31 October 2012

Royal family tree in Dagsavisen 29 October 2012

Following the engagement between Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O'Neill last week, the Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen published on Monday 29 October 2012 a family tree showing the relations between the British, the Danish, the Swedish and the Norwegian royal houses. The stated sources were Kongehuset.no, the Palace and NTB.

Unfortunately, there are so many mistakes in the family tree that the readers better throw it away rather than keeping it for future reference (I am commenting on it here just for the fun of it!). I am not going to list all the mistakes, as it would probably take the whole evening, but I will give a few examples. We learn for instance that Queen Maud died in 1939, but the correct year was in fact 1938. Queen Ingrid of Denmark, née Princess of Sweden, was not born in 1920,  but in 1910. Her eldest daughter Queen Margrethe II was not born in 1949, but 9 years earlier. Her husband Henrik was certainly not born in 1967 (!), but in 1934. Yes, their wedding took place in 1967... King Christian X of Denmark was not married to Princess Margaretha, who was Crown Princess Märtha of Norway's elder sister. Princess Madeleine's future husband was not born in 1985, but 11 years earlier. The maiden name of Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and the surname of her eldest son Marius is spelt Høiby, not Høibye... I think I better stop here!

It is difficult to say how Dagsavisen, or more likely NTB, has got it so wrong. I haven't got the time to look through all the details in the family tree presented at Kongehuset.no, but it looks okay to me and it is not to blame. If only NTB and Dagsavisen could have spent a few minutes on proof-reading...

Catherine Oxenberg: My mother’s triumph – exhumation & burial of Prince Paul of Yugoslavia

The actress Catherine Oxenberg, daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and her first husband, Howard Oxenberg, has written the following blog article about the reburial of her grandparents Prince Paul and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia at Oplenac:

30 October 2012: My mother’s triumph – exhumation & burial of Prince Paul of Yugoslavia

The reburial took place on Saturday 6 October 2012.

25 October 2012

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 3, 2012

I received my copy of the magazine Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 3, 2012, three weeks ago, but it is first now I have got the time to have a look at it. As always the magazine has plenty of interesting and readable articles to enjoy.

The magazine's historical consultant, Charlotte Zeepvat, has made more than one contribution also this time. The article Dear, Unforgettable Alix focuses on Grand Prince Alexei Nikolaievich, the only son of Emperor Nicholas II. Zeepvat also continues her Family Album, this time the third Habsburg article, which deals with the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. Besides a short introduction the readers can enjoy 88 images as well as as much as 6 pages with genealogical tables.

Edward W. Hanson has written about Queen Marie Amélie of Portugal's will, while Coryne Hall pays attention to the British Princess Louise (the Princess Royal) and Alexander, Duke of Fife's daughter Alexandria (1891-1959) in the article A Dedicated Royal Lady. Alexandra, The Duchess of Fife.

The freelance writer/historian Elisabeth de Guitaut has contributed with a piece on the royal country house Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park, while the editior, Ted Rosvall, has made space for his own article Notre Amie, la Comtesse de Gyldensteen... A Colorful Royal Ancestor. The countess in question  was Marguerite Huguetan (1702-1766, ancestor of among others Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Prinse Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein.

As usual we get the more or less lated news in the section The World Wide Web of Royalty, with pieces about the Imperial/Royal/Princely houses of Austria, Hesse, Hohenlohe-Bartenstein, Liechtenstein, Neipperg, Norway, Radziwill, Reuss, Saxony, Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Schaumburg-Lippe. The editior managed to include the news of the death of Princess Ragnhild, Mrs. Lorentzen before the deadline. She is presented as "Princessed [sic!] Ragnhild of Norway, Mrs. Lorentzen". True enough, she kept her rank as Princess of Norway when she married Erling S. Lorentzen in 1953, but at the court she was only styled Princess Ragnhild, Mrs. Lorentzen, and as the little article was titled "Norway", so the "of Norway" part was kind of superfluous. A trifle, perhaps, but still... More important is that Rosvall has missed out on Princess Ragnhild's sixth grandchild, Elisabeth, the second daughter of Ragnhild Lorentzen Long.

The readers will certainly not be disappointed with the latest issue, as it covers many different monarchies and topics. But I would like to see even more variation. Always the Windsors, the Romanovs and the Habsburgs! What about Waldeck-Pyrmont, Ghika, Castell-Castell and Czartoryski! I know is is partly a matter of what contributions the editor receives, but how active is Rosvall in finding authors who can contribute with articles on other, "lesser known", princely families?

Information on Royalty Digest Quarterly can be found at its editor's website Royalbooks.se. See earler presentations of RDQ here.

Sweden: Princess Madeleine engaged to marry Chris O'Neill

The Royal Court in Stockholm announced today, 25 October 2012, the engagement between Princess Madeleine, youngest child of King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia, and Christopher "Chris" O'Neill:
Engagement between Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill
The Marshal of the Realm is delighted to announce the engagement between Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill.
After His Majesty The King of Sweden had given his consent to the marriage between Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill, His Majesty requested the approval by the Swedish Government, in accordance with the procedures set out in the Swedish Constitution.

The wedding date has not yet been decided but it is planned to take place during the summer of 2013.

Svante Lindqvist
Marshal of the Realm
The court also published an interview with the couple as well as Chris O'Neill's CV. The latter informs us that Princess Madeleine's fiancé was born on 27 June 1974 in London, England as the son of Paul O'Neill (d. 2004) and Eva Maria O'Neill, née Walter.* His mother has been married four times and has given Chris two half-sisters: Tatjana and Natascha. Chris also has three half-sisters - Stephanie, Annalisa and Karen - on his father's side.

Christopher, who has both British and US American citizenship, but is not seeking Swedish nationality, attended boarding school in St. Gallen, Switzerland before obtaining a bachelor degree in International Relations from Boston University. He also has obtained a Master's degree in Business Administration from  Columbia Business School in New York.

After graduating he has worked in the finance sector, working for firms such as NM Rotschild & Sons and Steinberg Asset Management. Today O'Neill is a Partner and Head of Research at Noster Capital, which is an investment firm with offices in London and New York City. We are also told that O'Neill enjoys downhill skiing, tennis and golf, while among his other passions are music, literature and - of all football clubs - Chelsea FC.

Chris O'Neill's father is from New York originally, but moved to London in the 1960s. He has Irish, Scottish and Italian ancestry, while Chris' mother is Czech/German.

Mr. O'Neill proposed to the princess in early October. The wedding is planned for the summer of 2013. The couple has for now decided to continue living in the United States.

Princess Madeleine was earlier engaged to Jonas Bergström, but the relationship ended in 2010.

Some news articles today:

* Besides the details from the Royal Court, information for this article is gathered from the thread Ancestry of Christopher O'Neill, at Nobiliana.de, sub-forum Ancestry & Descendancy, with contributions by Netty Leistra, Hein Bruins and the signature "Ronald66".

Photo © The Swedish Royal Court/Ewa-Marie Rundquist.

Updated on Friday 26 October 2012 at 14:10 (mistake corrected, see comments section). Last time updated on 13 June 2013 at 15:00 (Eva Marie O'Neill's nationality was earlier presented as Austrian, but now corrected to "Czech/German", cd. Expressen 4 June 2013. Mrs. O'Neill was born in Karlovy Vary in the then Czechslovakia in 1947, but was brought up in Germany).

23 October 2012

Luxembourg: Official wedding book on the market 27 October 2012

The grand wedding of the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy has just taken place. If you still haven't got enough of the wedding, rest assured that the official wedding book - and a DVD - will be on the market already on Saturday 27 October. The book and DVD costs 21 Euro and can be ordered from Editions.lu. The author is Stéphane Bern. You can chose between a French or a German version.

I am not sure if the publisher has picked the best photo of Princess Stéphanie, though. Concerning the bride's title, I am still waiting for the decree which will make her Hereditary Grand Duchess. Nothing on Leguilux yet, and the official website of the Grand Ducal Family has not been updated since the wedding. The new member still has to wait for her own entry.

21 October 2012

Moen Chapel and Cemetery, Gran, Norway, Part I

Yesterday my family and I spent a few hours at Gran at Hadeland north of Oslo where we visited my wife's 91 years old great aunt. We took her out for a car drive around the area so that she could show us some of the farms her family (and thus also my wife's and daughter's) come from, including Haugsbakken (none of the original farm buildings are left, though), Trulserud, Tingelstad and Røssum.

We also made a stop at Moen Chapel and Cemetery (Moen kapell og kirkegård (gravlund)), which was consecrated in 1914. The chapel was built at Festningshaugen in Østre Tingelstad on farm land given by Johan Jakobsen Trulserud (1851-1935), my wife's great-great-grandfather on her mother's side. Originally the church building was named Østre Tingelstad Church (before the construction was finished), but was soon renamed to Moen Chapel. At the time this was in Brandbu municipality, which merged with Gran in 1962.

Unfortunately it started to rain just as we arrived at the chapel, so I only managed to take one photo. It shows the grave of the Johan Jakobsen Trulserud mentioned above, his wife Kjersti Pedersdatter Trulserud, née Anfossen (1855-1951) and one of their grandsons, Johan Trulserud (1924-1973).

Obviously I will have to return to take more photos - of the church building and of various graves - later on, when the weather is nicer and the light is better. In the meantime, you could always check out the Churches of Gran's official website and Wikipedia for some photos.

Source: Marta Leirset/Marie Olerud (ed.). Moen kapell 1914-1984, published by Tingelstad Menighetsråd (Parish Council), Jaren, 1984.

20 October 2012

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy married

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume was married to the Belgian countess Stéphanie de Lannoy at the City Hall in Luxembourg on Friday 19 October 2012. A gala dinner took place at the Grand Ducal palace in the evening.

The religious ceremony took place in the Notre-Dame Cathedral today at 11 p.m., followed by a reception at the Grand Ducal palace. I was only able to follow the events on the Norwegian TV channel NRK1 up to bride's arrival at the cathedral. The weather was great and the crowd was  impressive. The TV commentators could have been more informative when commenting on all the royals arriving for the wedding, though.

More details about the wedding and photos can be found at the official website, Gouvernement.lu and the local newspaper Wort.lu (German and English versions). See also NettyRoyal and Luxarazzi.

Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy became Princess of Luxembourg upon the civil wedding on Friday. The Grand Duke will soon issue a decree making her Hereditary Grand Duchess. As mentioned earlier, the new member of the Grand Ducal family has obtained Luxembourgian nationality by act 10 October 2012, published in Mémorial 15 October 2012 (no. 221, p. 3014). The preparatory works can be read here.

16 October 2012

Norwegian TV coverage of the Grand Ducal Wedding after all

Last month I was told by the Norwegian TV channels NRK and TV2 that neither were going to broadcast the wedding (religious ceremony) of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy on Saturday 20 October 2012.

Today NRK informed me by e-mail that it had decided to cover the wedding after all. The TV guide is still not updated, but the information departement tells that the broadcast will last from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The religious ceremony in the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg starts at 11 a.m. 

15 October 2012

Rosary Cemetery, Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom

I am preparing for yet another trip to Norwich, which will take place during the first weekend of November. It will be my 17th visit to "the fine city", and the second this year. Last time was in September when I travelled with my wife and daugher for a long weekend. I watched  a football game, of course (Norwich City vs. West Ham United 0-0), but without my girls. Besides exploring the city and doing some shopping, we also took a train ride to Cromer at the coast I hope to write a blog article about later.

During my November visit I will be joined by several members of the Scandinavian supporters' club, and the main purpose of the trip will be the home game vs. Stoke City. But I will also have some time on my own. Even if football has been the main purpose of most of my trips to Norwich, I have been able to see many of the most important sights the city can offer, including the castle, the cathedral as well as numerous other churches, walks along the remains of the city wall, walks along the Wensum river, the market and much more! This time I am thinking about stopping by at a cemetery, which is the reason for my choice of subject title for this article. The website Norfolkchurches.co.uk has a great presentation of Rosary Chapel and Cemetery. I have been to the area before, as Norwich City FC's former stadium The Nest was situated next to it, and I believe I walked up there to take a photo of the place some time in the late 80s or early 90s. There is also a nice pub, The Coach & Horses, nearby, where many supporters meet up before the games.

I wonder if I will be able to take better photos than the ones at the said website, though. An alternative would be the Norwich Cemetery at Earlham Road. If anyone has other suggestions, please tell. I won't have time to get too far from the centre of Norwich, though.

I have written an endless number of articles about my visits to Norwich in the Scandinavian supporters' club's newsletter The Canary Magazine, but not so much for my blog. I have plenty of photos to choose from, so one of these days I will come back with a photo article or two. Other topics have to come first, though, as I have a long list of planned articles. It is only about finding the time, obviously. It seems I am busier than ever these days, but I have stopped worrying about the blog posting frequency. It is just that I have other commitments, and I make many contributions in other fields as well. But I do enjoy working on this blog, even if I haven't managed to carry out all the plans I had when I started out. Just have to see how things develop. As with my websites, including Hoelseth.com, there is progress, but somewhat slower than before.

Former King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, is dead

The former King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, died at Beijing, China, earlier today, 15 October 2012, 89 years old.

Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk was born in Phnom Penh on 31 October 1922 as the son of the then Prince Norodom Suramit and Princess Sisowath Kosamak. Sihanouk succeeded his grandfather Monivong in 1941, abdicated on behalf of his father Suramit in 1955 and became king again in 1993. He abdicated on 6 October 2004 and was awarded the title of "Great King" with presedence over his son, Norodom Sihamoni, who was elected King by the Throne Council on 14 October 2004.

Between 1955 and 1993 Sihanouk held several offices, including Prime Minister for several periods as well as head of state during the first year of the Khmer Rouge regime. One could say that he was a man of nine lives, but after having been ill for many years, he finally passed away.

Sihanouk had two offical wives, Princess Thavet Norleak (his first cousin, from whom he separated in 1968) and Princess Monique, née Monique Izzi, and had at least 14 children. See the Royal Ark for a genalogical survey.

His obituary was published at Telegraph.co.uk on 15 October 2012. See also the the news article at the same website as well as BBC News (which has links to even more articles on the subject).

Recommended literature: Milton Osborne. Sihanouk. Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness, Allen & Unwin, 1994. ISBN 1-86373-642-5.

7 October 2012

Royal reburial in Serbia, Part II

The reburial of the (former) Yugoslavian Prince Paul (Pavle) (1893-1976), Princess Olga (1903-1997), née Princess of Greece, and Prince Nicholas (Nikola) (1928-1954), took place at Oplenac on Saturday 6 October 2012.

The Office of HRH Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia (Serbia) issued the following press release after the ceremony had taken place:

Belgrade, 6 October 2012 - Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander II, Crown Princess Katherine, their sons, Hereditary Prince Peter and Prince Philip, Prince Alexander (son) and Princess Elizabeth (daughter of Prince Paul and Princess Olga), other members of Kradjordjevic Royal Family, together with H.E. Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, President of Serbia, Arhierarchs and clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church, representatives of Parliament of Serbia, Serbian Army, members of other Royal Families, and a great number of citizens from all over Serbia, Republika Srpska and abroad, representatives of diplomatic corps, paid final respect to TRH Prince Paul, Princess Olga, and their son Prince Nicholas, who were buried at St. George church in Oplenac today.

The coffins with the remains of TRH Prince Paul, Princess Olga and Prince Nicholas, covered with Serbian flags and Karadjordjevic insignia were brought into the church with a salute from the Serbian Army Guard. Then the Holy Liturgy for the dead and Requiem was served by Their Graces Bishop Pahomije of Vranje and Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, with the clergy of Sumadija diocese.

At the church service there were also present TRH Prince Nicholas of Greece, Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Barbara, Princess Linda, Prince George, Prince Michael, Prince Vladimir and Princess Brigitta, Mrs. Catherine Oxenberg and Mr. Nicholas Balfour (grandchildren of Prince Paul and Princess Olga).

After the Liturgy and the Requiem, and the laying wreaths took place, H.E. President of Serbia Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, HRH Princess Elizabeth and HRH Crown Prince Alexander II, delivered speeches before the reburial.

President of serbia, H.E. Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, said that Serbia was releaved of a great burden today. “We are burying them at the Holy Serbian land, at the church built by King Peter I”, President has stressed out.

HRH Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Prince Paul and Princess Olga, said that a great injustice has been rectified, and a deep wound has been healed, and thanked President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic for his support in bringing back to Serbia her beloved ones.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander emphasized in his speech: “This is a historic moment for our family, but also very important event for our nation. My late father, King Peter II, who is unfortunately still buried abroad, always spoke with kindness and affection about Prince Paul and Princess Olga. I have dearest memories of meetings with them from my youth. Let us all pray to God at this solemn and sad event today for unity and prosperity of our Serbia, at the bier of this great statesman and patriot”.

TRH Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Hereditary Prince Peter and Prince Philip will host a reception on this solemn occasion for the Family, high officials, church dignitaries, members of foreign royal families from aborad and ambassadors at the White Palace at 8 pm this evening.
See also B92.net's article Remains of Serbian royals laid to rest, published 7 October 2012, and my earlier blog article on the subject, Royal reburial in Serbia (Part I), published on 5 October 2012.

Hopefully it will not take too much time before also the remains of King Peter II (1923-1970), King of Yugoslavia 1934-1945, currently buried at the St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, Illinois, will be brought to Serbia for reburial at Oplenac.

See my earlier blog article on this subject, Serbian royals visit the grave of King Peter II, published on 9 November 2009.

Updated on Wednesday 10 October 2012 at 13.30 (King Peter II's burial place corrected, link added).

5 October 2012


The fall has arrived... Not my favourite time of year, but the fall colours are certainly beautiful. The photos are taken last Sunday, 30 September 2012, at Østensjøvannet in Oslo.

See also Views and News from Norway's photo article Fall colors set forests ablaze, dated 1 October 2012.

Royal reburial in Serbia, Part I

The remains of the Prince Paul (1893-1976), Princess Olga (1903-1997) and Prince Nicholas (1928-1954) of Yugoslavia, who have been interred in a cemetery in Lausanne, Switzerland (Cemetery Bois-de-Vaux), were transported to Belgrade, Serbia on Thursday 4 October 2012. A Holy Litury was held at the St. Michael's Cathedral in Belgrade later the same day. The reburial takes place on Saturday 6 October 2012 in the crypt of St. George Church at Oplenac. The ceremony will be held with full state and religious honours.

The Office of the Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia (Serbia) issued the following statement yesterday:

Belgrade, 4 October 2012 - Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine attended this evening the arrival of the remains of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Paul, Princess Olga, and their son Prince Nicholas.

A Holy Liturgy was officiated by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and the Hierarchs of Serbian Orthodox Church Their Graces Bishop Jovan of Sumadija, Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, Vicar Bishop Porfirije of Jegar and Vicar Bishop Andrej of Remesiana at St. Michael's Cathedral in Belgrade.

The three coffins were brought into the Cathedral after the playing of the National Anthem of Serbia "Boze pravde“.

The President of Serbia, H.E. Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, Serbian Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Ivica Dacic, Speaker of the House H.E. Mr. Nebojsa Stefanovic, HRH Prince Alexander (son) and HRH Princess Barbara, HRH Princess Elizabeth (daughter), HRH Princess Linda, HRH Prince George, HRH Prince Michael, HRH Prince Vladimir and HRH Princess Brigitta, Mrs. Catherine Oxenberg (daughter of HRH Princess Elizabeth),as well as ministers from the Serbian government, members of the diplomatic corps, religious and other officials were present at the arrival and during the Cathedral ceremony.

Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine together with their sons His Royal Highness Hereditary Prince Peter and His Royal Highness Prince Philip will attend the ceremonies that will take place on Saturday, October 6 with other members of the Karadjordjevic Royal Family and distinguished guests at the St George Church at Oplenac, which will be held with full state and religious honours.
See also B92.net's article 28 September 2012, Serbian royals exhumed ahead of burial in homeland, as well as a photo of the former grave of Prince Paul at Gravestone.com and Findagrave.com.

Later article: Royal reburial in Serbia, Part II, published 7 October 2012.

This article was last time updated on Sunday 7 October 2012 at 20:05 (link added, subject title modified).