24 April 2017

The Norwegian Royal Court. Annual Report 2016

Last year I mentioned that the magazine Her og Nå had decided not to publish a yearbook about the events of the royal family like in previous years.  At the time of writing I hadn't come across any royal yearbooks by other publishers either. Later I found out  that Se og Hør had an inset in no. 50, 2016. It was only 24 pages long, though, and nothing compared to Her og Nå's Året rundt med Kongefamilien («The Year with the Royal Family») or the hardbacks titled Kongefamiliens årbok («The Royal Family's Yearbook») published in the late 1980s/early 1990s, besides the 2011 edition.

But at least we have the Norwegian Royal Court's annual report, which gives details about the activities of the Norwegian Royal Family and the operation of the Norwegian Royal Court during the year, including the accounts for the Civil List and surveys of orders and medals being awarded during a given year. The annual report for 2016 was published on Monday 24 April 2017 and is well illustrated. From the press release one can read:
Annual report 2016
The 25th anniversary of the accession to the Norwegian throne of Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja was the major focus of 2016. The celebration started with a large winter festival in the Palace Square on 17 January and concluded with a garden party hosted by the King and Queen in the Palace Park for 1 500 guests from throughout Norway. In June, the King and Queen carried out a silver jubilee tour along the coast from Tromsø to Kristiansand on the Royal Yacht, Norge. 

In addition to the jubilee celebrations, the Royal Family has had an extensive official programme. Altogether, the members of the Royal Family took part in 740 official events in Norway and abroad. They have paid visits to 48 municipalities, all of Norway’s counties, Svalbard, and eleven different countries.

In the course of the busy summer weeks, more than 45 000 visitors attended the activities conducted under the auspices of “Åpent Slott” (cultural outreach activities).
Annual accounts

The accounts for the Civil List showed a surplus of NOK 6 628 814. Expenses in connection with the various jubilee celebrations are covered by previous appropriations.

The accounts for the staff of Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and The Crown Princess showed a deficit of NOK 1 459 461. This deficit will be covered by previous appropriations.

The accounts for “Åpent Slott” showed a surplus of NOK 619 162. This surplus will be added to the equity capital.

The annual report and accounts of the Royal Court for 2016 were submitted today to the Presidium of the Storting, the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, and the Office of the Auditor General of Norway.
The annual reports from 2005 to 2016 are available at the official website. Not sure if the annual reports for 2002, 2003 and 2004 were ever published in an electronic format, but at least I have the paper editions.

As mentioned in the press release, King Harald celebrated 25 years on the throne last year, and the annual report tells about all the related activities, including the church service on 17 January 2016 in the Oslo Cathedral. We can also read that the official website Kongehuset.no had close to 1,6 million visitors during 2016, while the Facebook page received 939 500 likes and 30 500 comments. As many as 29 998 people toured the Royal Palace during the summer season, while 5 232 visited Oscarshall (up from 2 718 the year before).

As usual many orders and medals were awarded during 2016. The section for the recipients of the  Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav lists 18 people, compared to 26 the previous year. HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit was awarded the Grand Cross with chain, while Court Marshal Arne Omholt, the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda and the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, received the Grand Cross, and in addition the Chief of His Majesty The King’s Military Staff, Nils Petter Granholt, received the Knight's Cross, First Class, just to mention a few.

104 people received the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, compared to 105 in 2014 and 65 in 2015. Among the lucky recipients were the Norwegian Ambassador to Belgium, Ingrid Schulerud (wife of the Secretary General of NATO and former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg) and Astrid Versto, the Norwegian Ambassador to Croatia (and former Communication Director at the Norwegian Royal Court).

The Medal of St. Olav was awarded to two persons, John Foster Ellison and Perry J. Gulbrandsen. The former is the the Norwegian honorary general consul in Wellington, New Zealand. He also received the Order of St. Olav, Knight 1st Class, by the way. The latter is a retired jurist of Illinois, USA and is or was President of the Nordic Law Club. Obviously of Norwegian descent as well. Just to mention it, 5 people received the medal in 2015.

There were 90 recipients of the King's Medal of Merit during 2016, compared to 78 in 2015 and 138 in 2014. Among the recipients in 2016 was Sveiung Danielsen of Sandefjord. He received the medal for «his exceptional efforts of many years to keep and pass on important traditions of culture and craft». He served as a verger in Sandar Church in Sandefjord for many years as well. A well-deserved medal, I would say.

The King's Commemorative Medal was awarded to 41 people, up from 21 people in 2015.

Never an anniversary without a medal, and King Harald V's Jubilee Medal 1991–2016 was founded on 17 January 2016. Recipients were members of the Royal Family, numerous people of authority (past & present), members of the Royal Court, the King's Military Staff, royal guards who served as batmen (orderly),  the Royalty Protection Unit and  the Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property's employees at the Royal Palace. 366 people all in all, if I have got it right.

For the record, the royal/royalty-related recipients were Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Princess Sverre Magnus, Marius Borg Høiby, Princess Märtha Louise, Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner, Ari Behn, Maud Angelica Behn, Leah Isadora Behn, Emma Tallulah Behn, Erling S. Lorentzen, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, King Carl Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

Finally a survey of my own articles on the subject in the past (no article in 2016, obviously):

23 April 2017

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2017

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2017 arrived in early April, which meant that I had plenty of reading material for my Easter break. Just a few days earlier I had received the latest issue of Eurohistory as well, in addition to the latest edition of Majesty, which I hadn't had the time to read until Easter. If that was not enough, no. 100 of Våpenbrevet, the newsletter of the Norwegian Heraldry Society, also came in time for my Easter break. And I still haven't read Royal Russia (no. 11) in full either. If that was not enough, I also had to do proof-reading on no. 1, 2017 of Genealogen, the newsletter of the Norwegian Genealogical Society.

But back to Royalty Digest Quarterly. The front page reveals that the former royal family of Bulgaria has made it to the family album this time, and the photo shows King (Czar) Ferdinand of the Bulgarians with his children  Princess Eudocia, Prince (later King) Boris, Prince Kiril and Princess Nadejda. Charlotte Zeepvat's traditional Family Album this time includes two dynasties – the House of Battenberg represented by Prince Alexander (1857–1893), who reigned as Prince of Bulgaria from 1879 to 1886 and three years later married morganatlically Johanna Loisinger (1865–1951), and the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, represented by King Ferdinand (1861–1948), who reigned from 1887 to 1918, his son King Boris III (1894–1943), who reigned from 1918 until his death, and his grandson King Simeon, b. 1937, who reigned in name only from 1943 until he was forced into exile in 1946. Simeon celebrates his 80th birthday on 16 June this year, by the way. Besides an introductory article about the two reigning dynasties in Bulgaria the readers are treated with 77 photos and 2 genealogical tables.

In his Editor's Corner, Ted Rosvall makes a point of the fact that «In this issue, and possibly for the first time, RDQ features and article about Monaco and the Princely House of Grimaldi». It was on due time, I would say. Rosvall continues by lining out the Grimaldi's relations with the other royal and princely houses of Europe.

The first article out is written by Charlotte Zeepvat, who opens with a postcard portrait of the Duke of Abruzzi and Miss Caterina Elkins. The article is about Luigi Amadeo, Duke of the Abruzzi (1873–1933), son of Amadeo, Duke of Aosta (1845–1890), who was King of Spain from 1870 to 1873, by his first wife Maria Vittoria del Pozzo, Princess della Cisterna (1846–1876), and the mariage that never took place. I loved the article, as I can't remember having read much, or anything at all, about him before.

I would also like to applaud the article The Prince and his Lady. Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar and Lady Augusta Gordon-Lennox* by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig. As I have said many times before while commenting on RDQ and Eurohistory, I want more articles about the so-called lesser-known royals and other royal relations.

Nichael L. Nash has the honor of writing the first article about the Grimaldis. The article is titled At the Court of Prince Albert of Monaco, and is also both interesting and well-written. How to follow up on this? There are so many previous princes of Monaco to write about! Who were all the Honorés and Florestans? And what happened to Princess Delphine, born 1788, who at present isn't even presented with a death year in An Online Gotha?

John Wimbles' collection of letters from the Romanian National Archives and other sources is impressive, and in the present issue we get part III of the presentation compiled by David Horbury.

The last one out is Coryne Hall with her article Little-known royals. Prince Harald of Denmark. How little-known he really was is of course up for discussion. Nice article, but – and this should be taken in a positive way – it could have been longer.

The issue ends as usual with the traditional The World Wide Web of Royalty, this time bringing news of the Imperial, Royal and /or Princely houses of Portugal, Russia, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Schaumburg-Lippe and Waldburg zu Wolfegg u. Waldsee.

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.

*The subject title says in fact Gorndon-Lennox, but that is a typo we all could make or overlook, so I corrected the reference above.

Sweden: Date of funeral service for Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld announced

Erska Church, Sollebrunn. Photo: Artifex, Wikimedia Commons.

According to the death announcement published in among others Svenska Dagbladet on 22 April 2017, the funeral service for Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld, who died on 11 April 2017, will take place at Erska Church in Sollebrunn on Thursday 11 May 2017 at 2 p.m. There will be a reception at Koberg Palace after the funeral service.

The announcement was signed by Silfverschiöld's wife Princess Désirée, their children Carl, Christina Louise (Hans) and Hélène, grandchildren Anna Margreta, Estelle, Ian and Fred as well as «släkt och vänner» («family and friends»).

It is expected that Niclas Silfverschiöld will be laid to rest at the Royal Burial Ground at Haga outside Stockholm.

18 April 2017

Eurohistory. The European Royal History Journal, Vol. 19.4, Winter 2016

The fourth and last issue of volume 19 of Eurohistory. The European Royal History Journal arrived in my mailbox at the end of March.

Last year was the centennial of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria's death, and in the article «Why Cecco Beppe Does Not Die». The death and  continuing afterlife of Franz Joseph, Janet Asthton draws a great picture of his death and how he has been viewed afterwards.

The next article, Alex Wernher. A  close friend of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh by Marlene Eilers-Koenig was also interesting to read, among others because she has focused on a lesser-known member of the royal circle. Alex (George Michael Alexaner Wernher (1918–1942)) was the son of Sir Harold Wernher (1893–1973) and Countess Anastasia «Zia» de Torby (1892–1977). Through his mother he was a descendant of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia, and one of his godparents was King George V of the United Kingdom, who was a friend of Alex' grandfather Grand Prince Michael of Russia (1861–1929).

We meet the Wernhers again in Ilana D. Miller's traditional Who is in the Photograph? article, this time titled A Wartime Wedding. The photograph in question is from the wedding of Countess Nadejda de Torby and Prince George of Battenberg in 1916 and shows Prince George of Battenberg, Princess Louise of Battenberg, Countess Nadejda de Torby, Countess Zia de Torby, Princess Xenia Georgievna of Russia and Princess Nina Georgievna of Russia. Miller then goes on with a presentation of the said persons. If you haven't guessed already, Nadejda was the aunt of Alex Wernher, who was killed during WW2. And if you are interested in reading more about the Wernhers and their royal connections, Raleigh Trevelyan wrote the boook Grand Dukes and Diamonds: The Wernhers of Luton Hoo in 1991 (Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd.; ISBN 9780436534041). Paperback and e-book editions were published by Faber & Faber in 2012.

But before Miller's contribution, the readers can enjoy two other articles in which members of the Russian Imperial family are involved: Greg King's The Mad King's Other Empress. Ludwig II and Maria Alexandrovna of Russia and Coryne Hall's St Petersburg's Winter Palace, 1903. The Last Costume Ball.

The readers are then treated with several book reviews (the first by Marlene Eilers-Koenig, the rest by Coryne Hall):
  • Greg King & Janet Ashton. A Life for the Tsar. Triumph and Tragedy at the Coronation of Emperor Nicholas II, Eurohistory, 2016. ISBN 9781944207045. See also Koenig's review at Royal Book News.
  • Robert Golden & Arturo Beéche. ALBANY – One Dynasty, Two Destinies, Eurohistory, 2016. ISBN 9781944207052.
  • Kurt Stjernholm Riisberg. Kongehuset 2016, Linhardt og Ringhof, 2016. ISBN 9788711562246.
  • John Van Der Kiste. Queen Victoria and the European Empire, Fonthill Media, 2016. ISBN 9781781555507.
Finally, the Royal News column gives the latest genealogical events in the Imperial, Royal and/or Princely houses of France, Luxembourg, Oldenburg, Prussia, Russia and Schaumburg-Lippe.

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

11 April 2017

Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld (1934–2017)

Baron (Friherre) Niclas Silfverschiöld, husband of the Swedish Princess Désirée, died today, 82 years old, the Swedish Royal Court has announced.
Friherre Niclas Silfverschiöld har avlidit

Tisdagen den 11 april 2017 avled friherre Niclas Silfverschiöld, make till H.M. Konungens syster Prinsessan Désirée, friherrinna Silfverschiöld.

Med anledning av friherre Niclas Silfverschiölds bortgång gör Kungen följande uttalande:
– Jag och min familj har med stor sorg tagit emot beskedet att friherre Niclas Silfverschiöld, Prinsessan Désirées make, har gått ur tiden. Våra tankar går till Prinsessan Désirée med familj.

Friherre Niclas Silfverschiöld blev 82 år.
In translation:
Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld has died

Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld, husband of HM The King's sister Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld, has died.

In connection with the death of Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld's death the King has made the following statement:

– My family and I have with great sorrow received the news that Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld, Princess Désirée's husband, has passed away. Our thoughts are with Princess Désirée and her family.

Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld was 82 years old.
Baron Niclas Silfverschïold, whose full name was Nils August Otto Carl Niklas* Silfverschïold, was born at Gåsevadholm on 31 May 1934 as the son of Baron Carl-Otto Silfverschiöld (1899–1955) and Baroness Madelaine Silfverschiöld, née Bennich (1906–1995). He married Princess Désiree, third daughter of Prince Gustaf Adolf  of Sweden (1906–1947) and Princess Sibylla of Sweden, née Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1908–1972), in Storkyrkan (The Great Church/Church of St. Nicholas) in Stockholm on 5 June 1964. The couple had 3 children (Carl, Christina and Hélène) and four grandchildren.

Niclas and Désirée lived at Koberg Castle at Sollebrunn in the municipality of Trollhättan. Both Koberg Castle and the other Silfverschiöld family-owned castle, Gåsevadholm, are entailed property (fideikommis), the latter have been in the family since 1818.

At the time of death, Baron Niclas was listed as either chairman or member of the board of three limited companies – Koberg Förvaltning AB, Gåsevadholms Fideikommiss AB and Borgudden Vind AB.

According to Ratsit.se, both Koberg Förvaltning AB («Koberg Management Ltd.») and Gåsevadholms Fideikommiss AB are registered as businesses in agriculture and forest management as well as capital and property management. Borgudden Vind AB, which is a daughter company of Gåsevadholms Fideikommis AB, is an energy production company (wind turbine company).

*While the Swedish Royal Court and most genealogies spell his name Niclas with a c, he is in the Public Register listed with the spelling Niklas with a k, cf. Ratsit.se.

Updated on Wednesday 12 April 2017 at 00.05 (link added, ownership to Gåsevadholm amplified).

25 March 2017

Vestre gravlund (Western Cemetery), Oslo, Norway, Part III

I decided to continue my Vestre gravlund (Western Cemetery) series today, even though it is not «Tombstone Tuesday». For earlier parts about the cemetery, go here and here.

Ulricsen family grave. Johan Christian Ulrichsen (1861–1950) and Berntine Marie «Maja» Ulrichsen, née Hansen (1868–1958) were the grandparents of Queen Sonja of Norway.

 Grave of editor (among other titles) Kåre Valebrokk (1940–2013).

One of several Aubert graves at Vestre gravlund. Aubert is listed in the Danish Book of Nobility (Danmarks Adels Aarbog).

 Hoel family grave.

Ingstad and Trætteberg family grave. Hallvard Trætteberg (1898–1987) worked at the National Archives of Norway and was a well-known heraldic artist and expert. He was married to Gunvor Ingstad Trætteberg (1897–1975), a sister of the Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad (1899–2001).

Grave of Knut Frydenlund (1927–1987), Norwegian Foreign Minister 1973–1976, 1976–1981, 1981 and 1986–1987 under three different prime ministers (including Trygve Bratteli, see below).

 Stoltenberg family grave.

Grave of Trygve Bratteli (1910–1984), prime minister of Norway 1971–1972 and 1973–1976, and his wife Randi Bratteli, née Larssen (1924–2002).

Lange family grave. Hallvard Lange (1902–1970), Norwegian Foreign Minister 1946–1963 and 1963–1965).

Castberg family grave. Johan Castberg (1862–1926) was a Norwegian politician. He was a member of Parliament for many years, Minister of Justice 1908–1910, Minister of Trade 1913 and Minister of Social affairs 1913–1914 as well as an outspoken republican during the monarchy debate in 1905. His son Frede Castberg (1893–1977) was a jurist and professor of law.

All photos: © 2016 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

23 March 2017

Sweden: Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia to become parents again

«Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth ...» (Genesis 1,28).
The Royal House of Sweden continues to expand. The Royal Court released today the following press statement:
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia are delighted to announce that The Princess is expecting their second child.

The birth is expected to take place in September 2017.
«We are happy to announce that we are expecting a child, a sibling to Prince Alexander. We are looking forward to welcoming a new little member to our family,» says Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia.

No changes in the schedule of The Prince Couple's public engagements are planned during the spring and summer of 2017.
The news mean of course that Prince Carl Philip's parents King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia are to become grandparents for the sixth time.

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia became parents for the first time on 19 April 2016. The name and ducal title were announced two days later: HRH Prince Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland.

The future Prince or Princess of Sweden will at birth enter the line of succession to the Swedish throne as no. 6.

22 March 2017

Presidential genealogy in the latest issue of American Ancestors

In the latest issue of American Ancestors, one of the two periodicals of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, there is an interesting article titled The Ancestry of President Donald John Trump. An Initial Exploration, written by Alexander Bannerman, Julie Helen Otto and Gary Boyd Roberts.

Gary Boyd Roberts is Senior Research Scholar Emeritus at NEHGS and is well-known for his book Ancestry of American Presidents, which was printed in 2009 and reprinted with corrections in 2012 (ISBN 978-88082-220-6), and which I (of course!) have a copy of. Julie Helen Otto, a former Staff Genealogist at NEHGS, is currently responsible of indexing the New England Historical and Genealogical Register (shortened to The Register) and serves as transcriber for Mayflower Descendants (which is not included in the membership subscription to NEHGS).

Alexander Bannerman is the editor of the periodical Executive Papers, which is the journal of The Hereditary Order of the Families of the Presidents and First Ladies. An ancestor table for Trump will appear in issue 14 of Executive Papers. The said table will be more detailed than the one published in American Ancestors. The Trump family can be traced to Kallstadt in Germany, while the president's mother was born at the Isle of Lewis in Outer Hebrides in Scotland. Some genealogical information about the president has been published on various webpages, including ThoughtCo.com.

According to the Icelandic genealogist Oddur F. Helgason, Trump is a descendant (of among others) the Norwegian King Håkon V Magnusson, cf. Iceland Monitor 24 Janyar 2017, but I would like to see more details of his sources before making further comments.

Parts of the latest issue deal with early Cape Cod ancestry, as demonstrated on the front cover. Besides the Trump article, I also found the article Bringing the Armenian Genocide to Light by Ann Goolkasian O'Donnell to be particularly interesting.

28 February 2017

Vestre gravlund (Western Cemetery), Oslo, Norway, Part II (Tombstone Tuesday)

Yet another Tombstone Tuesday, and today I have decided to continue my Vestre gravlund (Western Cemetery) series. Part I was published in September 2015, but I have published other photos from the cemetery earlier, for instance herehere and here. As I said in part I, Vestre gravlund was inaugurated in 1902 and is the largest cemetery in Norway (243 decares, close to 61 acres).

Langaard family grave.

Godager shipping family.

Grave of the cardiologist Monika Maria Semb Bernadzikiewicz (1966–2014).

Grave of the opera singer Jon Bratt Otnes (1919–2004), who claimed to be the pater familias of the medieval noble family of Bratt and a descendant of the old Norwegian kings. The claim has repeatedly been refuted by leading Norwegian genealogists, including the late Tore Vigerust.

Grave of the artist Severin Grande (1869–1934) and his wife Sara Svensson, née Edlund (1896–1976). (The name Svensson was from her second marriage.)

The Collett family grave,

Grave of the art historian and factory owner Harry Fett (1875–1962) and his family. For information (in Norwegian) and photos of his property Christinedal at Bryn in Oslo, go here.

Grave of the Bull and Wyller families. Henrik Johan Bull (1844–1930) initated the first Norwegian hunting/fishing expedition to Antarctica 1893–95.

Engelstad grave. Berna Engelstad, née Ulrichsen (1894–1993) was an aunt of Queen Sonja of Norway.

Grave of instrument maker Jakob Jakobsen (1828–1916) and his family.

All photos: © 2016 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

14 February 2017

Urn grave of Holger Drachmann, Skagen, Denmark (Tombstone Tuesday)

 © 2011 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.
© 2011 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

The urn grave of the Danish poet, dramatist and artist Holger Drachmann (1846–1908) just south of Grenen (Skagen Odde) outside Skagen in Jylland (Jutland), Denmark.

8 February 2017

Siste trykte utgave av Norsk Lovtidend (Last printed edition of the Norwegian Legal Gazette)

I dag ble det skrevet historie – i dobbel forstand – på arbeidsplassen min, Lovdata. Den trykte utgaven av Norsk Lovtidend ble i fjor besluttet avviklet etter at årgangen 2016 var avsluttet, og i dag ble den aller siste utgaven, hefte 19 i avdeling I, publisert.

I den forbindelse har jeg skrevet en artikkel som forklarer bakgrunnen for avviklingen og litt om utviklingen av Norsk Lovtidend fra 1877 til i dag. Det ble til og med plass til litt genealogi! Artikkelen ble publisert på Lovdata.no i dag tidlig.

Den elektroniske kunngjøringen av Norsk Lovtidend ble offisiell versjon i 2001. Jeg har jobbet i Lovdata siden mai 1998 og arbeidet med Norsk Lovtidend har vært og er fortsatt en av hovedoppgavene mine.

Last year it was decided that the printed edition of Norsk Lovtidend, the Norwegian Legal Gazette, was to be discontinued after the publishing year of 2016 was finished. The last printed edition – no. 19, section I – was published today.

In this connection I have written an article (in Norwegian only) which explains the decision for discontinuing the printed edition and which also gives a short outline of the developments of the Legal Gazette from 1877 until today. There was even room for some genealogy stuff! The article was published at Lovdata.no today.

The digital issue became the official version in 2001. I have worked for the Lovdata Foundation since 1998, and the publishing of the Legal Gazette has been and still is one of my main tasks.

7 February 2017

Eurohistory. The European Royal History Journal, Vol. 19.3, Fall 2016

The latest issue of Eurohistory. The European Royal History Journal, issue CXI, volume 19.3, fall 2016, which I received two weeks ago, has on its front cover a photo of the late Queen Anne of Romania, née Princess of Bourbon-Parme. An obituary of the queen, who died on 1 August 2016, is published in the magazine, written by its publisher and editor Arturo E. Béeche. Queen Anne was married in 1948 to King Michael (Mihai), who rather unvoluntarily abdicated the throne of Romania the previous year.

Traditionally each issue of the ERHJ includes a photo article written by Ilana D. Miller, and this time her Who Is In the Photograph presents a photo of  The Battenberg Brothers, i.e. Prince Alexander of Bulgaria (1857–1893, r. 1879–1886), Prince Louis (Ludwig) (1854–1921), Prince Henry (1858–1896) and Prince Franz Joseph of Battenberg (1861–1924), sons of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine (1823–1888) and his wife Julia von Hauke (1825–1895), who was created Countess of (von) Battenberg when they married in 1851 and in 1858 Princess of Battenberg with the style of Serene Highness. Alexander and Julia also had the daughter Marie Caroline (1852–1923), who married Prince Gustav of Erbach-Schönberg (1840–1908) in 1871. The article is based on the talk Miller gave at the XIX Eurohistory Conference in September 2015.

The Battenberg article is followed by Ludmila Prokopova's presentation of the Livadia Palace at Crimea, the former summer retreat of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia. The article is titled Tours to Imperial in the 19th Century.

In 2016 it was 110 years since King Christian IX of Denmark (1818–1906, r. from 1863) died. This is probably why Coryne Hall has contributed with her article APAPA. King Christian IX of Denmark and His Descendants. King Christian has been nick-named «the Father-in-Law of Europe» due to the great dynastic matches two of his daughters made – Princess Alexandra, who married the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, and Princess Dagmar, who married the future Emperor Alexander III of Russia and became Empress Maria Feodorovna. His eldest son Frederik became King of Denmark, his younger son Prince Wilhelm became King Georgios I of the Hellenes, while his grandson Prince Carl was elected to the throne of Norway in 1905 and took the name Haakon VII. Descendants of Christian's children, who also included Princess Thyra, who married Ernst August of Hannover, Duke of Cumberland, and Prince Valdemar, who married Princess Marie of Orleans, are spread into the courts of Europe. Reigning descendants today include Queen Margrethe of Denmark, King Harald V of Norway, Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, King Felipe VI of Spain, King Philippe of the Belgians and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.

Coryne Hall and Arturo E. Beéche's book APAPA: King Christian IX of Denmark and His Descendants was published by Eurohistory in 2014.

On 8 October 2016 Prince Leka of the Albanians married his long-time fiancée Elia Zaharia in Tirana. Seth B. Leonard was lucky to be present and he has written a nice account of his impressions for the ERHJ. The wedding was also covered by Netty Leistra in the latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly.

The ERHJ also includes a second obituary, that of  Marco de Hohenlohe-Langenburg y Medina, the 19th Duke of Medinaceli (1962–2016), also written by the editor, Arturo E. Beéche.

The last main article in the latest issue is written by Joe Spiteri and is titled The Royal Governor of the Rock of Gibraltar. The only royal person to be governor of Gibraltar was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (1767–1820), the fourth son of King George III and Queen Charlotte, née Princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Coryne Hall has written reviews of the following titles:
  • British Nannies and the Great War by Louise Heren (Pen & Sword, 2016), ISBN 9781473827530.
  • Franz Joseph, 1830-1916. Exhibition Catalogue, edited by Karl Vocelka and Martin Mutschlechner (Christian Brandstätter Verlag, Vienna, 2016), ISBN 9783850339902 (German),
    ISBN 9783850339988 (English)
  • The Hohenzollern Case File. A Story of Royal Rivalry and High Court Forgery that Divided a Dynasty by Marco Houston (Leppi Publications, 2016), ISBN 9780952164456
  • The Countess. The Scandalous Life of Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey by Tim Clarke (Amberley Publishing, 2016), ISBN 9781445656267
  • Mrs Keppel, Mistress to the King by Tom Quinn (Biteback Publishing, 2016), ISBN 9781785900488
The first and fourth and fifth titles are thankfully also available as e-books.

The ERHJ also includes a Royal News section, this time with news from the royal, princely and aristocratic houses of Albania, Luxembourg, Norway, Prussia, Serbia (Yugoslavia), Isenburg, Stolberg-Stolberg, Wurmbrand-Stuppach, Medinaceli and Westminster.

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.

Stenset grave, Nybo Cemetery, Sandefjord, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)

 © 2005 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth. 

© 2008 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth. 

The photos show the urn grave of Rudolf Stenset (1920–1975) and Sigrid Stenset, née Hoelseth (1921–1975) at Nybo gravlund (cemetery), Sandefjord, Norway. Their names and dates are inscribed (or rather attached) directly on a natural stone. The lease of the urn grave expired in 2015, I think, so I don't know if anything has happened to the letters and numbers. I will have to check it out next time I visit Sandefjord, the city where I grew up. At least I have several photos of the grave. There are several similar urn graves at Nybo ( as well as ordinary graves), and I might return with a presentation of the cemetery as a whole later on. 

Sigrid was a younger sister of my grandfather Arne Hoelseth (1916–2007).

31 January 2017

Von Munthe af Morgenstierne graves, Oslo, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)

 © 2011 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

 © 2011 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth. 

© 2016 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth. 

Bredo Munthe til Bekkeskov (1701–1757) was ennobled in 1755 with the name von Munthe af Morgenstierne. From him descends two Danish and one Norwegian lines. The second last edition of Danmarks Adels Aarbog, in which the family is included, divides the family into two lines, to which the children of Bredo's son Otto Christopher von Munthe af Morgenstierne (1735–1809) make three branches, while the descendants of Bredo's son Troels (1745–1810) make the fourth branch.

The privileges belonging to the noblity in Norway were abolished in 1821, but most families, including the von Munthe af Morgenstierne family, continued to live here, and many members have made a name for themselves in for instance diplomacy and academia.

The top photo shows one of the von Munthe af Morgenstierne graves at Our Saviour's Cemetery in Oslo, graves no. and 025, which are leased together. The headstone includes among others Otto's great-grandson (of the first branch) Carl Johan Maximilian (1844–1912), who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and his wife Anna Dorothea, née Stub (1850–1936), who originally came from Bergen, Norway. Carl Johan Maximilian was the son of Christian Fredrik Jacob (1806–1886) in his first marriage to Princess Anastasia Sergiewna Soltikov (1810–1853). 

The second photo is a close-up of the family's coat-of-arms.

The third photo shows one of the von Munthe af Morgenstierne (2nd branch) graves at Vestre gravlund (Western cemetery) in Oslo. Buried in grave (no. 20.322.00.112) are among others Ambassador Wilhelm Thorleif (1887–1963), who mentioned in a blog article last year, and his brother Georg Valentin (1892–1978) who was a professor of linguistics at the University of Oslo. He was the father of Eva von Munthe af Morgenstierne (1921–2017), who in 1948 married Erik Finn Lorentzen (1921–2010). One of Erik's brothers, Erling Lorentzen, b. 1923, was married to Princess Ragnhild of Norway (1930–2012). The funeral service for Eva, who died on 22 January 2017, took place yesterday, 30 January 2017, at Vestre gravlund, gamle kapell (Western Cemetery, Old Chapel).

24 January 2017

Lunde and Ullmann grave, Lillehammer Cemetery, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)

Both photos: © 2011 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth  

The photos show the headstone and grave of the artist Rolf Schubarth Lunde (1891–1928), his wife Ebba Lunde, née Dietrichson (1891–1978), their daughter Ebba (19201979) and son-in-law Viggo Ullmann (1915–1998) at Lillehammer Cemetery (Lillehammer kirkegård) in Oppland county, Norway.

The headstone (bronze relief) is located at the Northern wall of the cemetery, and is most likely a copy of the altar piece in Hornindal Church, made by the artist Dagfin Werenskiold (1892–1977), cf. Sindre, Svein. Vår fedrearv. Menighetsblad for Lillehammer og omegn, no. 2/2014, pp. 10–11.

17 January 2017

Grave of musician Bjarne Hansen, Østre gravlund (Eastern Cemetery), Oslo, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)

© 2017 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth  
The grave of musician Bjarne Halvard Hansen (1910–1962) and Rakel Debora Hansen (1914–2010) at Østre gravlund (Eastern Cemetery), Oslo, Norway, grave no. In the death announcement in Aftenposten 14 April 1962 No. 177, p. 17, his wife Elsa as well as five children were listed. According to the funeral notice in Aftenposten on 21 April 1962 No. 185 p. 16, Hansen worked as an orchestra conductor.

According to the 1910 census, Bjarne was the son of carpenter Anton Julius Hansen and Maren Helene Hansen, née Olsen.

© 2017 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth 

Østre gravlund (Eastern Cemetery), Oslo, Norway, January 2017.

10 January 2017

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 4, 2016

The latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly – no. 4, 2016 – arrived just in time for Christmas.  According to the editor, Ted Rosvall, the issue had to be reprinted «because of a sloppy job done at the printing-works'». I have no idea what went wrong, but more important is that the new version was in perfect condition and well timed for the Christmas weekend.

I would have loved to witness the royal wedding in Tirana, Albania on 8 October 2016, but the wedding day collided with a family trip to Spain (no, I am not really complaining). Fortunately Netty Leistra was able to go, and her visit has resulted in the article An Albanian Royal Wedding ... with many royal guests in the RDQ as well as an article in her own blog. Her coverage of the wedding of Prince Leka and Elia Zaharia certainly made the icing on the cake this time. This is not meant to be disrespectful of the other articles, far from it – they are all well-written and interesting – but I have always had a fascination for the history of the former Balkan monarchies, so articles about their past & present tend to appeal to me particularly. I hope to visit Tirana one day. So far «I have only made it» to Shkodër in Northern Albania, so I would love to combine a visit to Tirana with the beaches of Sarandë and the ancient city of Butrint. One of these days ...

In his Editor's Corner Ted Rosvall points how Prince Leka through the Anhalt-Dessau ancestry of his Hungarian grandmother Queen Geraldine, née Countess Apponyi de Nagy-Appony (1915–2002) is related to most, if not all, the royal dynasties of Europe.

The photo on the front cover shows the then Prince Edward (VIII) of Wales together with George (V), Prince of Wales; Princess Maud; Princess Albert of Wales (George VI); Louise, Princess Royal, Duchess of Fife; Princess Mary of Wales and Princess Alexandra at Abergeldie, around 1905. This means that the British royal house is yet again the topic for Charlotte Zeepvat's traditional Family Album. The fourth and last (?) part, titled The Royal House of Great Britian and Ireland. A Family Album – House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Wundsor [sic!] brings the readers up to the present Queen Elizabeth II. Besides a short introduction the readers can enjoy 100 photos and 2 pages containing genealogical surveys of the family.

There were several big anniversaries in 2016. Michael L. Nash reminds us that in 2016 it was 200 years since the wedding of Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (formerly -Saalfeld) in his article «England's Star of Promise». A Very Coburg Marriage, 2nd May 1816.

The house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is also touched upon in the next article, Three Cousins by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig. The article deals with the 1896 weddings of Princess Maud of Wales to Prince Carl of Denmark, Princess Louise of Denmark to Prince Friedrich of Schaumburg-Lippe and Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Hereditary Prince Ernst of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Have you ever been to Frogmore House? It is one of the royalty-related «musts» in the Windsor area. It is only open to the public parts of the year, in 2017 in August only (in addition to the Charity Open Days), so I not sure when I will be able to visit it. Anyway, located on the estate of Frogmore above the lake one can also find the mausoleum of Queen Victoria's Mother, the Duchess of Kent. The mausoleum has never been open to the public, but at least Elizabeth Jane Timms has written a rather nice presentation of it in the RDQ.

David Horbury then returns with his series Half a Century of Royal Letters; 1899-1946. Collected by John Wimbles from the Romanian National Archives and other sources. We can only be so lucky that not all royals command their correspondence to be burnt after their death. The letters of the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Marie, née Grand Princess of Russia) are a thrill to read. And how horribly critical she is of her relatives and in-laws! Just read her description of the then Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) in 1914: «... I was horribly shocked, even grieved, at the appearance of the nice little Prince of Wales, whom I find looking very ill. [...] Imagine he looks like a miserable boy of 15, his face and neck are so thin that they rather belong to an old woman than a young man of 20 which he was yesterday. He eats nothing and looks as if he were wasting away».

The final main article, Courting Disaster – The Russian Prince and the Regent's Park Country Club, is written by Coryne Hall, and deals with Prince Andrew of Russia and his wife Elizabeta, née Ruffo di Sant Antimo, who in 1923 founded the Regent's Park country club which ended in bankruptcy, quite a scandal in those days.

Finally the readers are treated with genealogical news in the traditional column The World Wide Web of Royalty. The following royal and princely and/or mediatized houses are covered: Albania, Bentheim and Steinfurt, Carolath-Beuthen, Luxembourg, Oldenburg, Prussia and Serbia (Yugoslavia).

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.

5 January 2017

Slektshistoriewiki articles, 2016

I have mentioned a few times in my blog that I am one of the administrators of Slektshistoriewiki, the Norwegian genealogy wiki, which is administered by Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening (the Norwegian Genealogical Society). Besides administration work I have contributed with many articles over the years.

Here are some (but far from all) of the articles I written (both initiated and written most, if not all, of the updates) during 2016:

Book presentations
In addition I have of course updated many, many more articles, including the Ferner family article, published originally on 20 September 2015.

Updated on Friday 6 January 2017 at 08.35 (minor correction).

Death of Austin Prichard-Levy, husband of Princess Lavinia of Yugoslavia (Serbia)

The Office of HRH Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia announced today the death of Austin Prichard-Levy, second husband of Princess Lavinia, the youngest daughter of Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia by his second wife Kira, née Princess of Leiningen.

Austin died of a heart attack on 2 January 2017 in London. His death is the first royalty-related death to be registered in 2017 so far.

The press release in full:
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander is very sad to announce that Her Royal Highness Princess Lavinia’s (first cousin of HRH Crown Prince Alexander) beloved husband Austin Prichard-Levy died suddenly in London Monday 2nd January 2017 at home of a heart attack.

Crown Prince Alexander and family extend their deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Princess Lavinia.

Austin Prichard-Levy was born 20 January, 1953 in Roma, Queensland, Australia. He married Princess Lavinia in London 4 October 1998 and they had a son Luca Orlando Christopher born in London 14 February, 2000 whose Godmother is Crown Princess Katherine. He was also loving stepfather to Nadya-Marie and Andrej Sidiropulous.

Princess Lavinia is the daughter of the late Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia (brother of King Peter II of Yugoslavia) and the late Princess Kira of Leiningen.