22 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

There were some shepherds in that
part of the country who were spending the
night in the fields, taking care of their
flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared
to them, and the glory of the Lord shone
over them. They were terribly afraid, but
the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid!
I am here with good news for you,
which will bring great joy to all the people.
This very day in David's town your
Saviour was born - Christ the Lord!
And this is what will prove it to you:
you will find a baby wrapped in strips
of cloth and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great army of heaven's
angels appeared with the angel, singing
praises to God:
"Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with
whom he is pleased!"

(Luke 2, 8-14)


I wish you all a Merry Christmas!


Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 4, 2011

Oh, isn't it just wonderful! Two days before Christmas the latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly arrived in my mailbox. Great timing! Tonight I have just looked quickly through it in order to make this little presentation of its contents, and look forward to reading it more carefully when I leave for Kristiansand and Mandal tomorrow evening.

The front cover of Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 4, 2011 shows a photo taken around 1904 of six Saxe-Meiningen siblings, and their ducal house is dealt with later in the issue. The magazine editor, Ted Rosvall, not surprisingly comments on the proposal to change the British Act of Settlement (succession law) in his editioral column and is like your sincerely in favour of the idea of letting the eldest child inherit the throne regardless of sex.

The Polish Lucas Szkopinski has - just like I have - a great interest in the former Balkan monarchies, and this time he has delivered the article Alexander and Drage. Love and death in Belgrade, which of course deals with the last Obrenovic king and queen of Serbia, who were killed in 1903.

The next man out is the Brazilian Alberto Penna Rodriguez, whose contribution this time is called The forgotten Infanta. Dona Maria Adelaide of Braganza (Mrs. van Uden), who will celebrate her 100th birthday on 31 January 2012. She was the youngest child of the Miguelist pretender to the Portuguese throne Dom Miguel (II) and his second wife Maria Teresa, née Princess of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. Dona Maria Adelaide is an aunt of the current Portuguese pretender, Dom Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza. She married in 1945 the Dutch man Nicolaas van Uden and they got five children. Nicolaas died in 1991.

RDQ's historical consultant Charlotte Zeepvat is as usual responsible of A Family Album, which as already suggested gives an illustrated presentation of the ducal house of Saxe-Meiningen. Besides the 2 pages' long presentation and photos of Schloss Elisabethenburg and Schloss und Veste Heldburg, the reader can enjoy 16 pages with 59 photos of various family members as well as one photo of the family's summer palace Schloss Altenstein, as well as two pages with genealogical tables.

Archduke Otto of Austria (Otto von Habsburg) died on 4 July this year, and this is marked by two articles - An Imperial Farewell. Funeral Ceremonies of Otto von Habsburg by Stefan Haderer and An Autumn Wedding by Michael Nash (the latter article is about Archduke Otto's parents' wedding, it should be added).

The historian Trond Norén Isaksen gives an account of The oldest of the Bernadottes - Elsa Cedergren (1893-1996), followed by Charlotte Zeepvat second (but not last) contribution, Prelude to a Winter Wedding. The article deals with the 8 January 1930 wedding between the then Prince of Piedmont, later King Umberto II of Italy, and Princess Marie José, daughter of King Albert I and Queen Elizabeth of the Belgians. The last main article of this issue is written by Netty Leistra, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (1911-2004). A long and interesting life.

The editor has made space for three book reviews this time, and Trond Norén Isaksen has written two of them. His first review is of Philip Eade's book Young Prince Philip. His Turbulent Early Life, which I mentioned in my article England weekend October 2011 and which also Isaksen has commented on, and his second deals with Ilana D. Miller's The Four Graces. Queen Victoria's Hessian Granddaughters. Interestingly enough Charlotte Zepvaat returns with a second opinion of the same book.

As usual the Royalty Digest Quarterly gives the latest news of the royal world (or rather royal Europe) in the column The World Wide Web of Royalty. You can also find information about the forthcoming Royalty Weekend, which takes place in Ticehurst, East Sussex on 14-15 April 2012 (I attended the RW 2011, which I have written about here). Finally you can also find an advertisement of the book Hvidøre. A Royal Retreat, which is to be published in March 2012. Coryne Hall and Senta Driver are the authors. The villa Hvidøre on the Danish coast was once owned by the Danish-born Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom and her sister, Empress Maria Feodorovna, née Princess Dagmar of Denmark. Well, she was actually born a Princess of Glücksburg, when I come to think of it.

In other words, plenty of reading when my plane takes off tomorrow evening!

Royalty Digest Quarterly is published by Roosvall Royal Books, which can be contacted by e-mail royalbooks[at]telia.com.

See earler presentations of RDQ here.

Updated on Sunday 1 January 2012 at 20.15 (link added), last time Monday 9 January 2012 at 08.30 (one sentence modified).


19 December 2011

A cemetery in Lindos, Rhodes, Greece

During my visit to Lindos at the Greek island of Rhodes back in October this year, I came over this small cemetery on the way up to the main road and bus station. The gate was closed, so I couldn't get better pictures than these. At the other side of the road there was a rather angry goat which I feared could attack me any minute, so I didn't stay long outside the gate!


18 December 2011

Norwegian news in English

I have earlier written about two online newspapers which publish news about and from Norway in English - Views and News from Norway and The Foreigner (go here and here).

Recently I discovered that The Local earlier this fall launched a Norwegian version. The news portal also has similar English-speaking editions for France, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.

Yet another online news site, "written in English, dedicated to Norwegian affairs at home and abroad", cf. the news site's own presentation, is Norway News.

Although not a news site, Norway.org - the Norwegian official site in the United States - is also a good source for news about Norwegian affairs.


13 December 2011

New book for King Harald of Norway's 75th birthday: "Idrettskongen" ("The Sports King")

Dag Erik Pedersen's book Idrettskongen ("The Sports King") is to be launched in connection with King Harald V's 75th birthday on 21 February next year, Dagbladet.no revealed in the article Kongen håndplukket Dag Erik til bokprosjekt ("The king hand-picked Dag Erik for [the] book project") yesterday.

The book is meant to cover King Harald's commitment to and great interest in sports, both as an athlete, spectator and as a protector. The king is the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF)'s protector and is still an active yachtsman. In 1987 King Harald and his crew won the World Championships with his one-tonne yacht, the Fram X, and in 2005 they won the European Championships with the Fram XV. The King remains an avid yachtsman, participating in national and international regattas each year, cf. his biography at Kongehuset.no.

The king has on several times been described by his wife as a "sportsidiot" ("mad on sports", "sports crazy"), so even if there might be some sports that he finds more interesting than others, his frequent attendance at sports events in Norway and abroad is certainly not because of duty. His knowledge about Norwegian and international sports is said to be impressive. - You can interview any Norwegian athlete, and everyone will tell you that the king was present at the greatest moment of their career, the author says to Dagbladet.no.

Dag Erik Pedersen works as a sports journalist for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) and is a former professional cyclist. In 1999 he produced a TV documentary with the same title as the book, Idrettskongen. According to VG.no 10 December 2011, Pedersen asked the king if he would be interested in contributing to the book during the Olympic Winter Games in Torino in 2006. Dagbladet.no on the other hand claims that it was the king who wanted Pedersen to write the authorised book.

The book will be sold in the book stores as well as by the athletic clubs, which will get some of the profit.

The publisher is Gyldendal Norsk Forlag. ISBN: 9788205422803
(820542280X). Price: NOK 399. Expected to be on sale from 14 February 2012.

Updated on Tuesday 13 December 2011 at 22.00 (paragraph about the publishers added).