10 November 2019

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 3, 2019

The third issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly was posted from Sweden on 25 September and I received it soon after, but I have been busy with travelling in October (Cyprus, Poland and the United Kingdom) and have also been busy with other commitments, including my administration work for Slektshistoriewiki, the Norwegian Genealogy Wiki. In other words, I have not found the time to update my blog for a while, and I am not sure if I will have much time in the nearest future either, so this will be a shorter RDQ commentary than usual.

If you wonder about the cover, it shows a photo from the wedding of Princess Diane of Orleans to Duke Carl of Württemberg in 1960, with all the «children of France», i.e. the children of the then Count of Paris (Henri, 1908–1999) and Isabella, née Princess of Orléans and Braganza (1911–2003): Seated: François, Claude, Thibaut, Diane, Henri, Chantal. Standing: Michel, Hélène, Anne, Prince Michael of Greece (first cousin and foster brother), Isabelle and Jacques.

  • The Wedding of King Peter II of Yugoslavia and Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig
  • Princess Maximiliane of Bavaria 1810–1821 by Elizabeth Jane Timms
  • 'Utterly Mrs Ronald Greville...' by Coryne Hall
  • The Royal Houses of France. A Family ALbum II: The House of Bourbon-Orléans by Charlotte Zeepvat
  • The November 1918 Abdications, part V by Bearn Bilker
  • Two Emperors and One King on the Water [part I] by Douglas Scott Brookes
  • World Wide Web of Royalty
Marlene Koenig's article describes how the couple met and all the political discussions and quarrels in advance of the wedding. The marriage itself, which she doesn't comment on, was not a success and the couple lived separately for most of their married life. But of course something positive came out of the marriage – Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia (Serbia), one of the most sympathetic royals around.

In Coryne Hall's article we meet Margaret Helen Anderson (1863–1942), who was married in 1891 to Hon. Ronald Greville (d. 1908), eldest son of the 2nd Baron Greville. She inherited her fortune from her father, William McEwan. The article describes among others her friendship with members of the Royal Family, especially King Edward VII and King George VI.

As far as I understand The November 1918 Abdications, part V, was the last part of the series Bearn Bilker has written on the the abdications in Germany in November 1918. I have really enjoyed reading the articles.

The World Wide Web of Royalty column this time takes us to the Imperial, Royal, Princely and/or mediatized houses of Austria-Este (Belgium), Hohenberg, Liechtenstein, Lippe, Netherlands and Prussia.

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.

9 October 2019

Sweden: Changes to the Royal House

Court decision 7 October 2019. Photos of documents published at the Swedish Royal Court's Facebook page.

The Swedish Royal Court announced on Monday 7 October 2019 that the King had decided to «downsize» the Royal House, which meant that the children of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia and of Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill had ceased to be members of the Royal House and now only were members of the Royal Family. They are also no longer styled Royal Highness. The press release in full said:
His Majesty The King has decided on changes to The Royal House. The purpose of these changes is to establish which members of The Royal Family may be expected to perform official duties incumbent on the Head of State or related to the function of the Head of State.

His Majesty The King has decided that the children of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and the children of Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O’Neill will no longer be members of The Royal House.

Prince Alexander, Prince Gabriel, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas and Princess Adrienne will continue to be members of The Royal Family. However, they will no longer enjoy the style of Royal Highness and, in the future, will not be expected to perform duties incumbent on the Head of State.

Prince Alexander (Duke of Södermanland), Prince Gabriel (Duke of Dalarna), Princess Leonore (Duchess of Gotland), Prince Nicolas (Duke of Ångermanland) and Princess Adrienne (Duchess of Blekinge) will retain their titles of Duke and Duchess previously granted by His Majesty.

His Majesty The King and Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess are, together with Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Daniel, Sweden’s highest representatives within the Realm and vis-à-vis other States.

Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine will continue their work in the non-profit foundations and organisations which they have founded or in which they are involved. In addition, they will perform official duties to the extent decided by His Majesty.


7 October 2019

Fredrik Wersäll
Marshal of the Realm
I was not very surprised by the news – the downsizing was bound to happen some day – but the timing was odd. It had made more sense if the king had clarified the membership prior to the birth of Princess Leonore. As the royal children in question were never expected to take on official engagements, I have earlier on several occasions (see for instance my article of 14 September 2013) said that I would have preferred if they hadn't got any titles at all. Only royals expected to represent the royal house should have titles. The Swedish king has now made a system which somewhat resembles the Norwegian, where those who are styled Majesty or Royal Highness are members of the royal house, while the others are «only» members of the royal family. The only difference is that both children of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel are styled Royal Highness, while among the Norwegian Crown Prince's children only Princess Ingrid Alexandra have that style. In addition, in the Norwegian Royal Family Prince Sverre Magnus, Princess Märtha Louise and Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner are styled Highness while abroad (but not in Norway – although the Royal Court has never given a satisfactory explanation to this, I guess the decision was made because titles and styles means more abroad than at home).

In the press conference which followed the announcement, the Marshal of the Realm among others stressed that the prince(ss) and ducal titles for the royal children in question were personal and could
not be transferred to their spouses and children.

King Carl XVI Gustaf's decision does of course not affect the line of succession. However, the question of the upbringing of Princess Madeleine's children outside the realm, cf. the Act of Succession Article 4, remains unsolved. Another question is what would happen if Prince Carl Philip or Princess Madeleine had another child. I expect that the king would make no difference and would settle on the personal title of prince/princess (and ducal title), but of course not give the style Royal Highness.

Members of the Royal House
  • HM King Carl XVI Gustaf (b. 1946)
  • HM Queen Silvia (b. 1943)
  • HRH Crown Princess Victoria (b. 1977)
  • HRH Prince Daniel (b. 1973)
  • HRH Princess Estelle (b. 2012)
  • HRH Prince Oscar (b. 2016)
  • HRH Prince Carl Philip (b. 1979)
  • HRH Princess Sofia (b. 1984)
  • HRH Princess Madeleine (b. 1982)
  • HRH Princess Birgitta (b. 1937)
Members of the Royal Family

The Royal Family consists of the members of the Royal House as well as the King's other grandchildren and sisters as well as the widow of the King's Uncle Count Sigvard of Bernadotte.
  • Prince Alexander (b. 2016)
  • Prince Gabriel (b. 2017)
  • Princess Leonore (b. 2014)
  • Prince Nicolas (b. 2015)
  • Princess Adrienne (b. 2018)
  • Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler (b. 1934)
  • Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld (b. 1938)
  • Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson (b. 1943)
  • Countess Marianne Bernadotte of Wisborg (b. 1924)
The Line of Succession to the Swedish Throne

As said, the line of succession remains unchanged:
  1. HRH Crown Princess Victoria (b. 1977)
  2. HRH Princess Estelle (b. 2012)
  3. HRH Prince Oscar (b. 2016)
  4. HRH Prince Carl Philip (b. 1979)
  5. Prince Alexander (b. 2016) 
  6. Prince Gabriel (b. 2017)
  7. HRH Princess Madeleine (b. 1982)
  8. Princess Leonore (b. 2014)
  9. Prince Nicolas (b. 2015)
  10. Princess Adrienne (b. 2018) 
Updated on Thursday 10 October 2019 at 21:05 (minor spelling mistake corrected).

12 September 2019

Belgium: Son of Prince Amadeo and Princess Elisabetta named Maximilian

The Belgian Royal Court announced on Thursday 12 September 2019 that Prince Amadeo and Princess Elisabetta's son, who was born on 6 September 2019, has been named Maximilian. Then announcement doesn't say if the baby boy has received more than one name. His sister Anna Astrid was born in 2016.

Archduke Maximilian of Austria(-Este) is no. 8 in the line of succession to the Belgian throne:
  1. Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant (2001)
  2. Prince Gabriel (2003)
  3. Prince Emmanuel (2005)
  4. Princess Eléonore (2008)
  5. Princess Astrid (1962)
  6. Prince Amadeo, Archuke of Austria(-Este) (1986)
  7. Archduchess Anna of Austria(-Este) (2016)
  8. Archduke Maximilian of Austria(-Este) (2019)
  9. Princess Maria, Archduchess of Austria(-Este) (1988)
  10. Prince Joachim, Archduke of Austria(-Este) (1991)
  11. Princess Luisa, Archduchess of Austria(-Este) (1995)
  12. Princess Laetitia, Archduchess of Austria(-Este) (2003)
  13. Prince Laurent (1963)
  14. Princess Louise (2004)
  15. Prince Nicolas (2005, twin)
  16. Prince Aymeric (2005, twin)

8 September 2019

Royal birth in Belgium

The Belgian Royal Court announced on Saturday 7 September 2019 that Prince Amadeo and Princess Elisabetta the previous night – 6 September 2019 – had become parents to their second child and first son.

The baby boy was born at the UMC Sint-Pieter Ziekenhuis (Saint-Pierre University Hospital) in Brussels on 9.05 p.m., 6 September 2019. He weighed 3,3 kilo and was 50 cm long. The prince is titled Archduke of Austria-Este. The name has not yet been released.

The couple's first child, Archduchess Anna Astrid, was born in Brussels on 17 May 2016. Prince Amadeo of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este, is the eldest son of Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz of Belgium, and thus a nephew of King Philippe of the Belgians.

29 August 2019

Norway: Princess Ingrid Alexandra's confirmation

Princess Ingrid Alexandra's confirmation will take place in the Palace Chapel in Oslo on Saturday 31 August 2019 at noon.

The princess has received her confirmation instruction at the Asker Church congregation under the direction of Provost Tor Øystein Våland and Vicar Karoline Astrup. The confirmation service in the Palace Chapel will be officiated by the Bishop of Oslo, Kari Veiteberg, and the Praeses of the Norwegian Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien.

After the confirmation service, Princess Ingrid Alexandra's grandparents King Harald and Queen Sonja will host a luncheon in the Banqueting Hall of the Royal Palace.

Guest list
The Royal Palace released today part of the guest list:

The part of the guest released to the public is limited to members of the royal family, sponsors, other family members of the princess, the official Norway, the Church of Norway, the Diplomatic Corps and various organisations.

The Royal Family
  • King Harald (sponsor)
  • Queen Sonja
  • Crown Prince Haakon
  • Crown Princess Mette-Marit
  • Princess Ingrid Alexandra
  • Prince Sverre Magnus
  • Marius Borg Høiby
  • Princess Märtha Louise (sponsor)
  • Maud Angelica Behn
  • Leah Isadora Behn
  • Emma Tallulah Behn
  • Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner
Other sponsors
  • King Felipe of Spain
  • Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark 
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • Marit Tjessem
Other royals
  • Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
  • Prince Christian of Denmark
The official Norway
  • President of the Storting Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen and Per Kristian Trøen
  • Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Sindre Finnes
  • Chief Jusstice of the Supreme Court Toril Marie Øie and Rune Brekke
  • First Vice President of the Storting Eva Kristin Hansen
  • Finance Minister Siv Jensen
  • Culture minister Trine Skei Grande
  • Children and Families Minister Kjell Ingolf Ropstad
  • Second Vice President of the Storting Morten Wold
  • Third Vice President of the Storting Magne Rommetveit 
  • Fourth Vice President of the Storting Nils T. Bjørke
  • Fifth Vice President of the Storting Abid Q. Raja
  • Parlamentary leader Trond Helleland
  • Parlamentary leader Hans Fredrik Grøvan
  • Parlamentary leader Marit Arnstad
  • Party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum
  • Plenary leader of Sametinget (Sámi Parliament) Tom Sottinen
  • President of Sametinget (Sámi Parliament) Aili Keskitalo
  • Permanent Secretary to the Government Anne Nafstad Lyftingsmo
  • County Governor Valgerd Svarstad Haugland
  • The mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen
  • The mayor of Asker, Lene Conradi
  • Chief of Defence, Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen
  • Commander of His Majesty The King's Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Vegard Flom 
  • National Police Commissioner Benedicte Bjørnland
  • Police Commissioner of Oslo Beate Gangås
  • Chief of the Royal Police Escort, Roy Hagen-Larsen
Diplomatic corps
  • Ambassador of Myanmar, Maw Maw, doyen (dean)
  • Ambassador of Sweden, Krister Bringéus
  • Ambassador of Denmark, Jarl Kåre Frijs-Madsen
  • Ambassador of Spain, Maria Isabel Vicandi
The Church of Norway and other religious communities
  • The Praeses of the Norwegian Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien
  • Bishop Kari Veiteberg
  • Cathedral cantor (domskantor) Kåre Nordstoga
  • Provost of Asker Tor Øystein Vaaland 
  • Vicar of Asker Karoline Astrup
  • Head of the Church Council Kristin Gunleiksrud Raaum
  • Chairperson of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities, Britt Strandlie Thoresen
  • General Secretary of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities, Ingrid Rosendorf Joys
  • Youth Representative of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities and the Muslim Dialogue Network, Yasmine Fatima Angell Morchid
  • Youth representative of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities, board member of Norway's Young Catholics, Martin Bao Anh Vo 
  • Youth representative of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities
  • Youth representative of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities, commitee member Norwegian Humanist Youth, Iver Daaland Åse 
  • Head of the Church Council's Commitee for youths, Ufung, Silje Håve Smørvik
  • Bishop emeritus Gunnar Stålsett and Unn Stålsett
  • Chief executive officer Ole Erik Almlid, NHO (Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise)
  • Chairperson Hans Christian Gabrielsen, LO (Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions)
  • Chairperson Rode Margrete Hegstad, LNU (The Norwegian Children and Youth Council)
  • Chief agent Are Shaw Waage,  Miljøagentene (The Eco-Agents)
  • Juliane Snekkestad (partner of Marius Borg Høiby)
  • Espen and Renate Høiby with children
  • Christian Høiby
  • Ina Høiby and Mads Hvilshøj
  • Tuva Høiby
  • Per Høiby and Louise Dedichen
  • Anette Bastviken
  • Susanne K. Dedichen Bastviken
  • Julie Høiby and Teodor C-G Teigen
  • Joachim Høiby and June Bolme
  • Kristin Høiby
  • Kamilla Høiby Bjørnøy
  • Maria Viig Bjørnøy and Are Hoel
  • Anniken Høiby Bjørnøy
  • Erling Lorentzen (widower of Princess Ragnhild) and his partner, Ebba Løvenskiold
  • Cathrine Ferner Johansen (eldest daughter of Princess Astrid) and Arild Johansen
  • Lis Haraldsen (sister-in-law of Queen Sonja)
  • Ian Swanstrøm (niece of Queen Sonja) and Carl Christian Dahl
  • Tom Ivar Junker
  • Janne Cecilie Junker
  • Elsie Sargeant
Erling Lorentzen, the widower of Princess Ragnhild, used to be listed in the Royal Family section also after his wife's death, but seems to have been removed 3–4 years ago, probably when he got a new partner.

Updated last time on Friday 30 August 2019 at 00.20 (minor correction).

16 August 2019

Death of Princess Christina of the Netherlands

The Dutch Royal Court announced today the death of Princess Christina of the Netherlands, youngest of the four daughters of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard. She was thus the youngest sister of Princess Beatrix, who abdicated as Queen of the Netherlands in 2013, and an aunt to King Willem-Alexander.

Princess Christina, who was born at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn on 18 February 1947, died at the Noordeinde Palace complex in The Hague in the morning of 16 August 2019, after having suffered from bone cancer for several years.

The princess married in 1975 the Cuban-born Jorge Pérez y Guillermo and had 3 children by him – Bernardo (b. 1977, Nicolas (b. 1979) and Juliana (b. 1981) as well as 5 grandchildren. Princess Christina was excluded from the line of succession to the Dutch throne by not seeking and obtaining consent by Act of Parliament, cf. the Dutch Constitution Article 28 (2). All descendants are thus also excluded. Princess Christina and Guillermo divorced in 1996. Princess Christina, who for the main part had lived in New York and in Italy for many years, was an accomplished singer and had studied vocal teaching. In later years she took an interest in dance therapy and sound therapy.

According to the press release, «Princess Christina’s remains will be taken to Fagel’s Garden Pavilion in the grounds of Noordeinde Palace, where close friends and family will pay their last respects. The cremation will be held in private.»  According to Netty Leistra at Nobiliana.de (thread «Prinses Christina der Nederlanden»,  Death Announcements Gotha 2019) the private ceremony and cremation will take place on 22 August 2019.

14 July 2019

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 2, 2019

The latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly arrived in my mailbox two weeks ago or so. The green and beautiful cover includes an image of the French royal family in 1823, showing from left to right Marie Thérèse, Duchess of Angouleme, Louis Antoine, Duke of Angouleme, Henri, Duke of Bordaux in the arms of his grandfather Charles, Duke of Artois, in front Louis XVI, Louise Marie Thérèse of Artois and her mother the Duchess of Berry.

We are in other words going French this time, with the traditional Family Album by Charlotte Zeepvat covering The Royal Houses of France, Part I, The House of Bourbon – Henri IV to Henri V. I count 99 images of various members of the House of Bourbon and of the palace of Versailles, in addition to 3 pages with family tables.

Charlotte Zeevat, the historical counsultant to Royalty Digest Quarterly, has also made another large contribution, 'Dearest Millie'. Letters to a royal nurse, telling the story of Millicent Elizabeth Crofts (1852–1941), who from the 1870s until 1887 was a nurse to the children of Grand Prince Vladimir of Russia and his wife Grand Princess Marie, née Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin: Kirill (1876), Boris (1877), Andrei (1879) and Elena (1882) and perhaps also the eldest, Alexander (1875). The article is based on the collection of Millicent Croft's papers sold by auction by Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh in February 2018. It is both a well researched and well written article which I enjoyed very much.

Another great contribution this time is Stefan Haderer's article The Baltazzis. A family's rise and fall in the Habsburg Empire. The Baltazzis was a prominent family of Levantine origin, Phanariot Greeks from Constantinople who were close both the the court of Constantinople and later of Vienna. Theodore and Eliza Baltazzi had 10 children, of whom the eldest Elizabeth «Lizzie» married Albert Llewellyn Nugent,3rd Baron Nugent, while the second oldest Helen married Baron Albin Vetsera. Their daughter Marie (Mary) (1871–1889) was a mistress to Crown Prince Rudolf (1858–1859) and killed at Mayerling in 1889, a tragedy that of course explains the fall of the Baltazzis from the court in Vienna. The website of the Levantine Heritage Foundation, has, by the way, a collectionn of Baltazzi documents at their website which is worth having a look at. The Baltazzi family had many other interesting connections as well. Christopher Long has worked on the family's genealogy, but it doesn't seem to be available at the moment. Haderer's article is really interesting, please read it! More of this!

And if this is not enough, Bearn Bilker continues with the 3rd part of his The November 1918 Abdications in Germany, this time covering grand duchies of Baden and Oldenburg and the duchy of Anhalt.

Bilker has also made a second contribution to the issue, Woizlawa-Feodora. Royal Centenarian, which also is worth reading. Princess Woizlawa-Feodora Reuss, née Duchess of Mecklenburg, only daughter of Duke Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg (1873–1969) and his first wife Priness Victoria Feodora Reuss (younger line) (1889–1918), was born on 17 December 1918 and celebrated her 100th birthday last fall, with among others the author present at the party. Woizlawa-Feodora was in 1939 married to Prince Heinrich I Reuss (1910–1982) of the younger line and had 5 sons and one daughter. As Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich was a brother to Heinrich, who in 1901 married Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Princess Woizlawa-Feodora was a first cousin to Queen Juliana and was a bridesmaid to her wedding to Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. Princess Woizlawa-Feodora sadly passed away on 3 June 2019.

Finally, the readers are treated with the traditional column The World Wide Web of Royalty, which this time has genealogical news of the Imperial, Royal, Princely and/or Mediatized families of Bavaria, United Kingdom, Hessen-Phillipsthal-Barchfeld, Hohenberg, Luxembourg, Reuss, Rothan and Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.

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.