29 June 2012

Luxembourg: Nassau Family Pact of 1783 revised

The Luxembourgian newspaper Wort wrote on 22 June 2012 that the Nassau Family pact of 1783 has been revised, and that the procedure that started last year, cf. the Court's announcement of 20 June 2011 and the Grand Ducal decree of 16 September 2010 introducing equality between males and females with respect to the succession to the throne, has been finalised.

In addition to the family pact revision dated 11 June 2012, the house law of 5 July 1907 (*) has also been changed (dated 18 June 2012). The decrees were published in Memorial. Journal officiel du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg B No. 51, on 23 June 2012.

The Wort article interestingly enough ends by saying that "The revision will not affect the current order of succession", which I interpret as referring to the 2012 revision and not the changes made in 2010, which said that the new rules would first be applied to the issue of Grand Duke Henri, cf. the family pact article 24 second paragraph, meaning that Grand Duke Henri's daughter Princess Alexandra was included in the line of succession to the Grand Ducal throne.

See also my previous blog articles of  21 and 23 June 2011 concerning the Luxembourgian succession law.

I will add the decrees of 11 and 18 June 2012 to my Luxembourg page soon - hopefully I will get the time to do it before I start my vacation in July.

(*) Memorial B of 23 June 2012 p. 829 gives the date 5 May 1907, something I find strange, as the issue of Memorial publishing the said family law, no. 37, 1907, clearly gives the date 5 July 1907.

19 June 2012

Longest reigns website updated following the death of Crown Prince Nayef of Saudi Arabia

Crown Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, who was appointed as Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia on 28 October 2011 following the death of Crown Prince Sultan, died on Saturday 16 June 2012 in Switzerland, 78 or 79 years old.

I have therefore once again had to update my Longest reigns website.

Crown Prince Nayef, who besides his position as first in line of succession, also served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, was laid to rest at the Al-Adl cemetery in Mecca on Sunday 17 June. In attendance were, besides King Abdullah and numerous members of the Saudi Royal House, among others the Emir of Kuwait and the military ruler of Egypt, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

As most people expected, King Abdullah decided yesterday to appoint his half-brother Prince Salman as his new heir. The 76-year-old prince will continue as defence minister, a post he was appointed to in October 2011, and he has also been appointed deputy prime minister.

Royals and other dignitaries from all over the world has today gathered in Jeddah for the traditional condolence ceremony for the late Crown Prince Nayef. Among the many mourners listed at the Saudi Press Agency's website were Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, former President Samuel Schmid of Switzerland (named "George Samotejl" by the agency), Foreign Minister János Martonyi of Hungary, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul of Thailand, the Emir of Qatar, the Duke of York (Prince Andrew of the United Kingdom), Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al-Khaimah, Sheikh Hamad bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman and Vice President of Guinea, Osman Bah.The presentation of condolences from foreign dignitaries will continue on Wednesday 20 June.

Selected articles and obituaries following the death of Crown Prince Nayef:
  • Al Jazeera 16 June 2012: Saudi heir apparent Prince Nayef dead 
  • Time.com 16 June 2012: A Death in The Family. Saudi Arabia’s Succession Saga 
  • Al Arabyia News 17 June 2012: Saudi King Abdullah leads funeral for Crown Prince Nayef in Mecca 
  • CNN.com 17 June 2012: Funeral held for Saudi Crown Prince Nayef 
  • Telegraph.co.uk 17 June 2012: News/Obituary: Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz al Saud 
  • Al Jazeera 18 June 2012: Saudi crown prince laid to rest in Mecca 
  • Time.com 18 June 2012: Saudi Arabia’s Heir to the Throne: Meet Crown Prince Salman 
  • Al Jazeera 19 June 2012: Prince Salman named Saudi crown prince

5 June 2012

Tjörn, Sweden

The view from our hotel in Rönnäng, Tjörn. The locality of Klädesholmen in the background.

Skärhamn Church. I had hoped to take a close-up photo of the front of the church as well, but I didn't want to disturb the wedding. The bridal couple, which passed us in their car later the same day on their way to the reception, had just come out of the church when we arrived.

Skärhamn, the largest community at Tjörn and where the municipal administration is located.

Kårevik beach near Rönnäng.

Stora Dyrön.

Could this be the island of Åstol?

Klädesholmen Church.

Ha! "Parking for Norwegians only. All others will be towed". However, in front of the sign were two Swedish-registered cars...

In the distance you can see the locality of Rönnäng and Rönnäng Church.

All the photos were taken during my stay at Tjörn, the sixth largest island in Sweden, in May 2012. The island (map) is located in Västra Götaland county in the province of Bohuslän at the Swedish westcoast. We only experienced a small part of the island - there are many localities like Rönnäng, Klädesholmen and Skärhamn around the island's coastline. Truly an idyllic place, which we hope to return to another day - maybe for a longer stay? There are lots of summer places to rent! 

See also my previous blog articles from Tjörn:

4 June 2012

Valla Church and Cemetery and Sundsby manor, Tjörn, Sweden

 Valla Church. The Huitfeldt burial chamber can be seen at the back of the church.

I visited the island of Tjörn in Bohuslän, Sweden, for the first time in 1995 when I was on a study trip with other history students from the University of Oslo. During the short stay we visited Valla Church to see the burial chamber of the noble woman Margrethe Huitfeldt (Dyre) and her family.

When my family and I left the locality of Rönnäng last Monday (28 May 2012) to return back home to Norway, we took another route than when we came to the island two days earlier. Instead of crossing the bridge to Stenungsund, we headed up north from road 169, passing Valla Church and later Sundsby Seat Farm (Manor) at the penninsula of Mjörn and then to the third largest in Sweden, Orust, before reaching E6 at Uddevalla. We made a short stop at Valla Church, as I wanted to take new photos of the church and the burial chamber with my digital camera. Unfortunately - and maybe not too surprisingly - the church was closed - one obviously has to make an appointment in advance, as the group did in 1995. I will try to locate the photos taken in 1995 - they are kept somewhere in the attics - and get them digitalized.

The Danish-Norwegian noble woman Margrethe Huitfeldt (1608-1683) was the daughter of Hartvig Andersen Huitfeldt til Skjelbred og Rommegaard (d. 1637) og Bente Jensdatter Skak (d. 1622). She married the Danish royal court official Thomas Iversson Dyre til Hvidstedgaard (1605-1651) in 1635 and moved the same year to Sundsby Säteri (Seat farm/manor) at Mjörn in today's Tjörn municipality, Bohuslän, which she had inherited from her maternal grandmother, Gurun Green, ten years earlier. Margrethe and Thomas had 3 children - Bente (1636-1636), Hartvig (1638-1646) and Ivar (1644-1663). After Margrethe became a widow in 1651, she bequeathed her estate, which then besides Sundsby Säteri also consisted of Åby Säteri in northern Bohuslän, to a scholarship foundation which assisted young men from Bohuslän to be educated as priests. According to the tourist brochure about the manor of Sundsby, the bequest is the second largest donation of land that has ever been made in Sweden. The estate was bought by Tjörn municipality from Kungliga och Hvitfeldska Stiftelsen (the Royal and Huitfeldt Foundation) in 2003.

The buildings are open to the public. From October to May Sundsby is open Thursdays to Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m, from June to August every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and in September every day from 11 to 17. In other words, we thought it was closed when we passed the manor by car last Monday, but the property seemed to be full of people. It means that we have to return another time to see both the Huitfeldt burial chamber and the Sundsby manor!

For more information about and photos of the Sundsby manor, go to Kaffehuset i Sundsby website (the Coffee House in Sundsby) or Tjörn municipality's official website (both in Swedish).

 The present church building at Valla was built 1859-1861. The burial chamber is from the 1660s and was not torn down when the old church was replaced by the present one.

1712 - Das Werden eines Landes (1712 - A country emerges)

If you have ever dreamt of visiting the principality of Liechtenstein one day, maybe 2012 should be the year to do something about it? This year Liechtenstein celebrates the tercentenary of the purchase of the county of Vaduz by Prince Johann (Hans) Adam I Andreas of Liechtenstein (1657-1712), and in this connection the Liechtensteinisches Landesmuseum has created a special exhibition called 1712 - Das Werden eines Landes ("1712 - A country merges") where one through a series of documents, paintings and other valuable objects can learn the history of the purchase and of the key players.

In 1699  Prince Hans Adam I ("the Rich") had purchased the duchy of Schellenberg, which corresponds to the present-day Liechtenstein Unterland. As explained in the press release from Liechtensteinisches Landesmuseum, when both Vaduz and Schellenberg were bought, the Liechtenstein dynasty gained control of non-intermediate territories which were held directly under the imperial throne. The purchase enabled the princes to qualify for a seat and a vote in the Imperial diet of the Holy Roman Empire. In other words a foundation was laid for the later sovereign country of Liechtenstein.

I learned about the exhibition through the Liechtenstein Marketing's June 2012 newsletter, which arrived in my mailbox today. The exhibition opened already on 5 April this year and can be visited until 14 October. More details can be found in the said press release (there is a summary in English) with photos of several of the exhibition objects. Seems like a great exhibition! Unfortunately I will probably not be able to visit Liechtenstein this year. My only visit to the principality so far took place in May 2005. I will return with a blog article from my visit later on.

The portrait of Prince Hans Adam I shown above is displayed in the exhibition. The image is taken from the museum's press photo section.