29 August 2010

The King Olav V bust, Lyngdal, Norway

The bust of King Olav V of Norway (1903-1957-1991) is placed outside Lyngdal Municipality Hall (to call it "City Hall" or even "Town Hall" would not be accurate for this little place!) and was unveiled by Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner on 10 May 2004. The bust was initiated by the dean of Flekkefjord 1979-1986, Paul Gerhardt Birkeland (1918-2008), an enthusiastic royalist who was quite alone among the Norwegian clergymen to criticize Crown Prince Haakon's relationship and later marriage to Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby. Birkeland was a rather conservative theologian, but was never a central or influential clergyman in the Church of Norway. He was, however, quite popular in his home district, and a street has been named after him in "downtown" Lyngdal (Prost Birkelands gate).

Besides the King Olav V bust, Paul G. Birkeland also initiated a statue of King Olav II Haraldsson (St. Olav) outside Lyngdal church. The statue was unveiled by King Olav V in 1983.

(The photo was taken by my mobile phone camera in August 2010.)

  • Refset Mette-Marit - fikk munnkurv (VG.no 19 July 2001)
  • Paul G. Birkeland er død (FVN.no 21 October 2008)

25 August 2010

100th Anniversary of the birth of Mother Teresa

Downtown Skopje, Macedonia. Photo taken in June 2009.

Downtown Skopje, Macedonia. Photo taken in June 2009.

Downtown Shkodër, Albania. Photo taken in July 2009.

Tomorrow, 26 August 2010, is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa. She was born in Skopje in Macedonia, which at the time was part of the Ottoman Empire, as the youngest child of Nikollë and Drana Bojaxhiu. Her parents had moved to Skopje from Shkodër (today in Albania) and had ancestry from today's Kosovo.

Ms. Bojaxhiu made her first profession of vows as a Catholic nun in 1931 and founded the order Missionaries of Charity in 1950. In 1979 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace".

Mother Theresa died in Calcutta, India on 5 September 1997.


Prince Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma: Obituary in The Daily Telegraph

Prince Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma, died in Barcelona on 18 August 2010. The Daily Telegraph published his obituary today, 25 August 2010.

The funeral service and interment will take place in the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma on Saturday 28 August 2010.


24 August 2010

Bernadotteättlingar - The Bernadotte Descendants

Last Saturday, 21 August 2010, it was 200 years since Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte was elected Crown Prince of Sweden. In connection with the Bernadotte bicentenary Ted Rosvall has published an updated edition of Bernadotteättlingar (The Bernadotte Descendants). As the title suggests, the book gives a survey of all the descendants of King Carl XIV Johan, but it also has some information about the ancestry of those who have married into the Bernadotte family.

The last edition of Bernadotteättlingar was published in 1992. I really look forward to receiving my copy (I ordered it tonight!), and will come back with a review as soon as possible.

The new book, which costs SEK 295,-, can be ordered from Rosvall Royal Books by contacting Ted Rosvall at royalbooks [at] telia.com.

See also my later blog article of 11 September 2010 concerning the same subject.

Updated on Wednesday 25 August 2010 at 11.25, last time on Tuesday 14 September 2010 at 16.00.


Royal blogs website updated

I have made a so-called "links renovation" at my Royal blogs website tonight. I have removed blogs that have not been updated for a long time and a few dead links have been deleted.

The only addition this time was Lords of the Blog. Life and Work in the House of Lords. Maybe not a royal blog as such, and it is not a new blog either, as it was established in 2008. But I only became aware of it today. Absolutely worth mentioning.

You are of course welcome to suggest royalty-related blogs you think should be listed at my website. Please leave a comment or send me an e-mail.



19 August 2010

Princess Ingrid Alexandra's first day at school

Princess Ingrid Alexandra, the oldest child of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, had her first day at school today, 19 August 2010. In May it was revealed that the 6 years old princess was registered to start school at Jansløkka in Asker, close to the Crown Prince family's residence Skaugum. Princess Ingrid Alexandra thus became the first member of the royal house to attend a neighbourhood school.

At her first school day, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, who is second in line of succession to the Norwegian throne, was accompanied by her parents as well as her grandfather King Harald and grandmother Marit Tjessem.

The first-day-of-school ceremony followed traditional lines. The princess shaked hands, like all the other pupils, with the headmaster, Else Beitnes Johansen, and her teacher Margrethe Setså Jensen, listened to the headmaster's welcome speech and was introduced to the other pupils in her class, referred to as "1 grønn" ("1 green").

Views and News of Norway has published a nice article about Ingrid Alexandra's first school day: Heir to the throne starts school. I have also made a collection of links to various articles covering Princess Ingrid Alexandra's big day, including photos and video coverage:

18 August 2010

Some articles about Prince Carlos Hugo

A couple of articles in English following the death of Prince Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma and Piacenza:
  • Prince Carlos Hugo dies (RNW 18 August 2010)
  • Duke of Parma, 80, dies in Barcelona (Royalblog.nl 18 August 2010)
I am sure some English-speaking newspapers will publish an obituary in the near future.

In the meantime, the late Duke's claims as a Carlist pretender used to be a controversial subject in some quarters, but except for the still ongoing conflict in the Bourbon-Parma family, few people would care about it today. Carlism is dead!

But if you want to read more about the subject, you could for instance read Guy Stair Sainty's article Carlism & Carlos-Hugo de Borbón-Parma, now Duke of Parma (it is unfortunately undated, but is obviously written some years ago).

See also the blog The New Beginning's entry of 15 June 2010, which contains links to other articles on the subject.


Prince Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma, has died

Prince Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, died in a hospital in Barcelona, Spain in the early morning of 18 August 2010. The duke had issued a statement earlier this month informing that his health situation was critical.

Prince Carlos Hugo, to some a Carlist pretender, was born in Paris on 8 April 1930 as the eldest son of Prince Xavier and Madeleine Bourbon-Busset. Carlos Hugo married in Rome on 29 April 1964 Princess Irene of the Netherlands, a younger daughter of Queen Juliana and thus a younger sister of Queen Beatrix. The couple divorced in 1981.

Prince Carlos Hugo and Princess Irene had four children together - Prince Carlos, Prince of Piacenza; Prince Jaime, Count of Bardi; Princess Margarita, Countess of Colorno (Mrs. ten Cate) and Princess Carolina, Marquise of Sala - as well as 2 grandchildren.

The duke's body will be brought from Barcelona to the Hague to be lying in state in the Koepel van Fagel ("The Fagel Dome") in the park of Noordeinde Palace. Later the prince will be interred in the family crypt at the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma, Italy. A memorial service will take place in Madrid, but the date is yet to be announced.

The 40 years old Prince Carlos - who was referred to as Carlos Javier in the statement mentioned above - has succeeded his father as the new Duke of Parma and Piacenza. He married Annemarie Gualthérie van Weezel on 12 June 2010. The religious ceremony was scheduled to take place on 28 August 2010, but has now been postponed.

Official website: Borboneparma.it.


7 August 2010

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg's son named Konstantin

The Danish weekly Billed-Bladet published today, 7 August 2010, an interview (including photos) with Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and her husband Alexander Johannsmann, who became parents to a boy on 24 July 2010.

The baby boy has got the name Konstantin Gustav Heinrich Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg-Johannsmann. Quite a mouthful in other words, but among his four given names only Konstantin will be in daily use. As mentioned in the Billed-Bladet interview, Princess Nathalie's father Prince Richard has Konstantin as one of his given names (Richard-Casimir Karl August Robert Konstantin). Curiously enough, Princess Nathalie says that her father has four names, while I count five (the hyphenated Richard-Casimir must count as one).

Prince Richard is married to Princess Benedikte of Denmark, a sister of Queen Margrethe II.

The date of Konstantin's christening has not been stated.


Royal twins expected in Denmark

The Danish Royal Court announced yesterday, 6 August 2010, the wonderful news that Crown Princess Mary, née Donaldson, wife of Crown Prince Frederik, is expecting twins in January 2011. Rumours about a possible pregnancy had been circulating earlier in the week, and for once the media was right.

The Danish Crown Prince couple has two children, Prince Christian, b. 2005, and Princess Isabella, b. 2007. The twins will bring the number of grandchildren for Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik up to seven. The twins will become no. 4 and 5 in the line of succession to the Danish throne.

The current line of succession is as follows:

1. HRH Crown Prince Frederik, b. 1968
2. HRH Prince Christian, b. 2005
3. HRH Princess Isabella, b. 2007
4. HRH Prince Joachim, b. 1969
5. HH Prince Nikolai, b. 1999
6. HH Prince Felix, b. 2002
7. HH Prince Henrik, b. 2009
8. HRH Princess Benedikte, b. 1944
9. HH Princess Elisabeth, b. 1935

See also the Act of Succession (tronfølgeloven; in Danish) and Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard's article Conditional Consent, Dynastic Rights and the Danish Law of Succession, 1999.

Limited ot the Glücksburg dynasty, this will be the first time a set of twins has been born into the Danish royal house. But in the extended family we have Comtesse Camilla and Comtesse Josephine of Rosenborg, b. 1972 (daughters of Count Christian and Countess Anne-Dorthe of Rosenborg) and Count Axel and Count Birger of Rosenborg, b. 1950 (sons of Count Flemming and Countess Ruth of Rosenborg). And if we include all the descendants of King Christian IX, there are of course more examples, including Prince Nicolas and Prince Aymeric of Belgium, b. 2005 (children of Prince Laurent and Princess Claire of Belgium) and Prince Léopold and Princess Charlotte of Nassau, b. 2000 (children of Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg).


5 August 2010

Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma seriously ill

Prince Carlos Hugo, head of the Royal House of Bourbon-Parma and to some a Carlist claimant, has recently issued a statement at his website, informing that his health situation is critical. The prince has suffered from prostate cancer for some time.

Surrounded by his immediate family at a hospital i Barcelona, the prince expressed in his statement that "my life is in the hands of the Lord".

Prince Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma and Piacenza was born in 1930 as the eldest son of Prince Xavier and Madeleine Bourbon-Busset. Carlos Hugo married in 1964 Princess Irene of the Netherlands, a younger daughter of Queen Juliana and thus a younger sister of Queen Beatrix. The couple divorced in 1981.

Prince Carlos Hugo and Princess Irene had four children together.

See also De Telegraaf's article of 5 August 2010, 'Prins Carlos Hugo van Bourbon neemt afscheid'.


The Prisoner of Durazzo

I was a bit surprised when I returned home yesterday evening and found a letter from Zenda Press of Tennessee, USA in my mailbox. Did I know anyone in Zenda Press, or in Tennessee for that matter? And how did the publishers get hold of my postal address - correctly spelt, even!

Enclosed was an information sheet about Robert A. Lanier's book The Prisoner of Durazzo, which was published in May 2010. The book covers the short reign of Prince Wilhelm of Wied (1876-1945), who was Mbret of Albania from March to September 1914. A chaotic reign, but a very interesting story, and the book looks quite interesting. Whoever got hold of my postal address or tipped off the publishers must have known how interested I am in Balkan history and especially Balkan royal history.

The Prisoner of Durazzo is available among others from Amazon.com. No Kindle version, though. The price is USD 29,95 + P&P. ISBN: 978-0615325231.

If any of my blog followers have read the book, please post your thoughts about it!


4 August 2010

Swedish Royal Tea

In connection with the wedding between Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling in June 2010, I mentioned examples of the official and unofficial wedding souvenirs that were on the market.

I sincerely doubt that the German company donkey products has got an official approval of its Swedish RoyalTea! If you fancy a cup of tea with Princess Madeleine, you will also support Bethanien-Kinderdörfer ("Bethanien Children Villages"), as the company claims that a part of the proceeds is being donated to the said society.

Still, I think it is rather sad that the royals are exploited this way. I got the 5 tea bags as a gift, though, but haven't tried it yet. I hope it will taste good!


3 August 2010

Monaco: New wedding date

The date of the religious ceremony for the wedding of Prince Albert II and Charlène Wittstock has been changed from 9 July to 3 July 2011, the Princely Court of Monaco announced last Sunday, 1 August 2010. The civil ceremony will take place on 2 July 2011.

The reason for the change of dates is that a meeting of the International Olympic Committee is scheduled to take place in Durban in the period of 5-9 July 2011, and "the couple wished for the presence of the Olympic family by their sides". I am not sure if this means that all members of the "Olympic family" will be invited to the wedding, or if this was a reference to the Monegasque presence at the meeting in Durban. Prince Albert II has been a member of the IOC since 1985.

The Prince also wanted that their first trip abroad as husband and wife should go to Ms. Wittstock's homeland, the Republic of South Africa.

(Updated on Friday 19 October 2010 at 0800 (link corrected).