21 May 2018

UK: Sussex wedding

HRH The Duke of Sussex, younger son of the Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, married at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on 19 May 2018 Rachel Meghan Markle, daugher of Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland. I was away for the weekend, so I could not post my observations before now.

From a constitutional and genealogical point of view, and that is usually what I focus on, there is not much to write about. The engagement was announced on 27 November 2017 and the Queen expressed that she was «delighted» for the couple. The formal declaration of consent was given on 14 March 2018. From the Court Circular of 19 May we learn that «The Marriage of Prince Henry of with Ms. Meghan Markle was solemnized in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, today».

In the Court Circular the Duke of Sussex was still referred to as Prince Henry of Wales.  Earlier the same day the following announcement was given:
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle: Announcement of Titles

Published 19 May 2018

The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales.  His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.

Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms. Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.
The title «Duke of Sussex» was for unknown reasons always the favourite of the bookmakers and they got it right this time, just like in 2011 when the Queen conferred on Prince William the title «Duke of Cambridge». Harry's new title was created for the first time in 1801 for Prince Augustus Frederick, the sixth son and ninth child of King George III and Queen Charlotte. The prince married twice in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act (the first time before the title creation), so there never was a Duchess of Sussex. Meghan has thus become the first one. And of course, Prince Harry has become the 2nd Duke (1st Duke of the 2nd creation).
So, when the constitutional aspects have been touched upon, as well as basic genealogical facts of the marriage, I could move on to the guest list. But as far as I know such a list has not been released. In the Court Circular we only learn, following the sentence of the solemnization:
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, with The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and other Members of the Royal Family, arrived at St. George's Chapel and were received at the Galilee Porch by the Dean and Chapter of Windsor.

Prince Henry of Wales, with The Duke of Cambridge, was received at the West Door by the Dean and Chapter of Windsor and Their Royal Highnesses were conducted to the Bray Chapel.

Ms. Meghan Markle drove to St. George's Chapel and was received at the West Door by the Dean of Windsor.

The Service was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the Dean of Windsor.

At the conclusion of the Service the Registers were signed in the Ambulatory.

The Bride and Bridegroom drove to Windsor Castle in an Ascot Landau, processed through the town of Windsor and returned to the Castle where The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh gave a Reception in their honour.
And that is not much to go by. Of course I watched the whole broadcast and as far as I know all the members of the British Royal Family were present except for Prince Louis of Cambridge, who was born earlier this year. Prince Philip, who will be 97 next month, had a hip operation earlier this year, but still walked without crutches. Very impressive.

Members of  Prince Harry's mother's side were of course also present. From the bride's family only her mother Doria Ragland was in attendance. Two days before the wedding Kensington Palace confirmed that Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, would not attend, and his health problems was given as an explanation. It had earlier been revealed that he had  had posed for staged photos with a paparazzi photographer and the embarrassment of it all might have made him feel too uncomfortable to attend. One can only feel sorry both for Meghan as well as for her father. She clearly wanted both her parents present for her wedding. Instead of her father, Ms. markle was accompanied to the altar by the Prince of Wales.

It appears that Meghan has had little or no contact with her half-brother Thomas Markle and Samantha Grant and their families for many years. They have created quite a few headlines before and after the engagement was announced, so it is not difficult to understand that they were not invited. That no uncles and aunts or other family members were invited was perhaps more surprising. It might say something about Meghan's priorities regarding family, but then again one should be careful not to jump to conclusions. She surely has her reasons.

The only royals who attended the royal wedding besides the members of the British Royal Family were Prince Seeiso and Princess Mabereng of Lesotho. Prince Harry has known Prince Seeiso, who is the youngest brother of King Letsie III of Lesotho, for many years. In 2006 the two princes founded Sentebale, a charity that «supports the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana,» to quote the charity's own website. Prince Harry has had little personal contact with members of the European royal family, which probably explains to some extent why no-one was invited. Of course he is only the younger son of the Prince of Wales and thus not in the direct line to inherit the throne, so his wedding could not be as grand as his brother's was. But I still felt something was missing. We already knew that no politicians would attend, but I still find it strange that the 6th in line of succession did not even invite the prime minister. One former prime minister attended, though – John Major – apparently because he following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales had played the role as guardian to Prince William and Prince Harry, being responsible for legal and administrative matters.

Instead of royals and representatives of the official UK, Harry and Meghan had invited representatives of charities and organisations Harry has endorsed as well as a long and impressive list of celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba, George Clooney and his wife Amal Alamuddin,  David and Victoria Beckham and Elton John and his husband David Furnish, to mention a few.

It was a great and enjoyable wedding ceremony, though. The couple looked a bit nervous, but very much happy and in love, the weather was great and the church was beautifully decorated. So much could be said about the dresses and the hats. Oh, the hats! But I will leave it at that. The ceremony had many highlights, including the introit, the hymns and the song «Stand by me» performed by Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir. Not to mention the address by the American Bishop Michael Curry, the presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church. How he could preach! The full text of his address can be read here, while the order of service is available here.

The service was lead by the Dean of Windsor, David Conner, while the marriage was solemnized by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Postscript Tuesday 22 May 2018 at 23.35: When commenting on non-British royals attending the wedding last Saturday, I obviously focused on reigning families. That is why I only mentioned the princely couple of Lesotho. But there were members of former reigning families and/or «Gotha members», including Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (a grand niece of Prince Philip and thus Prince Harry's second cousin) and Hereditary Prince Franz-Albrecht and Hereditary Princess Cleopatra of Oettingen-Spielberg (others would have to enlighten me concerning the motivation for inviting them – they certainly are not close relatives of Prince Harry, but obviously have learnt to know eachother somehow).

Besides the family members, representatives of charities and organisations and the celebrities – I could have mentioned many more than I did – there were of course also many friends of the couple in attendance, including Meghan's colleagues from the TV series Suits. I decided to give only a few examples. No full guest list has been released, but Netty Leistra and other contributors have assembled a survey in the guestlist section at the forum Nobiliana. Please go there if you want more names and details!

Updated last time on Tuesday 22 May 2018 at 23.35 (postscript added).

1 May 2018

Genealogen nr. 1, 2018

Siste utgave av Genealogen, medlemsbladet til Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening, kom i posten i går. Som vanlig kan bladet by på flere slekts- og temaartikler og foreningsstoff. Hovedartiklene denne gangen er:
  • Sten Høyendahl: Den problematiske slekten på Søndre Ringstad i Trøgstad
  • Lars Holden: Historisk befolkningsregister
  • Liv Marit Haakenstad: Kildekritikk og kildeføring
  • Lars Østensen: Hr. Hans Olsen Metrosinensis residerende kapellan til Torsken
  • Are S. Gustavsen: Jertrud Finnkjellsdotter (ca. 1729–1805), ei husmannskone i Skoger fra Vang i Valdres
I spalten «Ny litteratur» har Lars Løberg anmeldt oversettelsen av Sagaen om Håkon Ivarsson. Oversettelsen er det Edvard Eikill som har stått for, og utgiver er forlaget Sagabok. Videre har Anfinn Bernaas anmeldt Heime og ute. Brevskifte mellom Ivar Kleiven og Kristian Prestgard 1886–1932, redigert av Gudmund Harilstad og Kristoffer Kruken. Utgivelsen inneholder 78 brev skrevet av slekts- og lokalhistoriker Ivar Kleiven (1854–1934) og journalist og redaktør Kristian Prestgard (1866–1946), og har et register som teller over 700 personer.

Mitt eget bidrag denne gangen er anmeldelsen av  Torbjørn Greipslands Helt til jordens ende, som ble utgitt på Ventura forlag i 2017. Greipsland er både redaktør og bidragsyter. Andre hovedbidragsytere er Gracia Grindal, tidligere professor ved Luther Seminary i St. Paul, Minnesota, misjonsprest Sigmund Edland og cand.theol. Erik Kjebekk. Boken omhandler de mange norsk-amerikanske misjonærene. Hoveddelen inneholder biografier om rundt 30 misjonærer, mens del 2 innholder omfattende lister over misjonærene og som gir et godt personbiografisk utgangspunkt for videre forskning.

En del foreningsstoff må det også bli plass til i et medlemsblad. Foreningens årsmøte går av stabelen onsdag 23. mai og i den forbindelse er det gitt plass til åresberetning, regnskap og forslag til nytt styre og vedtektsendringer. Man kan også finne oversikt over donerte bøker til NSFs bibliotek og en særskilt oversikt over bokgaver fra Berit Gullbekk, som døde i desember 2017. Leserne får også et innblikk i flere prosjekter som foreningen har på gang, som avfotografering av «Totens Slegter», stamtavleverket til Henrich Holst Neumann (1863–1936) Fire av de til sammen 11 bindene er allerede avfotografert. Foreningen planlegger også å registrere og indeksere alle skifter som er foretatt i Norge. Dette er et stort og langvarig prosjekt som krever mange frivillige. Et viktig prosjekt som jeg håper mange vil bli med på!

Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening har hatt kontor og bibliotek og tilgang til møtelokaler i Øvre Slottsgata 2 B i Oslo siden 2010 sammen med andre foreninger tilknyttet Norsk Kulturvernforbund. Det har vært et flott og sentralt sted å være, men dessverre er husleien litt for stor for en forening av NSFs størrelse. I medlemsbladet kan man lese litt om flytteplanene. Nye lokaler er snart spikret, men jeg skal overlate til styret med å gi nærmere detaljer når kontrakten for nytt sted er undertegnet. Personlig synes jeg det er leit at foreningen må flytte, men jeg har selvsagt stor forståelse for at økonomiske hensyn må komme først. NSF vil flytte litt ut av byen, men får større plass, lettere tilgjengelighet for de som er avhengige av bil og pengene man sparer inn på lavere husleie kan brukes til andre prosjekter som kommer medlemmene til gode.

In English: The article is about the latest issue of Genealogen, the newsletter of the Norwegian Genealogical Society. In addition to genealogy articles and book reviews, the issue has information about this year's annual meeting, which takes place on 23 May. In addition the readers can learn about ongoing projects which the society has initiated and surveys of donated books to the library. The board also informs about the decision to move the office and library to a new place. The move will take place during the summer of 2018. More details about the new address will be given later.

27 April 2018

Name announcement: HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's third child, who was born on Monday 23 April 2018, has been named Louis Arthur Charles, Kensington Palace announced via its Twitter account today:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son Louis Arthur Charles.

The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge.
The Battenbergs/Mountbattens continue to hold a strong impact on the British royal family.  The line of princes named Ludwig or Louis, two versions of the same name. is almost endless. Some examles:
  • Ludwig VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (1691–1768), father of
  • Ludwig IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (1719–1790), father of
  • Ludwig X, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, later Grand Duke Ludwig I of Hesse and the Rhine (1753-1830), father of
  • Ludwig II, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (1777–1848), father of
  • Ludwig III, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (1806–1877), brother of
  • Alexander Ludwig Georg Friedrich Emil, Prince of Hesse (1823–1888), m. morganatically 1851 Julie von Hauke (1825–1895), who was created Countess von Battenberg and later Princess von Battenberg. They were parents of
  • Ludwig Alexander (Louis), Prince von Battenberg (1854–1921), who later renouned his German title and assumed the surname Mountbatten and was created Marquess of Milford Haven, father of
  • Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, Prince von Battenberg (1900–1979), later Lord Louis Mountbatten, created Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, later created Earl Mountbatten of Burma. His elder sister was
  • Victoria Alice Elisabeth Julie Marie, Princess von Battenberg (1895–1969), mother of
  • Philip, Prince of Greece (1921–), later Philip Mountbatten, created Duke of Edinburgh and later Prince of the United Kingdom, father of
  • Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales (1948–), father of
  • William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge (1982–), father of among others
    • George Alexander Louis, Prince of Cambridge (2013–) and
    • Louis Arthur Charles, Prince of Cambridge (2018–)
Ludwig Alexander (Louis) von Battenberg, later Marquess of Milford Haven, grandfather of Prince Philip and great-great-great-grandfather of Prince Louis of Cambridge. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

I haven't got into details with all the title creations and renunciations, as that is not the most important here, the main point is of course the name Ludwig and Louis. And yes, there are many more examples in the family. Baby Prince Louis has an elder brother whose third name is Louis, while Louis is their father's fourth name. Prince Louis' second name is Arthur, which is also the second name of Prince William and the third name of the Prince of Wales. Baby Prince Louise's third name Charles is of course after his grandfather, the Prince of Wales. Charles is also Prince Harry's second name. Arthur was also King George VI's third name and of course the name of the seventh child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. And we could go on and on with many more examples.

Once again the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have picked a traditional royal name within the extended British royal family. Louis was not the main favourite of the bookmakers, but was mentioned as a possibility. I was more surprised that they didn't include a name from Catherine's Middleton family. Actually, you have to go back to her ancestor no. 12, i.e. her great-grandfather, to find the first example with one of the youngest son's three names, i.e. Stephen Charles Goldsmith (1886–1938), and as far back as no. 144 (seventh generation) to find the first encounter of Arthur –  Arthur Lupton (1747/48–1807). We are of course talking about known ancestors. There are some gaps in the ancestry table. I haven't found any ancestor named Louis in the book I have used as a source for the last paragraph, The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton, by the late William Addams Reitwiesner. Then again, I certainly don't think William and Catherine used the ancestry book to find names for their youngest child!

Updated last time on Saturday 28 April 2018 at 17.00 (minor changes to Ludwig Louis list).

26 April 2018

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2018

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2018 arrived just in time for Easter, but with so many books and magazines on my reading list, I didn't finish reading it until this week. Is this the first time King Haakon VII, Queen Maud and the then Crown Prince Olav has been put on the front cover of the RDQ? I think so. The cover photo also reveals that it is the Royal House of Norway's turn to be treated with A Family Album, a series authored by the magazine's historical consultant, Charlotte Zeepvat. As usual she provides an introductory to the history of the Norwegian monarchy before the album starts. All in all there are 54 illustrations of the various members of the Norwegian royal family and some of the estates connected to them. The genealogical table, most likely provided by Ted Rosvall himself. only covers one page this time, starting with King Haakon VII. A few minor mistakes though. The Bernadotte Descendants author always insists on writing «Beckmann» with two n's instead of the correct spelling, Beckman (surname of Elisabeth Ferner's former husband) with one n. Not sure why. And yes, I have commented on this before. And there is no hyphen in Märtha Louise. Minor trifles, yes, but considering the size of the survey it should't be too difficult to get it right.

There is more about the history of the Norwegian monarchy in this issue, as Trond Norén Isaksen has written the article From Patriotic Desire to Colonial Stigma. The Viceroyalty of Norway, 1814–1891. Isaksen provides a short summary of the article in his own blog.

But back to the beginning. In his Editor's Corner Ted Rosvall has this time decided to write about ... Ted Rosvall ... and rightly so! In late January 2018 Rosvall went to the Royal Palace in Stockholm to receive the Royal Golden medal «for his meritorious efforts as a genealogist and an intermediary of culture» from the king. So well deserved! The HM The King's Medal is divided into several classes, the medal Rosvall received was, as far as I understand it, the «8th size gold (silver-gilt) medal worn on the chest suspended by a blue ribbon».

In addition to Isaksen's contribution mentioned above, the magazine can boast of several interesting and well-written main articles:
  • In Favour of Grand Duke Kirill by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig
  • Princess Alix of Hesse's Visit to Harrogate (the future Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress of the Russias) by Elizabeth Jane Timms
  • Beatriz, the Roman Infanta (third child of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenie) by Dativo Salvia y Ocaña
In the series Little-known royals Coryne Hall gives a glimpse into the life of Princess Dagmar of Denmark (1890–1961), who married Jørgen Castenskiold (1893–1978) in 1922. Dagmar was a younger sister of King Christian X of Denmark and King Haakon VII of Norway.

John Wimbles (1935–2015) was well-known for his collection of letters and other material from among others the Romanian National Archives. David Horbury has in a seven-part series called Half a Century of Royal Letters; 1899–1946 compiled excerpts of letters from and to various members of the Romanian royal family. The present issue provided the 7th and last part.

Finally the column The World Wide Web of Royalty returns with genealogical news, this time including the Imperial, Royal and/or Princely houses of bavaria, Bourbon-Parma/Austria, Denmark, France, Hannover, Hohenzollern and Serbia.

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.  

American Ancestors (Spring 2018) Special Edition: Mayflower 400th Anniversary Guide

The Spring edition of American Ancestors, the periodical of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), was published earlier this week. It provides a guide to the Mayflower 400th Anniversary, which takes place in 2020. The English ship Mayflower arrived in what is today known as Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 with 102 passengers (know today as «the Pilgrims») and a crew of about 30 people.

The 68 pages special edition is packed with information on various events taking place during the anniversary year and articles covering different aspects of Mayflower history, including Notable Mayflower Descendants. A List of 100, with sources by Gary Boyd Roberts. On the list one can find several presidents and first ladies, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Barbara Pierce Bush, author Laura Ingalls Wilder, actors Clint Eastwood and Henry Fonda as well as Mormon founder Joseph Smith, to mention a few. The contents can be read here. There is so much history to explore, so I look forward to reading the edition in full.

 Photo: © 2016 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

Mayflower II, a copy of the original ship. It was built in 1957 and is currently under renovation. The photo was taken during my visit to Plymouth in 2016.

25 April 2018

King Harald V on sick leave

The Norwegian Royal Court informed earlier today that King Harald V is on sick leave for the rest of the week due to a strain and pains in one of his feet.

The court added that during the time the king is on sick leave, the Crown Prince will serve as regent in accordance with the Constitution Article 41. This is not entirely correct, however, as the Crown Prince is currently paying an official visit to Estonia, which means that it is the the Council of State, i. the Government, which «will conduct the administration of the realm» until the Crown Prince returns on late Thursday 26 April.

24 April 2018

UK: Third child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The Duke and Durchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine) became parents for the third time yesterday, 23 April 2018, at 11.01 a.m. The birth took place at the Lindo Wing of the St. Mary's Hospital in London, where also Prince George and Princess Charlotte were born. The announcement from Kensington Palace read:
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101hrs. The baby weighs 8lbs 7oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth.

The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.
If you wonder about the weight, 8lb 7oz = 3.827185 kg. As far as I know nothing has been said about the baby boy's length. The «Notes to the editors» part, which was not published  by Kensington Palace's Twitter account, but found its way to among other Sarah Hewson of Sky News, said that the medical staff in support were Mr. Guy Thorpe-Beeston, Surgeon Gynaecologist to The Royal Household,  Mr. Alan Farthing, Surgeon Gynaecologist to HM The Queen, Dr. Sunit Godambe, Consultant Neonatologist at the Imperial College NHS Trust and Professor Huw Thomas, Physician to HM The Queen and Head of the Medical Household.

The notes meant for the editors said that «The name of the baby will be announced in due course». As I didn't have the time to blog yesterday, I had hoped to write a combined birth and name article today, but obviously we are still waiting for the name to be announced. Hopefully I can return with a follow-up tomorrow.

23 April is St. George's Day, so if the name had not already been taken by the baby boy's brother, George would have been an obvious choice. The favourite of the bookmakers is Arthur, followed by Albert. Other names being mentioned are James, Philip, Alexander, Henry, Edward. Frederick, Thomas, Alfred, Jack, Louis, Michael, Charles and William. The Duchess' father is named Michael, by the way, while her grandfathers were named Peter and Ronald respectively. Philip after Prince William's grandfather would be a good choice, but the Duke and Duchess might want a name which is not taken by a living member of the royal family. Now I am of course talking about the call name. I would be surprised if Michael isn't chosen as the second or third name, but I would be equally surprised if it is announced as his call name. Then again, it is very seldom that I get the correct answer in the guessing game ... My choice would be Alfred Michael Philip (or maybe Alfred Philip Michael sounds better?), but I guess Arthur is more likely. We all seem to guess on a traditional royal name, as with George and Charlotte, but for the third child the Duke and Duchess might feel less tradition-bound? The most popular male names in 2016 can be found at the website of the Office for National Statistics. Thomas and Robert should definately not be ruled out, but I just cannot imagine names like Oliver, Noah, Logan, Mason, Finley or Harrison.

The new-born Prince of Cambridge entered the world as no. 5 in the line of succession to the British throne. A point to be made her is of course «in the old days» the new prince would have pushed his elder sister Charlotte down the ladder. But the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which applies to «a person born after 28 October 2011» and which came into force in full on 26 March 2015 (to be more exact: «The day appointed for the coming into force of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, so far as it is not already in force, is 26th March 2015»), secured Charlotte's position in the line of succession ahead of any younger brother. So we can say that history was made yesterday.

Another point is that yesterday's royal birth meant that the Duke of York was pushed down to no. 7 in the line of succession and does not need his mother's consent to marry again if he so wishes. He could therefore remarry his ex-wife, as so many have speculated on. I am not convinced, however, that the Queen, under such a scenario, would have refused consent if it was still needed. The Duke of York might be content with the present status after all.

Finally, I must say I am pleased with the gift guidance released yesterday:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are extremely grateful for the support and goodwill being expressed at this happy time.  However, Their Royal Highnesses do not wish to encourage the sending of gifts to them on this occasion, and feel that any generosity of spirit felt by individuals should be directed to those more in need.

As such, they would be grateful if people wishing to give gifts look to provide their support in one of two ways:

(a) by donating to a children’s charity which is local to them (i.e. to the gift giver) as a way of marking the birth of Their Royal Highnesses' third child;

or, alternatively,

(b) by donating to Evelina London Children's Hospital:


Gifts from commercial organisations will not be accepted.  They will be returned to the sender, unless the cost of shipping is too prohibitive, in which case the commercial gifts will be donated to an appropriate charity.
Kensington Palace might have published something similar in connection with the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte for all I know. Regardless, I like the stand the couple has made.