27 March 2013

Easter reading list

The Easter weekend has finally arrived. Here in Norway Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and 2nd Day Easter are all public holidays, which means that I have a long weekend coming up. I really look forward to a few days off with my family! I hope to do some cross country skiing and I have put up a few items on my Easter reading list.

The latest issue of the Swedish Kungliga Magasinet (No. 2, March 2013) has just arrived. It marks the royal magazine's first anniversary, and the list of contents reveal articles about among others the late Princess Lilian, the future King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, King Gustaf III of Sweden, Queen Victoria of Sweden as well as her namesake and great-great-grandchild Crown Princess Victoria. 23 well-known Swedes and 2 princes - Leka of Albania and Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy - give their views on why the crown princess is so popular. Not sure why a royal magazine needs to bring an interview with the pop artist Carola Häggkvist, though. And is the make-up piece about Princess Máxima an advertisement or a journalistic work? It is hard to tell. The magazine seems to develop, like the former royal magazine Queen, more and more into a women magazine, which I find sad.

There is, on the other hand, no doubt about the contents of The European Royal History Journal. I received the last 3 issues of Volume 15 (2012) at once 1-2 weeks ago, and have saved them for my Easter vacation. It is a pity that one can never know when to expect the journal to arrive, as it almost never gets out on time, but at least it provides a lot of stuff to read.

Reading crime and detective novels has for a long, long time been an "Easter tradition" here in Norway, besides watching crime series on TV! Of course I have to keep up with my fellow Norwegians, so I have recently bought Tess Gerritsen's The Keepsake (2008) (Rizzoli & Isles series), which finally has become available for Kindle as well. I will start reading it as soon as I have finished Tom Clancy's Patriot Games. I have got most, if not all, the Jack Ryan/John Clark books on my Kindle and have decided to read them in "a Ryan/Clark universe chronological order". I have read some of them before, but that is a long time ago. After that I will finally return to my list of biographies again...

Happy Easter!

Updated on Thursday 28 March 2013 some time in the evening (minor correction) and last time on Tuesday 2 April 2013 at 09.05 (couple of words added).

25 March 2013

War memorial, Ticehurst, East Sussex, United Kingdom

 In proud thanksgiving 1939-1945.
The war memorial is located where High Street meets Church Street in Ticehurst. The Bell In can be seen in the background. The photos were taken in April 2011.

St. Mary's Church and Cemetery, Ticehurst, East Sussex, United Kingdom

The memory of Eliza Sophia, wife of Colonel Hawes. The inscription is difficult to read, but I think it says that she died in 1885.

Ann, wife of Samuel Oyler.

The gate goes into the section for the children's graves. I decided to not enter it.

Last week I mentioned that I soon had to return to writing articles about my visit to the United States last year, but I wasn't sure whether I should cover my trips to Norwich and Vilnius first. Today I came to think about the fact that I wouldn't have too much time to blog before my trip to England the first weekend after Easter to attend the Royalty Weekend in Ticehurst. And then I realized that I hadn't written about my visit to St. Mary's Church and Cemetery yet. It would make sense to do that before my second visit to the village.

All the photos above were taken in April 2011 on a beautiful and sunny Spring day. I could only wish for similar weather this year around! When I entered the churchyard, I noticed that the church was also open, but decided to do the cemetery first. When I had finished my round, the church door was closed. Fortunately I will probably get the chance to make another visit next month. Maybe I will manage to take photos of the wild pheasants which were swaggering around the cemetery too. They ran away every time I got closer to them...

The present St. Mary's Church was constructed in the 14th century when it replaced an earlier church, which probably was of wood. More photos of the church - also from its interior - can be viewed at Roughwood.net and at Geolocation. An archaeological evulation was made at the church in 2006. A report can be read here.

19 March 2013

Updated program for the Royalty Weekend 2013 (IV)

It is getting closer to the Royalty Weekend 2013, which is to take place at Ticehurst and Flimwell Church of England Primary School, Steellands Rise, Ticehurst in East Sussex, England on 6-7 April.

Since my last article on the subject on 9 February 2013, there have been some changes to the program. As of now the speakers include:
  • Coryne Hall on Princesses on the Wards: Links between royal women and nursing
  • Margreeth Pop-Jansen on Princess Marianne of the Netherlands 
  • Neil Rees on The Reburial of King Zog 
  • Ted Rosvall on The Lesser Known and Hidden Away Royals 
  • Ian Shapiro on The Hidden Archive of Princess Irene of Prussia 
  • Christophe Vachaudez on More Belgian Royal Jewels 
  • Charlotte Zeepvat with one of her magnificent slide lectures on the Nassau family
  • Robert Golden on The Wider Royal Family - Some of Those I Have Known
  • And Richard Thornton who is planning a fiendish quiz
 There will also be other royal authors present, including Helen Rappaport, Janet Ashton and Ilana Miller. Booksellers van Hoogstraten of the Hague, the Netherlands, will be in attendance, and there will be a bring and buy Royal Ephemera sale.

Cost: for all lectures, tea, coffee and snacks, two buffet lunches & one evening meal with wine: £115.

Please contact Sue Woolmans at royalweekend[at]gmail.com for more details.

Go here for my article about the 2011 conference. I hope to write about this year's conference as well some time in the second half of April.

National Journal: D.C. Landmarks Under Construction

The second item on my recommended reading list today (the first was Scouting NY: King Zog of the Albanians Long Island estate) is National Journal's article D.C: Landmarks Under Construction, which was published earlier today (19 March 2013). It tells among others how long it took to finish some of the most popular sights in Washington D.C., and it certainly brings many happy memories from my visitis to the D.C. area in 1999, 2009 and 2012.

It also reminds me that I soon have to start writing about my visit to the USA last year. On 9 September 2012 I published Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, USA (2012), Part I, but I haven't got to the second part yet. After my summer vacation I have been to Norwich, UK twice as well as Lithuania, so I have to decide on what to write about first...

Scouting NY: King Zog of the Albanians Long Island estate

The blog Scouting NY published on 4 March 2013 a rather interesting article, Stumbling On The Abandoned Ruins Of King Zog’s Long Island Estate, which, as the title suggests, tells the story of King Zog of the Albanians' Long Island estate in text and pictures. King Zog (1895-1961), who was exiled after the Italian invasion in 1939 and never returned to his homeland alive, bought the Knollwood Estate at Muttontown, New York, in 1951, but never moved in. The blog article has been shared on Facebook, but is certainly worth sharing here as well!

The blog is written by Nick Carr, who works as a movie location scout and writes about what he discovers during his travels around the city and suburbs of New York.

I have also earlier recommended articles by Carr: The Three Private Graves in Manhattan, New York, USA (23 January 2011) and Scouting New York: Houdini's Final Vanishing Act in Queens, New York, USA (24 January 2011). His blog has been on my Selected blogs website ever since.

11 March 2013

HRH Princess Lilian of Sweden (1915-2013): Obituary in The Telegraph (and more)

An obituary for HRH Princess Lilian of Sweden, who died yesterday, Sunday 10 March 2013, 97 years old, was published in The Telegraph (Telegraph.co.uk) around the same time I posted my blog article, so I take the opportunity to post it today instead (see link above).

Blogs which have covered Princess Lilian's death include Eurohistory, Sofia's Blog and Trond Norén Isaksen.

The Swedish Royal Court announced today that the funeral service will take place already on Saturday 16 March 2013 at 1 p.m. in the Palace Church, followed by interment at Haga outside Stockholm. The princess will lie in state in the Palace Church on Friday 15 March from noon to 3 p.m. Flags will be flown at half staff at all the royal palaces, Solliden Palace, Stenhammar Castle, the Royal Mews and Slottsbacken 2 from 11 March until the funeral has been held, the only exception being the Royal Palace in Stockholm during the visit from the Turkish President, Abdullah Gül. Mourning bells were rung in central Stockholm this morning from 8 to 8.10 a.m.

See also The Local's articles published earlier today.

Updated on Tuesday 12 March 2013 at 08:35 (link added).

10 March 2013

Princess Lilian of Sweden has died

The Swedish Royal Court announced today the death of Princess Lilian of Sweden, Duchess of Halland, née Davies. She died at her home Villa Solbacken at Djurgården in Stockholm today, 10 March 2013, 97 years old.

Lilian May Davies, b. at Swansea, Wales on 30 August 1915 as the daughter of William John Davies and Gladys Mary Davies, née Curran, was married to King Carl XVI Gustaf's uncle Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland (1912-1997), on 7 December 1976.

A biography of Princess Lilian can be read at the Royal Court's official website. See also The Local (Thelocal.se), Dagens Nyheter (DN.se), Svenska Dagbladet (Svd.se), Expressen.se (which includes Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's condolences) and Aftonbladet.se (the latter four newspapers in Swedish).

The funeral service will take place at the Palace Church (date to be announced later), followed by interment at the Royal Burial Ground at Haga in Solna outside Stockholm.

Photo: © Kungahuset.se. The photo was taken at Princess Lilian's 90th birthday. The photographer was Claes Göran Carlsson.

Updated: MOnday 11 March 2013 at 12:15 (minor mistake corrected).

4 March 2013

Tjukke Slekta No. 2-3, 2012

I have several periodicals on my reading list these days. The same day I received the latest issue of Våpenbrevet, the newsletter of the Norwegian Heraldic Society, I also received Tjukke Slekta (No. 2-3, 2012), the newsletter of Sør-Østerdal Slektshistorielag (Sør-Østerdal Genealogical Society, which covers the municipalities Elverum,  Engerdal, Stor-Elvdal, Trysil og Åmot in the county of Hedmark).

I have been a member of the society for a few years now, and one of the main reasons for joining up was because my Hoelseth family comes from the former farm of Holset in Åmot. I also have ancestors from Elverum. As long as I have been a member, the newsletter has not touched on any of my ancestral families, but it still has many interesting articles on various families from Sør-Østerdal and on genealogy and research in general. The latest issue  has, for instance, two large articles on two different persons from Elverum but descending from Trysil with examples on how DNA testing can assist the research.

All but one of the articles focus on Trysil, hence the use of the top photo, which shows Trysil Church. I have no idea when the photo was taken, but it was found in the photo album inherited from my great-grandfather's elder sister Ingeborg Louise O. Hoelseth (1882-1963). I have - as far as I know - no ancestors from Trysil, but two of my great-great-grandfather's sisters, Marte Tollefsdatter Hoelseth (1852-1917) and Valdine Tollefsdatter Hoelseth (1866-1907) married and settled there and are buried at the cemetery next to the church.

I will bring photos from the cemetery later on.

Postscript 6 March 2013 at 00:05: It has been suggested at the Digital Archives' users' forum that the photo was taken just before 1900.

2 March 2013

Våpenbrevet No. 88

I recently recveived the latest issue of Våpenbrevet (no. 88, vol. 39, 2013), the newsletter of Norsk Heraldisk Forening (the Norwegian Heraldry Society), and as usual the newsletter can offer many interesting articles. Heraldry is certainly not my field of expertise, so my membership gives new insight.

Interestingly enough the editor settled on Archbishop Bruno Bernard Heim (1911-2003) and his work as the main topic for the issue, which was cleverly timed considering Pope Benedict XVI's renunciation on 28 February 2013. Heim was a prominent armorist of ecclesiastical heraldry, and was responsible of designing the coat of arms of Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II. Våpenbrevet's front page shows the arms of Heim, who was titular Archbishop of Xanthus.

Another interesting article in the newsletter is the society's chairman Tom Vadholm's article Felles konger Av Norge og Sverige. Politikk, problemer og spesielle heraldiske forhold uttrykt i våpenmerkene ("Kings of both Norway and Sweden - Political facts and problems expressed in their coats-of-arms"*), which was based on the lecture he held at the XXXth International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences, which took place in Maastricht in the Netherlands in 2012. The next congress is to take place in Oslo, Norway in 2014.

*The English translation is based on the lecture title according to the program.

Updated on Tuesday 2 July 2013 at 19:50 (typo corrected).