10 May 2020

HRH Prince Charles Jean Philippe Joseph Marie Guillaume of Luxembourg

The Grand Ducal Court announced this morning the birth of Prince Charles, the firstborn child of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie:

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess are delighted to announce the birth of their son at the Maternité Grande-Duchesse Charlotte in Luxembourg on Sunday May 10 2020 at 5:13.

He will be called Charles Jean Philippe Joseph Marie Guillaume.

The child weighs 3,190 kg and is 50 cm.

The Crown Princess and her child are both doing well.

The Crown Prince and the Crown Princess look forward to introducing him to the people of Luxembourg.
The pregnancy was announced on 6 December 2019. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume married the then Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy in 2012. Prince Charles is no. 2 in the line of succession to the Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg.

30 April 2020

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2020

I received the latest issue of the Royalty Digest Quarterly about 6 weeks ago. I had intended both to read it and write about it some time in March, but so many things have happened in the meantime. First of all, the corona pandemic has lead to long hours at work. As the acting editor of the Norwegian Leagal Gazette, I have naturally been very much involved in the publishing of all the laws and regulations related to the pandemic. I usually do most of my reading on the subway on my way to the office and home again, but taking the subway in these times is not the best idea, so I have taken the car instead (I have done work from home as well, but it is more practical to work in the office). Most of my sparetime the last weeks have been spent with my family. And when I have got some time on my own I have worked on various genealogy projects instead of blogging.

But here we go again! It's on time! In his Editor's Corner Ted Rosvall gives some historical examples of «royal bolting» following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex' decision to step back as senior members of the British royal family. I agree with Rosvall's views on the subject: «Far be it from this magazine to pass judgement over the couple's singular decision other than to give them a reprimand over how it was done, surprising the Queen and the Crown with a fait accompli via social media, rather than discussing the matter calmly and sensibly before advertising it to the whole world». As I commented myself back in January: «It seems to have become an established fact that the Sussexes didn't respect the Queen's request that they waited with making their decision public. It certainly showed poor judgment and disrespect to the Queen and other members of the family if that was the case. There might have been good reasons for making the decision public prematurely, but I can well understand the criticism on this point.»

The illustration on the cover is of King Felipe V of Spain and his family. The magazine's historical consultant, Charlotte Zeepvat, has again returned with A Family Album where the focus is on The Royal House of Spain, with the subtitle 1: From Habsburg to Borbón. Besides the introduction the readers can enjoy as many as 99 illustrations and 5 pages with genealogical tables.

The first article of this issue, however, is written by another returning contributor, Lucas Szkopinski, who has brought us back in history to The Iturbides – a forgotten dynasty. It is not so often you read about the Iturbides these days, and it has been a while since last time I read about them. It is a great article with many nice illustrations. The booklet I have about the dynasty – The Imperial House of Mexico. The House of Iturbide by Charles Mikos de Tarrodhaza, Teodora Amerlinck y Zirion and David Williamson – is packed with text, but has few illustrations. I note that the booklet is used as a source for the article, but the author has used other sources as well. The only objection I have this time is that I feel the article was too short on Augustín Iturbide's climb to the top. Granted that he was from a noble family and a had made a career in the army, but how did he end up becoming involvd in the Plan of Iguala etc.? Concerning the illustrations, among them photos of the Iturbide family vault in Philadelphia, it is still one of my regrets that I didn't visit the cemetery during my visit to Philadelphia in 1999. I knew about the family grave, and I think I even passed the cemetery, but I missed the connection during my visit. I have to go to Philadelphia again! And Mexico too! My third visit was planned for this summer, but obviously I will have to stay in Norway instead.

As I have written many times before, I always like reading articles about royal connections (court and staff members, friends etc.) and not only about the royals themselves. Elizabeth Jane Timms has written an interesting piece about the German-born Mrs. Louisa Louis (1771–1838), once a member of the household of Princess Xharlotte, daughter of the Prince Regent and later King George IV, but who also became close to Queen Victoria.

The next one out is The Six Stunning Infantas – Part II. The unexpexted fortune of the daughters of exiled King Miguel I of Portugal by Datiu Salvia Ocaña. The second part covers the Infantas María José and Adelgundes, and I suppose the last two daughters will be covered in the third and last part of this article. I learn so much new from reading this article series and look forward to the last chapter, in which the notes will also be included.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt made friends with many royals, including Crown Princess Märtha of Norway. Edward W. Hanson has, however, chosen another subject, the president's meetings and correspondence with Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg in the article "Dear Lottie". The Grand Ducal Famkily of Luxembourg and President Roosevelt.

Michael L. Nash then gives a nice portrait of The Duke of Sussex and his wives - Prince Augustus Frederick, one of eight sons of King George III and Queen Charlotte.

I have from time to time discussed how «little-known» the royals treated in the article series Little-Known Royals really are. It will of course depend much on how knowledgable the readers are. The average subscriber to Royalty Digest Quarterly certainly know a thing or two about royal history. But I would say that Princess Eudoxia of Bulgaria fits the bill. She certainly is not among the best-known royals, to turn it around! Coryne Hall has given the readers more insight in the subject. I wonder, however, if one had mastered the Bulgarian language and had got access to Bulgarian archives – and German archives following her exile – if one would have found enough material to write a book about her? Are any Bulgarian historians these days interested in the history of the former royal family? Yes, there are books on the subject in English, French and surely also German, but I am doubt that most of the authors of foreign-language biographies etc. on the subject have had access to Bulgarian primary sources and the ability to read Bulgarian.

And finally, but not least, The World Wide Web of Royalty, which brings genealogical news of the Imperial, Royal and Princely houses of Europe. This time we get news from and about Hesse, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

If you are not a subscriber yet, get your act together! You will not regret it! 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.

12 March 2020

Norway: King and Queen in home quarantine

The Norwegian Royal Court issued today the following statement:
The King and Queen are in home quarantine

His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen are in home quarantine as from today. This is in accordance with the Government’s new measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

Neither the King nor the Queen have any symptoms.

His Majesty The King will preside over the Council of State via video conferencing tomorrow, and His Royal Highness The Crown Prince will be in attendance at the Palace.
The Norwegian Directorate of Health had earlier in the day passed new rules demanding that everyone arriving in Norway from areas outside the Nordic countries had to enter 14 days of home quarentine. The rules were given retroactive effect, which forced the king and queen as well as other members of the court and also the Foreign Minister and the Trade Minister into home quarentine because of the state visit to Jordan last week.

The court also cancelled all official events – with the exception of events strictly connected to the king's constitutional role, for instance presiding over the Council of State – until Easter. See Newsinenglish.no for more details.

3 March 2020

Østre gravlund (Eastern Cemetery), Oslo, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)

This winter in Oslo has been unusually mild. When I went to visit Østre gravlund (Eastern Cemetery) in Oslo on Saturday 22 February, there hadn't been any snow since December. Usually I wait until April or May before I bother to visit a cemetery in order to take grave photos for my blog, writing projects or for Findagrave.com. This particular Saturday was really nice, and I took the opportunity to visit two cemeteries and one private grave. As I so often say, I will come back with an article or two later on! Don't you think this part of the cemetery looks nice? I think the plants are called rush or reed in English. This section seemed to have many empty lots, in other words the leases have expired and will eventually be re-used.

My purpose for visiting Østre gravlund that particular Saturday was to help out a Norwegian-American whose relative had been married to a woman who had been buried at Østre. I knew from the cemetery register online that the lease (feste in Norwegian) had expired. From experience I know that sometimes it takes a while before the headstone is removed, so maybe the headstone was still there, waiting to be photographed? Because I didn't know the day before if the weather would permit a cemtery visit, I didn't contact the cemtery office in advance to ask for information on when the grave had expired. I didn't find the headstone in the section in question, and it later turned out that the lease had expired as far back as in 2001. But it was a good excuse to visit the cemetery anyway.

Østre is the nearest cemetery to where I live (around 4 kilometres). It serves the parishes of Grønland, Kampen, Paulus, Sofienberg and Vålerenga. Østre used to be farm land belonging to Helsfyr gård (farm). Kristiania Municipality bought the farm in 1892 and the cemetery was consecrated three years later. The cemetery has been expanded several times and has today an area of 140 decares. In 1912 10,5 decares were transferred to the Jewish congregation and was formed as a separate cemetery called Helsfyr gravlund (Helsfyr Cemetery).

Of course I have visited Østre gravound numerous times – last year I went there twice to fulfil photo requests for Findagrave.com – but with one exception I haven't blogged about the cemetery. Two cousins of my grandmother were buried there. A few «famous people» (not too many, though) are buried there as well. I promise to post more photos later on. The following grave photos were taken without any particular purpose. Either I just happened to like the headstone or I noticed that the lease was about to expire.

Grave of lokomotivfører (engine driver) Hagbarth Thorkildsen (1865–1930) and his wife Karen née Kristiansen (1872–1923). The cemetery register reveals that there are more people buried in the lot.

 Biseth family grave.

 Braathen grave.


 Sogn family grave.


Photos: © 2020 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

Postscript 4 March 2020: I should have mentioned that one of the Norwegian genealogical socities, Slekt og Data, runs a grave photo database which among others includes the above-mentioned Thorkildsen grave (link; you may have to double-click). In other words, even if the headstone is being removed (the lease expired in 2019), there will be photos both here and there to memkorize the grave). I could also have added that just one week after the cemetery visit we had a great snow fall here in Oslo and yesterday evening we even got more.

Updated on 4 March 2020 at 20:40 (postscript added), last time on 5 March 2020 at 18:55 (spelling).

5 February 2020

Vita Brevis: Mayor Pete’s cousins

Photo: © 2019 Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.

The US elections are all over us again. All the votes from the Iowa Democratic caucus this Monday have not been counted yet – as I write these lines about 75 % have been counted for – but it appears that the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg (pronounced Boot-edge-edge, would you believe it) has won in terms of number of State Delegate Equivalents. I have my doubts about him winning the Democratic nomination in the end, and at present I am not very optimistic about the chances of a Democrat winning the presidential elections in November 2020, but would love to be proven wrong.

Regardless of the outcome of the presidential elections, the genealogy of Buttigieg, whose father was born in Malta, is very interesting. Even if Christopher C. Child's Vita Brevis blog article «Mayor Pete's cousins» is a bit old – it was published in June 2019 – it is still both relevant and worth reading. I very much look forward to reading Child's articles on the genealogy of the other Democratic candidates. The Vita Brevis blog is, by the way, published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

23 January 2020

Norway: King Harald «back in business»

The Norwegian Royal Court could earlier today reveal that King Harald, who has been on sick leave for two weeks and who was discharged from hospital 8 days ago, now has «returned to duty».

The subpage «Official engagements» at Kongehuset.no reveals that King Harald at 11 a.m. on Friday 24 January 2020 will preside over the Council of State. HRH The Crown Prince, who earlier today attended the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Jerusalem, will also be present at the Council of State.

On Friday the king is also scheduled to grant the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Mr Abdullah Khalfan Matar S. Al Romaithi, a farewell audience at 10 a.m.

It seems that King Harald will travel abroad this weekend, or at least he will be away on Monday 27 January, as the website reveals that Crown Prince Haakon in the role as Regent will grant the President of Mongolia, His Excellency Mr Battulga Khaltmaa, an audience that day. The king will, however, be back on duty again on Tuesday 28 January to host a luncheon for members of the diplomatic corps. Crown Prince Haakon will also be present.

Most likely a cabinet reshuffle will take place on Friday following the Progress Party's decision earlier this week to leave the coalition government. The three remaining coalition parties – the Conservatives, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democratic Party – will continue as a minority government. In the Council of State the outgoing government ministers will be formally dismissed while new members of government will be appointed. Usually the prime minister will be granted an audience prior to the Council of State in order to inform the king about the changes. The «Official engagement» subpage doesn't say anything about it at present, but the information might be added as soon as the prime minister definitely has got everything sorted out.

19 January 2020

Håby Church and Cemetery, Munkedal, Sweden

I made a stop at Håby Church and Cemetery in Munkedal in Västra Götaland county in Sweden on my way home from Svenska Släktforskardagarna (the Swedish Genealogy Convention) in Borås in August 2019. I have passed the church several times before, but it is not always easy to make stops/detours like this, especially when you have other people in the car who might not share your interest in cemeteries and genealogy or think that is more important to reach the planned destination as soon as possible. But this time I was driving on my own and could do whatever I wanted! I still got back in time to spend some quality time with my daughter before she had to go to bed.

Håby Church (kyrka) is situated in the Foss parish in the diocese of Göteborg (Gothenburg). The present church building was finished in 1731, but there has been a church at the same spot since the 12th century. Some changes have been made under renovation work, among others in 1939. You can find more details on Wikipedia (Swedish version), which includes a photo of the interior (the altar).

Grave of riksdagsman (Member of Parliament) Johannes Andersson of Knarrevik (1821–1898). The Wikipedia article (in Swedish) has a portrait of him.

Smith family grave.

Grave of Hans J. Bryngelsson (1837–1919) and his nearest family.

Family grave of Olof Engelbrektsson and in front 3 Hallin graves.

All 12 photos: © 2019 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

It was a sunny day when I made the stop. A bit too sunny, perhaps, because it made it impossible to take photos of all angles of the church. It was well worth stopping by, though.