was published earlier in 2016.
  • Maria Pia. Queen of Portugal by Sabrina Pollock (Eurohistory.com, 2016, ISBN 9780985460372).
Finally the readers are treated by Royal News, this time covering the Imperial, Royal, Princely or noble houses of Austria, Spain, France, Hohenzollern, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Colloredo-Mansfield, Fugger von Babenhausen, Hohenlohe-Bartenstein, Alba and Ligne.

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, while the ERHJ blog can be read here.

25 October 2016

A brazier's grave, Our Saviour's Cemetery, Oslo, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)

© 2016 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth
 
I came over the grave of brazier (gjørtler) Carl Peter Larsen (1827–1925) during my visit to Our Saviour's Cemetery (Vår Frelsers gravlund) today. The grave plate also shows the name of his wife Hanna Severine Larsen, née Soelberg (1829–1900) and their daughter Vally K. Larsen (1858–1931). The latter worked as a teacher, according to the 1885 national census.
 
A brazier is a person (craftsman) who works brass. In the cemetery register Larsen is actually listed as a gjørtlermester (brazier master). While the grave plate only shows three names, the cemetery register tells that grave no. 01.026.04.007 is leased (festet) together with grave no. 01.026.04.008 and that all in all 8 persons are buried there. I didn't notice any Larsen headstone next to the grave plate. Some of the other five are listed in the 1865 national census.

If one combines the names in the cemetery register with various national censuses you get the following list of children of Carl Peter and Hanna Severine:
  1. Vally Kathinka (1858–1931)
  2. Albert Frederik (1859–after 1910), gjørtler
  3. Carl Oscar (1861–1944), also a gjørtler
  4. Fanny Augusta (appr. 1863–after 1910), probably married Bjørnseth, and if so, she died in 1947, according to the cemetery register
  5. Sigurd Halfdan (1865–1868)
  6. H. Severin (1867–1868)
  7. Thorstein (1869–1872)
  8. Sigrid Helene (1871–1873)
  9. Thorstein Emanuel (1876–1884)
There could have been more children, of course. If the details above are correct, Hanna must have been around 47 when Thorstein Emanuel was born. It seems a bit old, but not impossible. One has to go through the church books to find more details and to double-check everything. Maybe another time.

19 October 2016

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 3, 2016

In his Editor's Corner in the latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly (no. 3, 2016), Ted Rosvall comments on the increasing number of divorces within the European Royal Families. The lastest out is the separation of Princess Märthan Louise of Norway and Ari Behn, announced by the Norwegian Royal Court in August 2016. In the 19th century royal divorces were «extremely scarce», as Rosvall points out. He has made a list of the examples he could think of, 12 in all.

On the front page the readers are served a photo of Queen Victoria in the mid-1960s surrounded by (from the left) the Crown Princess of Prussia, Princess Beatrice, Prince Leopold and Princess Louise.

The opening article, Mariana Vitoria and the Royal weddings in Portugal in the 18th Century, is written by Alberto Penna Rodrigues. Portuguese royalty is a topic he knows well, and it is a well-written, very detailed  and interesting article, even if it could have been somewhat better organised. The Mariana Vitoria (Maria Anna Victoria) (1718–178) in question was the eldest daughter of King Felipe V of Spain and Isabel Farnesio. She was first engaged to King Louis XV of France at the age of seven (!) and later married to the future King João V of Portugal.

I have earlier several times written how much I like to read articles about «royal surroundings» and not only the royals themselves: Nannys, court members, private teachers (tutors) etc. Another way of learning more about the royals and the royal court in question. The second part of Charlotte Zeepvat's article 'My dearest Patsy'. A nurse and her royal patients was as interesting as the first part. The nurse  Elizabeth Paterson, née Stuart gave a helping hand in connection with many royal births, and we learn a lot about both her and the royals in question through an impressive amount of letters.

The readers are also treated with the third part of Charlotte Zeepvat's The Royal House of Great Britain and Ireland. A Family Album. Besides the introduction, the article includes 106 portraits/family group photos besides a photo of Balmoral. Queen Victoria even smiles on one of the photos! The two pages mapping out the descendants of james VI of Scotland and I of England are most useful.

Queen Anne of Romania, née Princess of Bourbon-Parme, died on 1 August 2016, and the historian Diana Mandache has written her obituary. Romania is also the topic in the article Half a Century of Royal Letters; 1899-1946. Collected by John Wimbles from the Romanian National Archives and other sources, compiled and introduced by David Horbury. So many wonderful letters! I just loved it. Give us more!

Finally, the latest issue gives us royal news through the column The World Wide Web of Royalty. This time we get news from the Imperial, Royal and/or Princely (or ducal) families of Denmark, Hohenlohe, Leiningen, Romania, Sweden and Westminster. The death of Gunnila Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg, is included. The short note says she had three children with her first husband, while she had in fact four, but this was not well known outside family circles when the magazine went to print.

Information on Royalty Digest Quarterly can be found at its editor's website Royalbooks.se. See earlier presentation of RDQ here. See also its Facebook page.

18 October 2016

Werring grave, Haslum Cemetery, Bærum, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)


© 2009 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth

Grave of Else Werring. née Wilhelmsen (1905–1989), who was Mistress of the robes (overhoffmesterinne) at the Norwegian Royal Court from 1958 to 1985, and her husband, shipowner Niels Roth Heyerdahl Wering (1897–1990), at Haslum kirkegård (cemetery) in Bærum, grave no. 02.112.00.014.

14 October 2016

Haakon Haraldsen (1921–2016)

Queen Sonja of Norway's brother Haakon Haraldsen died on 4 October 2016, 95 years old, cf. among others the NTB article published on Aftenposten.no 13 October 2016 and the death announcement in Aftenposten the same day.

The funeral service took place at Holmenkollen Chapel on 14 October 2016. Queen Sonja, King Harald, Crown Prince Haakon, Princess Märtha Louise and Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner attended the service, cf. the NTB article published on Bt.no today. Originally King Harald was invited to lay the foundation stone for the new Munch Museum in Bjørvika in Oslo today, but because of the funeral service, his daughter-in-law Crown Princess Mette-Marit went in his place.

Haakon Haraldsen, who was one of the sponsors («godparents») to Princess Märtha Louise, was born at Josefines gate 23 in Kristiania (now Oslo) on 22 September 1921 as the eldest son of (clothes) store manager Karl August Haraldsen (1889–1959) and Dagny Haraldsen, née Ulrichsen (1898–1994). Besides the future Queen of Norway, Karl August and Dagny also had the children Gry Dagny (1924–1970) and Karl Herman (1929–1936). The latter died in a boat accident, see my blog article from 2011.

Haakon Haraldsen married on 14 December 1957 in Denmark Lis Ingeborg Elder from Rungsted (Aftenposten 13 Desember 1957 no. 578, p. 13). They had 3 children – Karl Otto, Lis Dagny and Marianne – as well as 6 grandchildren.

Haraldsen worked for the most part with property management, first of all through his company AS Karl A. Haraldsen, but was also registered as manager and/or chairman (of the board of directors) of the companies Storgaten 10 A AS, Haakon Haraldsen Holding AS and Haraldsens Eiendomskontor AS (AS = Ltd.).

As Haakon Haraldsen lived at Vettakollen in Oslo, which is in the parish of Ris, it is expected that his last resting place will be Ris urnelund (Ris urn garden). The ashes of his parents, his sister Gry, his aunt Hanna Alice Haraldsen (1887–1971), uncle Halvor Haraldsen (1893–1970) and aunt Inger Elisabeth Haraldsen, née Rydgren (1904–1994), are all interred at Ris.

29 September 2016

Funeral service for Gunnila Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg

The funeral service for Gunnila Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg, who died on 12 September 2016, 93 years old, took place at the Palace Church in Stockholm today. As previously told it was a private ceremony for the closest family members and friends and thus with no media coverage inside the church.

Gunnila Bernadotte was the second wife of Carl Johan, Count of Wisborg, an uncle of King Carl Gustaf.

The king, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia represented the royal house. According to Expressen, also the King's sister, Princess Christina Mrs. Magnuson, and her husband Tord Magnuson, were present, in addition to among others Princess Benedikte of Denmark.

The service was officiated by Lars-Göran Lönnermark, Bishop Emeritus and head predicate and Michael Bjerkhagen, pastor of the Royal Court Parish.

After the service the coffin was taken to the Royal Burial Ground at Haga outside Stockholm, where Count Carl Johan is also buried. For a couple of photos from the church service, go here.

According to the death announcement, which was published in among others Svenska Dagbladet and Helsingborgs Dagblad on 22 September, there will be a memorial gathering at Norrvikens Trädgård in Båstad on 6 October 2016.

Both the death announcement as well as Expressen earlier today listed Bärbo (i.e. Tistad Castle) as Countess Gunnila's place of birth. This contradicts the information from the church books of both Bärbo and Engelbrekt, which said she was born in Stockholm, something I discussed earlier this month. The churchbooks are much closer to the event, so for the time being I think Stockholm is the most likely place of birth, but I would still like to find an independent source, like for instance a midwife report, to get the question settled once and for all.

Expressen also repeats the claim that Gunnila Bernadotte in her first marriage with Carl-Herman Bussler had 3 children, while they in fact had four. Their second daughter Catharina was born on 21 July 1946 and died shortly after on 8 August.

The last interview the weekly magazine Svensk Damtidning made with Gunnila Bernadotte took place in 2014. The interview was republished at its website today. In the interview she told among others about her life after the death of her husband, her new apartment in Båstad and her five grandchildren.

Updated on Thursday 29 September 2016 at 9.55 p.m. (photo link added), last time on Sunday 23 April 2017 at 14.15 (minor typo corrected).

27 September 2016

Astrup family grave, Haslum Cemetery, Bærum, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)

© 2009 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth

The grave of the shipowner family of Astrup at Haslum kirkegård (cemetery) in Bærum outside Oslo. The interred are Nils Astrup (1901–1972), his wife Hedevig «Heddy» Astrup, née Stang (1904–1978) and their sons Thomas Astrup (1927–1978) and Nils Jørgen Astrup (1935–2005).

Another son, Halvor Nicolai Astrup (1939–2013), was buried at the same place (grave no. 02.112.00.002) in 2013, four years after the photo was taken.

Updated on 28 September 2016 at 11.35 (second paragraph added).

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway handed over the Protection of the Law Prize to the Lovdata Foundation

Norges Juristforbund, the Norwegian Association of Lawyers, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016. It is also 10 years since the association's Protection of the Law Prize (Rettssikkerhetsprisen) was awarded for the first time. This is why Crown Prince Haakon was invited to attend the presentation ceremony and the lecture in connection with the Protection of the law conference at the Grand Hotel in downtown Oslo today.

This year the prize was awarded to the foundation I work for, Lovdata.

As far as I can tell there was no news coverage of the event, but you can find photos of the presentation through the following Twitter links:
On the last photo you can see from the left to the right board chairperson of the Lovdata Foundation, Herman Bruserud, Lovdata director Odd Storm-Paulsen, former director and founder Trygve Harvold (who received the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav, 1st class, in 2000, for his work for Lovdata),  Protection of the Law prize  Prize committee member Siv Hallgren and committee member Sven Ole Fagernæs and Crown Prince Haakon.

The Protection of the Law Prize is awarded one or several persons, an institution or an organisation which during the previous year or for some time has distinguished itself in its work by
  • Strengthening the protection of the law and equality before the law within its field of work,
  • Working for the rule of law principles, freedom of expression, equality, human rights and safety from trespass to person
  • Contributing to increased understanding of and insight into the body of laws and rules
  • Contributing to more efficient proceedings and more secure decision making through the use of (legal) competence
(The Norwegian word rettssikkerhet is according to my copy of Åge Lind's Norwegian-English Legal dictionary understood as «law and order», «protection of the law» or «protection accorded by the law», but also «due process protection», as in for instance «protecting an individual against unlawful acts on the part of the state itself».)

Updated on Wednesday 28 September 2016 at 13.40 (photo identification corrected).

20 September 2016

Stang family grave, Os cemetery, Halden, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)


© 2015 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth

Lauritz Leganger Stang (1858–1908) was a manager at Saugbrugsforeningen (a pulp and paper mill in Fredrikshald (Halden) for many years and was also a so-called suppleant (deputy) to the Storting (the Norwegian parliament) for the constituency of Fredrikshald (Halden) from 1895 to 1897. He was the son of Ulrich and Eleonore Stang and thus a nephew of Prime Minister Frederik Stang. 

Lauritz was married to Anna Christine Stang (1865–1955), daughter of N.A. Stang (Stangeløkken) (1832–1914) and Cathrine Andrea Stang, née Faye (1832–1890). Lauritz' and Anna Christine's son Niels Ulrich (1888–1915) is also interred in the family grave.

Source (the others are linked to above): Stang, Thomas.  Den fredrikshaldske slekt Stang. Med opplysninger om dens kognatiske descendens, 1959.


Date set for the funeral service for Gunnila Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg

The Swedish newspaper Expressen wrote late yesterday evening that the funeral service for Gunnila Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg, who died on Monday 12 September 2016, 93 years old, is to take place on Thursday 29 September 2016. Gunnila Bernadotte was in 1988 married to Carl Johan Bernadotte Count of Wisborg (1916–2012), an uncle of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. She was previously married to Carl-Herman Bussler from 1942 until his death in 1981.

According to the calendar at the website of the Swedish Royal Court, the funeral service is to take place at the Palace Church in Stockholm. King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia are all scheduled to attend. The director of the information and press department, Margareta Thorgren, told Expressen that the funeral service was going to be «quiet and private».

It is still not known where the late countess will be buried. One possibility is the Royal Burial Ground at Haga next to Carl Johan, but it should not be ruled out that the interment will take place at Bärbo cemetery in Nyköping where her first husband Carl-Herman and their two eldest children Louise (1943–1986) and Catharina (b. and d. 1946) are buried.

14 September 2016

Gunnila Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg (1923–2016): The fourth child

The Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden announced yesterday that Gunnila Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg, the second wife of Carl Johan Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg (1916–2012), an uncle of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, had died the day before, on Monday 12 September 2016, 93 years old.

Gunnila Märta Louise Wachtmeister, daughter of Count Nils Wachtmeister af Johannishus and Märta De Geer af Leufsta, was born in Stockholm* on 12 May 1923. In 1942 she married Carl-Herman Bussler, b. 1918, son of Karl-Gerhard Bussler and Catharina Stenbock. Carl-Herman died in 1981, and 7 years later Gunnila married Count Carl Johan, who was a widower.

Gunnila was survived by her children Madeleine, b. 1948, and Carl-Fredrik (Fred), b. 1951. The newspapers which wrote about her death mentioned that she had three children with her first husband, something that was also mentioned on Wikipedia (yes, I know) and which was pointed out in comments to a blog article written by Trond Norén Isaksen yesterday. We also discussed the question about the third child by e-mail. As a third child was not mentioned in the death announcement of Count Carl Johan in 2012, it was easy to conclude that she must have died some time earlier.

Naturally I set out to find out more details about the third child, named Louise. Very soon I found an entry in the Births from the Swedish Death Index, 1901-2006 at Ancestry.com with the following information:

Name:     Louise Märtha Catharina Bussler
Birth Date:     17 aug 1943
Birth Place:     Hedvig Eleonora, Stockholm, Sverige (Sweden)

Her parents were not listed, however. I posted a message at the Norwegian Digital Archives' users' forum and asked if someone could help me with a look-up in Sveriges Dödbok 1901–2013, which lists all deaths in Sweden in the said period. I was contacted by a fellow genealogist in Norway who had access to «the death book» and could provide me both with the details I needed as well as with a link to a cemetery register I didn't know of (I had checked other online cemetery registers before  I asked him about Louise).

While waiting for the look-up I had, by the way, also discovered that Louise was listed in Vem er hvem? Norrland Supplement Register, 1968, p. 551.

In Sveriges Dödbok Louise Bussler was listed as having died on 26 December 1986, last residence was Lund farm in Nyköping (where Fred Bussler lives today). According to the cemetery register, Gravstensinventeringen, she was buried at Bärbo kyrkogård (churchyard) in Nyköping. The register gave, however, 23 December 1986 as her death date, but when I this morning finally discovered that the search result provided a link to a page with more details, I noted that 26 December was inscribed on the gravestone, and that her father Carl-Herman was buried together with her.

The said page also gave the following details: «Far och dotter i graven. C. Bussler var bosatt på Lunds gård, Nyköping. / Bredvid hällen finns ett mindre stenkors med en dotter född 1946 och död samma år. Se detta separat.» («Father and daughter in the grave. C. Bussler lived at Lund farm, Nyköping. / Next to the [grave] plate there is a smaller stone cross with a daughter born 1946 and died the same year. See this separately.»

In other words, there seemed to be a fourth child born to Carl-Herman and Gunnila. The separate entry for the girl buried under the stone cross stated that she was named Catharina and was born on 21 July 1946 and died soon after on 8 August 1946. Sveriges Dödbok informed that she like her elder sister Louise was born in the parish Hedvig Eleonora (Stockholms stad, Uppland), and with Linnégatan 25 as the place of living. The person putting the details into the register had also written that «Bredvid korset finns faderns och en systers gravhäll.» («Next to the cross there is a grave plate for her father and a sister.»)

The evidence that there was in fact a fourth child born to Carl-Herman and Gunnila was strong, but I still felt I needed an independent source which could confirm the relationship. While the cemetery register Gravstensinventeringen as far as I can tell is based on information from visits to cemeteries and from the official cemetery administration, it is maintained by the Swedish Genealogical Society which is also responsible for the publishing of Sveriges Dödbok, so the two sources are not completely independent of each other. The details in the said register about the connection between people buried in the two graves does not come from an official source.

The churchbook which lists births in 1946 is not yet available. In order to find more details I would have to either look for Swedish newspapers published in July and August 1946 or contact the family. The latter would not be very appropriate at the time being, as Fred and Madeleine had just lost their mother and she is not even buried yet.

A selection of Swedish national newspapers is available on microfilm at the National Library in Oslo, but it would take some time before I got the opportunity to go there. Then I thought about Kungliga biblioteket (The National Library of Sweden) in Stockholm, which offers a selection of Swedish newspapers online. When searching for the name Gunnila Bussler for the year of 1946 I got the following results:


  • Svenska Dagbladet (and Dagens Nyheter) of 23 July 1946:  «Gunnila och Carl H Bussler f Wachtmeister Stockholms Privata Förlossningshem den 21 juli 1946»
  • Svenska Dagbladet 10 August 1946: «Gunnila o Carl Herman Bussler»
The editions of 1946 are still copyrighted, so I would have had to visit the library physically in order to read the newspaper online. But even though I haven't been able to read the actual notices, the search results give enough evidence that Gunnila and Carl-Herman Bussler on 21 July 1946 had a child born at the Stockholm Private Maternity Home. I don't know for sure what was in the edition of 10 August 1946. But as it was dated two days after the death of Catharina, it is not far-fetched to assume that the edition brought the death announcement

Now, I don't consider it as a groundbreaking discovery that I have found the details of a fourth child. It is not as if I will soon be invited into the Genealogists' Hall of Fame. But the short-lived child deserves a place in the genealogy books. That Gunnila Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg, brought four children into the world and survived two of them, is also a story to tell.

* Postscript 15 September 2016
Trond Norén Isaksen commented in an e-mail today that Count Carl Johan Bernadotte had told him that his wife Gunnila was born at Tistad Castle (Tista Palace) in Nyköping municipality, the home of the Wachtmeister noble family that Gunnila was born into. In other words, Stockholm as the given place of birth might not be correct.

Checking Ted Rosvall's Bernadotteättlingar from 2010, the book says on page 60 that Gunnila was born in «Stockholm/Engelbrekt», the latter referring to Engelbrekts församling (Parish of Engelbrekt). Rosvall is quite consistent in listing the parish where the person in question was christened as the place of birth. It is of course quite common that one is born one place but christened another place, even if «in older days» the christening and birth place would normally be the same, as people were born at home. In 1923, on the other hand, many people in higher classes would be born at maternity homes in the bigger cities.

I had some business to do in the library of the Norwegian Genealogical Society today, so I took the time to check the churchbooks in ArkivDigital, which the society has a subscription to.

Gunnila is listed in the churchbooks of both Bärbo församling and Engelbrekts församling:
  • 1923 års Födelsebok för Bärbo församling och dess Dopbok (Bärbo C:9 1895-1945 b 850, p. 78) (i.e. Birth book for Bärbo parish and its Book of Christenings)
  • 1923 års Födelsebok för Engelbrekts församling och dess Dopbok (Engelbrekts CI:7 1923-1925 b 280, p. 20)
In the column «Särskilda anteckningar, såsom om moderens nedkomstort (om annan än församlingen), inkomna och afsända attester m.m.» («Separate remarks such as the mother's place of delivery if different from the parish), incoming and dispatched certificates etc.)» for Bärbo one can read the text «Nedkomstort Engelbrechts förs., Stockholm, attest dat 14/7 1923» («Place of delivery Engelbrechts förs., Stockholm, certificate [reference] dat[ed] 14 July 1923»). Engelbrekts on the other hand has a reference to Bärbo, which is where Tista Castle is situated, and where Gunnila is listed. (The christening took place on 8 July 1923 and the pastor was, if I understand the handwriting, G. Rosen.)

Maybe there was a maternity home in the parish of Engelbrekt in Stockholm? On the website
Sveriges församlingar genom tiderna («Sweden's parishes through the times» one can read that Engelbrekt was separated from Hedvig Eleonora in 1906, and that births at Stocholms Private Förlossningshem (which was the place of birth for Gunnila's daughter Catharina in 1946, see above) was registered in the churchbook for Engelbrekt from 1932 to 1946, so this doesn't help us much. Catharina's birth was nevertheless registered in Hedvig Eleonora according to Sveriges Dödbok.
In other words, we have conflicting information here. Count Carl Johan was close to the person in question, while the entry in the churchbook is much closer in time to the event (the birth of Gunnila), and was quite explisite in stating the place of birth. So for now, I will keep the reference to Stockholm, but it is still important to make a note of Carl Johan's comments. There could have been a misunderstanding, of course. There is no doubt that Gunnila grew up at Tista Castle in Bärbo, Nyköping, even if the birth and christening most likely took place in Stockholm. Maybe other sources, like for instance a midwife report or copy of a passport, could solve the question once and for all sometime in the future?

Interestingly enough, Gunnila's name is spelt Gunnilla in Engelbrekts and Gunnila in Bärbo. The latter is used in official sources later, including Ratsit, which is based on the public register.

Updated on Thursday 15 September 2016 at 10 p.m.(postscript added).

13 September 2016

Grave of Michael Schmidt and family, Our Saviour's Cemetery, Oslo, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)

© 2016 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth

Last Sunday I visited Our Saviour's Cemetery (Vår Frelsers gravlund) in Oslo in order to take photos for Slektshistoriewiki, the Norwegian Genealogy wiki, and for other projects.

I passed the small headstone of the Schmidt family and just had to take a photo of it. The headstone shows the names of overlærer (head teacher) Michael Scmidt, b. 27 April 1808, d. 13 April 1888, his wife Helene Adelaide, b. 6 October 1816, d. 7 April 1878 as well as Helene. You can only see parts of the latter's birth and death year, but it was 1847 and 1922 respectively, something also the cemetery register confirms.

The cemetery register tells that the grave (no. 01.016.07.010) to which the headstone shown above belongs is leased together with grave no. 01.016.07.009. However, the photo published in the register is not identical to the headstone above. In the cemetery register Michael and Helene (and other relatives) are listed in grave no. 01.016.07.010, while Helene Adaleide and others are listed in no. 01.016.07.009. There might be another headstone next to the above which I didn't photograph.

Anyway, you can find (parts of) the family in the 1865, 1875 and 1885 national censuses.

12 August 2016

Romanian Royal Family Links

The task of transferring the old pages from my old Geocities.com website to Hoelseth.com has obviously taken longer than I had expected. The main reason is, as I have also commented on earlier, that family life and work have to come first, and in the last few years I have also preferred to spend more time on working for the Norwegian Genealogical Society, genealogical research, blog writing as well as working for Slektshistoriewiki, the Norwegian Genealogy Wiki. I am one of the administrators for the wiki and I also contribute with articles and illustrations.

It is not that challenging work to transfer old pages from my old to my «new» website, but some structure changing and coding has to be done, as well as link renovation, and it is kind of boring. But I am happy whenever I get something done!

Yesterday evening I finally got the Romanian Royal Family Links page with its subpages up and going again. The reason for doing it now is of course that the former King Michael's wife, Queen Anne, née Princess of Bourbon-Parma, died in Switzerland on 1 August 2016. The burial will take place in Romania on 13 August.

In connection with the updating many «dead» links had to be deleted. One can always discuss if there still is a need for such index pages like the Romanian Royal Family Links page, but as it still has some links to material which is not so easy to find, I have decided to let it stay. Some of the material is from the time when information, especially constitutional details, about the monarchy was not available to the same extent as today. I still have constitutional texts in my paper archives which have to be added. So one of these days...

If you have recommendations for other websites about the Romanian royal family which you think I should include, please tell!

11 August 2016

Eurohistory. The European Royal History Journal, Vol. 19.1, Spring 2016

Eurohistory. The European Royal History Journal, issue CIX, Volume 19.1, Spring 2016, arrived in early July, but as with the latest issue of RDQ, I have not been able to comment on it before now. The latest issue of Eurohistory is the first out since the publisher decided to turn into a quarterly magazine rather than bi-annual. The result is a rather thick volume with 64 pages full of articles and photos.

One of the official portraits taken in connection with the British Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday has found it's way on the ERHJ cover. It is a great photo, even if the «footstool» looks a bit silly. It helps the composition of the photo, of course, given Prince George's height, but they could have made a nicer version of the footstool, perhaps. All in all a nice presentation of four generations with British royals.

One of ERHJ's regular contributors, Coryne Hall, has written the opening article The Queen at 90! Then yet another regular contributor, Janet Ashton, is back with the article War On All Fronts and the End of Austria-Hungary. "Cecco Beppe has kicked the bucket!" The title gives it all, but the focus is not only on the end of the empire, but the beginning of new states like Czechoslovakia and the Kingdom of Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Kingdom of Yugoslavia). As usual the article is based on an impressive bibliography, which includes Christopher Brennan's university thesis from 2012, Reforming Austria-Hungary: beyond his control or beyond his capacity? The domestic policies of Emperor Karl I November 1916 – May 1917, which also seems to be worth looking more into.

Who Is In the Photograph? Ilana D. Miller follows ups with yet another photo presentation, this time from King Constantine of the Hellenes' christening in Athens, 1940. The photo shows Princess Alice, Prince Peter, King George II, Princess Helen, Princess Frederica (future Queen), the then Prince Constantine, Princess Katherine, Prince Paul (future King of the Hellenes) and Princess Sophie (future Queen of Spain).

Marlene Eilers Koenig then follows up with the second part of Princess Augusta of Cambridge. Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The rather detailed article covers her married life and the first years of widowhood. We learn among others about her first ride in a motor car, which went well, even if she complained of a bach ache afterwards. Third part follows in the next issue, I presume.

Then we are taken to another continent as Katrina Warne gives an insight into the summer residence Simla. The Viceregal Lodge in what is today spelt Shimla in Himachal Pradesh in India. Simla is where Lord Mountbatten oversaw the transfer of India from the British empire to independence in 1947. Seems like a place worth visiting. We are warned about the poor gift shop, though. :-)

Coryne Hall has spent a lot of reading earlier this year, as she has this time contributed to 8 book reviews:
  • Edvard IV & Elizabeth Woodville. A True Romance by Amy Licence (Amberley, 2016, ISBN 978-1445636788)
  • In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII. The visitor's companion to the palaces, castles & houses associated with Henry VIII's iconic queens by Sarah Morris and Natalie Grueninger (Amberley, 2016, ISBN 978-1445642918).
  • On the Trail of the Yorks by Christie Dean (Amberley, 2016, ISBN 978-1445647135)
  • Princes at War. The Bitter Battle Inside Britain's Royal Family in the Darkest Days of WWII by Deborah Cadbury (PublicAffairs, 2016, ISBN 978-1610396349)
  • The Romanovs. 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore (Knopf, 2016, ISBN 978-0307266521)
  • The House of Thurn und Taxis by Todd Eberle and Princess Mariae Gloria of Thurn and Taxis (Skira Rizzoli, 2015, ISBN 978-0847847143)
  • Det kungliga året 2015 (Bild & Kultur, 2015, ISBN 9789189210158)
Finally we are treated with a Royal News section, this time news from the Imperial, royal or princely houses of Albania, Austria, Hohenzollern, Liechtenstein, Oldenburg, Bourbon-Parma, Romania, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Sweden, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia (Serbia), Castell-Castell, Leiningen, Ligne, Salm-Salm, Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Solms-Laubach and Toerring-Jettenbach.

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.

9 August 2016

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 2, 2016

I received my copy of Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 2, 2016 at the end of June, but had so many other matters that had to be attended to before my vacation that I have not been able to comment on the issue before now. Anyway, this time the readers are treated with a photo of the Cambridge family from the 1860s, showing from the left to right Augusta, Duchess of Cambridge, Friedrich Wilhelm, Grand Duke of  Mecklenburg-Strelitz, George, Duke of Cambridge, Augusta, Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Princess mary Adelaide of Cambridge and Adolf Friedrich, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom celebrated her 90th birthday earlier this year, and in his Editor's Corner Ted Rosvall makes a pointg of this and lists other monarchs who have also reached the grand old age.

Trond Norén Isaksen has written the opening article titled Swedish Royal Dukedoms, in which he gives an outline of the Swedish dukedoms given to members of the royal house in both medieval and modern times. Isaksen has most usefully included a map of Sweden with the Swedish dukedoms bestowed since the revival of the ducal titles in 1772. I have not much to add here, but would like to say a few words concerning Isaksen's comments on Prince Oscar (1859–1953), who forfeited his rights to the Swedish throne in 1888 when he married «a private man's daughter», Ebba Munck af Fulkila: «Contrary to what is sometimes claimed, Oscar did not receive a new princely title, nor was he created Prince Bernadotte; he remained Prince Oscar, to which the surname Bernadotte was added». Isaksen is right, of course. I must admit that I am one of those who earlier thought that Prince Oscar was titled «Prince Bernadotte», due to among others the references to «Prins Bernadotte» or «Prinsen och Prinsessan Bernadotte» in the public (government) newspaper Post- och Inrikes Tidningar. But there is no record that such a title was ever given, whether formally or informally (as in «the King let it be known»). If Prince Oscar had also lost his prince title, he and his wife would have been referred to as «herr och fru Bernadotte» («Mr. and Mrs. Bernadotte»). The reference «Prince and Princess Bernadotte» thus makes sense.

Helen Rappaport has written the most wonderful article titled Mister Heath. The English Tutor who Taught Nicholas II to be the Perfect Gentleman. Rudy de Casseres has also contributed to the article. I just love articles which not only deal with royalty, but also all the people surrounding them – court and staff members, tutors and nannys etc. The tutor was Charles Heath (1826–1900).

The next article, 'My dearest Patsy'. A nurse and her royal patients: Part I by Charlotte Zeepvat comes in the same category. Here we get the story of the Scottish-born nurse Elizabeth Paterson, née Stuart, who was engaged by many royal women in connection with giving births.

Zeepvat is as usual also responsible for the traditional Family Album, this time the follow-up article titled The Royal House of Great Britain and Ireland. A Family Album II – The House of Hannover. Besides the introduction, the album includes 75 illustrations and three pages with genealogical tables.

Coryne Hall is yet another regular contributor to RDQ (and to the European Royals History Journal as well), and this time she has made the contribution An Unusual Royal Album, which deals with an album containing hairlocks of Swedish (and Norwegian) royals and their relatives. The topic is interesting, but I wish she had done more research, or that the editor had stepped in before the article was published. When she comments on the death of the then Crown Prince Carl's son Carl-Oscar, who died in 1854, 15 months old, she claims that «His death caused a crisis, as although Carl and Louisa's daughter Louisa could reign in Sweden she could not inherit the throne of Norway.» I wonder how she got into that idea. The succession law in both Sweden and Norway was agnatic. The Swedish law was not changed until 1980, in Norway as late as 1990. She later also claims that King Carl XIV Johan «incorporated Norway into Sweden», which of course is not correct. Carl Johan's role in securing the throne of Norway for the king of Sweden is well known, but it was a personal union, Norway was never «incorporated» (as in «becoming a part of») Sweden.

The latest issue also includes the obituaries of Prince Albrecht of Castell-Castell (1925–2016), written by Bearn Bilker, and of writer and Romanian royal house expert John Wimbles (1935–2015), by David Horbury.

Finally, the readers get a collection of royal news concerning the imperial, royal, princely or comital houses of Austria(Belgium (Austria-Este), Bourbon-Parma, Castell-Castell, France, Liechtenstein, Oettingen-Spielberg, Oldenburg, Sweden, Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg, Yugoslavia (Serbia) and Wurmbrand-Stuppach.

Information on Royalty Digest Quarterly can be found at its editor's website Royalbooks.se. See earlier presentation of RDQ here. See also its Facebook page.

8 August 2016

Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn to divorce

Last Friday (5 August 2016) the Royal Court in Oslo announced that Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn, who have been married since 2002, are to divorce. The couple is going to have shared (joint) custody of the three children, who will continue at their respective schools. Princess Märtha Louise will continue to live in Lommedalen in Bærum outside Oslo. Ari Behn intends to find a place to live nearby to be close to his daughters.  Both the house in Lommedalen as well as the vacation home «Bloksbjerg» at Hankø are both the princess' sole property.

In the press release Princess Märtha Louise has given the following statement:
«Life does not always go smoothly. Both Ari and I have experienced this. But this comes even more apparent now when our life has taken some unexpected turns that we never had foreseen. In these days we will leave each other. We are ending the marriage, but will stay together in parenthood.

It is unspeakably sad for both of us to discover that the road ahead of us will not go the same way it used to. We have as so many others grown apart from each other – to places we no longer meet as we did before. It is terrible to experience that there is nothing more we can do. We have tried everything over a long time, and when we still can't meet where we did before, it is impossible for us to continue.

We feel guilty for no longer being able to provide the safe harbour that our children deserve. But we hope and believe that we will be able to keep our friendship through what is now ahead of us.

We ask and hope that we will not be disturbed during this difficult process. The children need time to digest this, to grieve and find a new footing – each one of them. We are just people, too.» 
The King and Queen has in the same press release given the following statement:
«There are many who will be affected when a marriage is broken up. It is painful and sad – also for those of us who are close to the couple. We are fond of Ari and grateful for everything we as a family have experienced together. We will have a good relationship with Ari also in the future.» 
According to the press release, Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn do not wish to give any further comments. They ask that the press will continue to leave their children alone.

Although Ari Behn on more than one occasion has hinted that his role and life in the royal circle have been difficult and challenging, I must say I was a little bit surprised by the news. But it is of course impossible for outsiders to know what is really going on in other's relationships. Telling about the break-down of a marriage is never easy, but I think the couple and the royal court have solved it well. I don't feel we need to know more details about why the marriage broke down than what the princess has told in the statement. Hopefully the couple as well as the royal family will get through the separation and divorce as smoothly as possible and remain on friendly terms.

As others have also suggested, the divorce will have no constitutional complications. I also doubt that it will affect the popularity of the royal family much. It is just sad for all the people involved.

Legally speaking, the Norwegian marriage act article 21 states that «Each of the spouses may demand a divorce when they have been separated for at least one year.»  The court has so far not stated the date of the County Governor's  (administrative) separation order. The divorce will at the earliest be granted sometime in August 2017. Until then Ari Behn will remain a member of the royal family.

Many people, including several so-called «royal experts» have commented on the separation. Johan T. Lindwall, who covers the royal families for the Swedish tabloid Expressen, claims that  Ari Behn «has been a burden on the Norwegian royal house.» He is not the only one who has claimed this. Personally I feel that many people have made too much out of Ari Behn's somewhat unorthodox or «Bohemian» behaviour. He certainly has created a few headlines along the way, and his comments on a former royal staff member's working conditions were totally unacceptable, but in general I think the headlines have just been mild ripples on the water. His wife's business activities have (or are) far more problematic. Maybe it is rather the royal house which has been a burden on Ari Behn – especially on his role as an author – than the other way around? Let us just say that they have been a colourful couple. And for the record, everyone I know who has met Ari Behn personally has only good things to say about him.

Lindwall also claims that «Märtha Louise har varit kontroversiell med sin änglaskola och böcker. Det gick ju så långt att hon fick avstå rätten till apanage, skattebetalarnas pengar, och Hennes Kungliga Höghet titel ....» («Märtha Louise has been [a] controversial [person] with her angel school and books. It went so far that she had to give up her right to an appanage, the tax payer's money as well as the style Her Royal Highness ...».) This is a rather misleading comment. As mentioned in the court's press statement of 18 January 2002, the Princess' decision to enter working life created a greater distance to the Royal House's constitutional role. The King therefore decided, after having consulted the Princess, that she from 1 February 2002 no longer was to be styled Her Royal Highness, but Princess Märtha Louise.

In the same press statement we were told that «Her Royal Highness Princess Märtha Louise will during January 2002 start to work with «cultural dissemination» [or «cultural mediation», Norwegian word used was «kulturformidling»] and the rosen method [therapy method] on an independent basis. Her first appointment in her working life will be with NRK, the Children and Youth Department» and «A sole proprietorship will be established, where the Princess as a juristic person will take care of her business herself. From 1 January 2002 the Princess pays income tax.»

The latter was as a result of the reform that the financing of the royal family and court underwent and which came into force from 1 January 2002, and had nothing to do with the sole proprietorship that was to be established. The «angel school», i.e. the limited company Soulspring, earlier named Astarte Inspiration, was established much later.

The press statement concerning the future divorce was announced while I was abroad, which explains why my comments are published first three days later.

Updated on Tuesday 9 August 2016 at 20:15 (couple of typos corrected).

21 July 2016

Interview with HRH Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein

HRH Princess Sophie of Bavaria, daughter of Duke Max in Bavaria and his Swedish-born wife Elizabeth, née Douglas, married in Vaduz on 3 July 1993 Hereditary Prince Alois, son of Prince Hans Adam II and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein.

This week the official website Liechtenstein.li published an interview with the Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein titled "I admire Liechtenstein's inventive spirit". The interview, which is also printed in Oho, the official magazine of the principality (#3, 2016/17, pages 6–11), is absolutely worth reading.

In the interview we get a good presentation of Hereditary Princess Sophie's role and her interests. She also comments on the fact that as a descendant of the Stuart dynasty she is 2nd in line to the thrones of England, Scotland, France and Ireland according to the Jacobites:
«An acquaintance of my English teacher once said to me: “But you’re a Stuart.” And I just thought: what is he talking about? When I got back home, I asked my parents. They found the whole thing hilarious, and then explained the background to me. I can therefore assure you, I shall not be asserting a claim to the British throne.»
There is one mistake in the article, though, as it is 23 years – not 22 – since the wedding took place.

Through her Swedish-born mother, Hereditary Princess Sophie is also a descendant of the Norwegian Vogt family, as pointed out among others by Sam Dotson in his book Genealogie des Fürstlichen Hauses Liechtenstein seit Hartmann II. (1544-1585) from 2003. The connection is also given in the article Prins Joseph Wenzel av Liechtensteins norske aner (Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein's Norwegian ancestry) at Slektshistoriewiki, the Norwegian Genealogy wiki.

6 July 2016

Grave of the 1st and 2nd Baron Mountevans, Our Saviour's Cemetery, Oslo, Norway


Edward Ratcliffe Garth Russell Evans, 1st Baron Mountevans (1881–1957) and his son Richard Andvord Evans, 2nd Baron Mountevans and their spouses are buried at Vår Frelsers gravlund (Our Saviour's Cemetery), Oslo, Norway, plot numbers 01.054.004.009 and 010.

The first Lord Mountevans was married to Elsa Andvord (1890–1963), daughter of Sevald Theodor Richard Andvord (1839–1913) and Sofie Cathinca Andvord, née Jacobsen (1849-1935).

One of Elsa's brothers was Richard Andvord (1886–1965), who was aide-de-camp to King Haakon VII from 1927 to 1930 and later Chamberlain (from 1949) at the Royal Court and head of the Royal Stables from 1945 until 1960

More details about the Lords Mountevans can be found at Cracroft's Peerage.

Updated on Thursday 7 July 2016 at 00.10 (typo corrected), last time Thursday 7 July 2016 at 07.50 (minor mistake).

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.

    Blogglistenhits

    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.

    Blogglistenhits

    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).

    Blogglistenhits