26 September 2013

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 3, 2013

The third issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly this year arrived today, just in time for my fall break. It is always nice to have something new to read on my vacation!

The front page suggests that the Romanovs are back in the limelight again, which is rather natural, considering the dynasty's 400th anniversary this year. The magazine's historical consultant Charlotte Zeepvat, is this time responsible for the article Imperial Russia. A Family Album - Part I, which includes as many as 102 photos as well as 4 pages with genealogical tables. The photo on the front page shows Konstantin Konstantinovich of Russia, his wife Elizaveta Mavrikievna and their children, from right Ioann, Gavril, Tatiana, Konstantin, Oleg and Igor.

But before we get as far as to the photo album, the editor Ted Rosvall has commented on Prince George of Cambridge and on British title issues in general, while Alberto Penna Rodrigues has made the contribution The Centenary of a Centenary. A Prelude to the Great War, which deals with the centenary celebrations of the Battle of Leipzig/Battle of the Nations in 1913, hence the title.

After the photo album, Elizabeth Jane Timms follows up with the article Schomberg House and Pall Mall 78. The London Homes of the Schleswig-Holsteins, which tells me what I should look up to photograph next time I am in London.

Another regular contributor to the Royalty Digest Quarterly, Corynne Hall, has this time written about Priscilla"Pip" Scott-Ellis and her relationship with Don Ataúlfo, son of Infante Alonso of Spain and Infanta Beatrix, née Princess of Great Britain and Ireland, in the article Pip and the Prince, based among others on Pip's diary.

Michael L. Nash then returns with the article Princess of the Asturias, which is about King Alfonso XII of Spain's elder daughter Infanta Maria de las Mercedes (1880-1904).

Princess Elisabeth-Caroline of Solms-Braunfels, née Princess of Lippe, died on 18 May this year, 97 years old. He obituary is written by Bearn Bilker, who is a friend of Princess Elisabeth-Caroline's daughter, Maria-Angela.

And finally, as usual we can find the regular column The World Wide Web of Royalty, this time with news from the royal and princely houses of Erbach-Erbach, United Kingdom, Monaco, the Netherlands and Sweden. On the same page we can also read a presentation of the book Das Fürstliche Haus Hohenzollern. Private Einblicke in die Fotoalben by Karen Kuehl and Anette Hähnel (2011).

Information on Royalty Digest Quarterly can be found at its editor's website Royalbooks.se. See earlier presentation of RDQ here. See also its Facebook page.

A royal wedding and a Bernadotte birth

I thought I should combine two genealogical news into one blog article this time:

A. The civil wedding took place in Königstein im Taunus, Germany, between Prince Felix of Luxembourg, second son of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, née Mestre, and Claire Lademacher, only daughter and second child of Hartmut and Gabriele Lademacher, on Tuesday 17 September 2013. The religious wedding took place in La basilique de Sainte Marie-Madeleine in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, France on Saturday 21 September 2013.

A biography of the bride can be read here. For further information about the wedding celebrations, photos etc., go to the official website and the blog Luxarazzi. Prince Felix and Princess Claire's engagement was announced on 13 December 2012.

B. Count Edward Bernadotte af Wisborg and Countess Nathalie Bernadotte af Wisborg, née Frediani, became parents to a son, Leonardo Folke Bernadotte, on 15 September 2013, cf. the birth announcement in The Telegraph and  Svenska Dagbladet 22 September 2013. The baby boy was born in London.

Edward is the second son of Count Bertil Bernadotte af Wisborg and Countess Jill Bernadotte af Wisborg, née Rhodes-Maddox. Count Bertil is the youngest son of the late Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg (1895-1948) and Countess Estelle Bernadotte af Wisborg, née Manville.

(As mentioned at the Scandinavian Royals Message Board 19 and 22 Septembher 2013.)

14 September 2013

Heraldry in Amsterdam (Heraldry, Part I)

Last weekend I visited Amsterdam, which is a wonderful city one could return to over and over again. This was my second visit, the first took place as far back as in 1989. I took some photos of the canals, but that is not very original to post in a blog article, so I thought I should do something different this time. While I am far from an expert on the field of heraldry, I have always been interested in the topic, and when traveling I often take photos of coats of arms in various shapes when I come over them. So I thought I should show some of the photos I took during my visit. During a boat trip on the canals I noticed many coats of arms on different buildings, but they were too distant to photograph, and I didn't have the time or energy to follow the canal route on foot later on. As I have already said, I have to visit Amsterdam again another time, so maybe there will be more heraldry from the Dutch capital in my blog later on?

In addition to the arms on different buildings in Amsterdam, I also came over a box of cards with coats of arms in antiquarian shop, the Antiquariaat A. Kok & Zn. in Oude Hoogstraat. The families in question are not necessarily from Amsterdam - some of them might not be Dutch for all I know - but I found the cards there!

I plan to publish more heraldry blog articles in the future, hence "Heraldry, Part I" in parenthesis.

Arms of Amsterdam. The photo is taken from my hotel room (Radisson Blu). The street where the arms can be viewed was not Rusland, though, but a side street.

Also the arms of Amsterdam. Found at the Central Station.

I visited the Rijksmuseum during my stay in Amsterdam. I don't have more details on this one, though.

The arms of the Dutch East India Company and of the Town of Batavia (Jeronimus Becx) in the Rijksmuseum.

Stained glass with heraldry in the Rijksmuseum.

Child(ren) of Princess Madeleine of Sweden to receive a royal title

The Swedish weekly magasine Svensk Damtidning this week (no. 38/2013) - printed edition only - provided some rather interesting information concerning Princess Madeleine's future child, and it is a bit strange that the royalty discusions forums haven't picked up on it yet.

In the said issue on page 3 the Swedish Royal Court's solicitor, Axel Calissendorff, says that Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill's child will, contrary to what I had expected, become a Prince or a Princess. The solicitor adds that as the princess is still a royal highness, the child will also be born as a royal highness and enter the line of succession as no. 5, referring to the Act of Succession's Article 1. He then goes on to mention that in order to inherit the throne, it is among others required that one is Lutheran, is brought up within the realm and doesn't marry without the government's consent.

I commented in my recent blog article on the rather poorly formulated Article 4 of the Act of Succession. This time I quote the complete text:
Art. 4. In accordance with the express provision of Article 2 of the Instrument of Government of 1809 that The King shall always profess the pure evangelical faith, as adopted and explained in the unaltered Confession of Augsburg and in the Resolution of the Uppsala Meeting of the year 1593, princes and princesses of the Royal House shall be brought up in that same faith and within the Realm. Any member of the Royal Family not professing this faith shall be excluded from all rights of succession.
As I have already commented on, the article is very clear on the consequences for not professing "the pure evangelical faith", but doesn't say anything about what will happen if one is brought up outside the realm, as also the preparatory works to the changes to the succession law in 1979 (Prop. 1977/78 no. 71) says. The Solicitor Royal is obviously of the opinion that being brought up outside the realm will also have consequences for his or her succession rights. This is not an unreasonable interpretation, but still rather problematic. As it seems now Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill plan to live in the USA, but doesn't rule out the possibility of settling in Sweden some time in the future. How long can they remain abroad before it becomes problematic constitutionally speaking for Prince or Princess X? It is a pity that Riksdagen didn't do anything about the article back in the late 1970s, but the politicians decided to focus on the articles relevant for adopting full cognatic succession and nothing else. The reason for requiring the princes and princesses to be brought up within the realm is obviously that they should be familiar with the Swedish society in case they inherit the throne. It sill most likely turn out to be an academic question only, as Crown Princess Victoria's line is to inherit the throne and she will hopefully have more children in order to secure the succession.

So as of now we know that the future child, expected in early March 2014, will be titled Prince or Princess of Sweden. The solicitor didn't say anything about a royal dukedom, but I find it natural that the child will get a ducal title as well, as traditionally it has been linked to those with sucession rights since the Constitution of 1772. We can also expect the child to have a Lutheran christening. 

We can also expect that Prince Carl Philip's future children, if he ever marries, will be titled as well. But it is still to early to say if we can see a pattern here. Will royal titles for the monarch's grandchildren also be "the rule" also in future generations? The Solicitor Royal even claims children of royal highnesses automatically will become royal highnesses themselves, but this would mean that we could get an endless number of princes and princesses in the future. It has to be restricted somehow. Personally I would have found it more sensible if only Crown Princess Victoria's children were titled and that the titles will be restricted for those expected to be "working royals". Now as the king thinks differently, I can only hope that he (or his successor) will draw the line for the next generation so that Prince Carl Philip's and Princess Madeleine's grandchildren are not titled. Well, time will show!

Updated on Tuesday 9 October 2018 at 14:10 (minor language errors corrected).

13 September 2013

Nomination of new US Ambassador to Norway announced

We didn't have to wait long for the announcement of the nomination of Barry B. White's successor as US Ambassador to Norway. The day after I wrote that Ambassador White was to leave for the States within the month, the White House named George James Tsunis of New York to the post as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USA to the Kingdom of Norway.

The American embassy in Oslo tells that the US Senate is to schedule a hearing of George Tsunis, before continuing the confirmation proceedings.

George Tsunis is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chartwell Hotels, which owns, develops and manages Hilton, Marriott and Intercontinental hotels throughout the Northwest and Middle Atlantic states. He is also in charge of George Tsunis Real Estate, Inc., and used to be a partner in the law firm Rivkin Radler.

According to Newsday.com, Mr. Tsunis, 45 years old, of Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, New York, is a businessman who left the Republican party to become a major democratic fundraiser in the 2012 election. Jon Cooper, a former Suffolk County (Long Island) legislator, has said he was impressed with Tsunis' knowledge and expertise of foreign policy issues, while John Jay LaValle, the Suffolk Republican Chairman, has commented that Tsunis "[...] played his cards properly and is a well-liked guy."

In my blog article 3 days ago, I expressed my hope for a Norwegian-American Ambassador, but got a Greek-American instead! Nothing wrong with that, of course. His business background and short career as a Democrat supporter means that the Norwegian-Americans will have to contribute more in future elections to be considered for the post in Oslo! At least Tsunis has a small connection to Norway through his work at Chartwell Hotels, which among others manages the Hilton Hotels. The founder of the original Hilton Hotels company was the Norwegian-American Conrad Hilton (1887-1979), whose father Augustus Halvorsen Hilton came from the farm Hilton Søndre (Southern Hilton) in Kløfta, Norway.

I only hope that Mr. Tsunis will make most of his stay in Norway and that he will travel as much around the country as Ambassador White has and will learn to know the country well.

New age record at the Royal Palace in Oslo?

On Friday 13 September 2013 King Harald V will grant the 106 years old Carl Falck, who is Norway's oldest man, an audience at the Royal Palace. He is most likely the oldest person who has ever been granted an audience at the Palace. If anyone knows about any older, I would love to hear about it!

The king and the members of the royal family, not to mention the deceased members of the present dynasty, have surely met older persons before, but only at nursing homes and other places, not at the Palace. This is of course not something I am keeping a record of, but I can well remember that Princess Märtha Louise met the then 107 years old Borghild Marie Nilsen at a local nursing home in connection with the celebrations of Tjølling Church' 850th anniversary in 2000. Borghild Nilsen died in 2004, 110 years old.

Carl Falck, who graduated in law from the University of Oslo in 1931 and was later among others managing director of the Norwegian Wholesalers' Association, was born in Tønsberg on 27 May 1907. (Source: Hvem er Hvem? 1955.)

You can read and/or watch interviews with Carl Falck at TB.no (14 June 2012), Dagbladet.no (24 August 2012), Dagsavisen.no (10 january 2013), Aftenposten.no (13 April 2013) and NRK.no (13 June 2013).

Carl Falck is today Norway's oldest man, while Elisabet Julie Ekenæs, b. 26 December 1904, is the oldest woman.

Postscript 13 September 2013 at 20:40: See the photo of Carl Falck taken outside the Royal Palace today at the Royal Court's official Facebook page.

Updated on Friday 13 September 2013 at 20:40 (postscript added), last time on Wednesday 31 May 2017 at 00.37 (link corrected).

10 September 2013

US Ambassador to Norway goes home

King Harald of Norway will grant the US Ambassador to Norway, Barry B. White, a farewell audience on Monday 16 September 2013, the list of official engagements at the Royal Court's website reveals. Mr. White is to leave his post within a month, the US Embassy in Oslo has informed me via its Twitter account. No successor has yet been named. The normal procedure is that the Deputy Chief of Mission, will be in charge until the new ambassador is in place. The person who holds the position at the moment is Julie Furuta-Toy.

Ambassador White was confirmed by the US Senate on 22 September and sworn in on 21 October 2009, before being formally accredited Ambassador to Norway in November 2009. He has travelled a lot in Norway during his years here and seems to have been well received everywhere. I had a short chat with him at the election gala at the Grand Hotel in Oslo last year. Of course at that time he had no idea what the future had in store for him. It will be exciting to see who President Obama will nominate. I think it would be rather nice to have a Norwegian-American Ambassador, at least because it would give me an opportunity to trace his or her roots!

5 September 2013

Three weddings and a pregnancy

I haven't been able to update my blog lately, so here is a short summary of recent wedding and pregnancy news:
  • Prince Muhammad Ali of Egypt married Princess Noal Zaher Shah of Afghanistan at the Çirağan Palace in Istanbul, Turkey on Friday 30 August 2013. Prince Muhammad Ali, b. 1979, is the son of the former King Fuad II of Egypt and his former wife Fadila, née Dominique-France Loeb, while Princess Noal, b. 1978, is the only daughter of Prince Muhammad Daud Pashtunyar Khan of Afghanistan and his wife, Princess Fatima Begum. The bride's father is the fifth son of the late and last king of Afghanistan, Muhammad Zahir Shah (1914-1933-1973-2007). For photos, go here and here (the latter is King Fuad II's official Facebook page).
  • Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo Rechulski were married at the Princely Palace, Monaco on 31 August 2013. Andrea, b. 1984, is the eldest son of HRH The Princess of Hannover (Princess Caroline of Monaco) and the late Stefano Casiraghi, while Tatiana, b. 1983, is the daughter of Julio Mario Santo Domingo and  Vera Rechulski from Colombia and Brazil respectively. Andrea and Tatiana became parents to Sacha Casiraghi on 21 March 2013 in London. Upon marriage Sacha entered the line of succession to the Monegasque throne due to the rather liberal succession law. See Huffington Post and the Telegraph for photos and more information.
  • Gustaf Magnuson and Vicky Andrén were married at Ulriksdal Palace Chapel on 31 August 2013. Gustaf, b. 1975, whose full name is Carl Gustaf Victor Magnuson, is the eldest son of Princess Christina of Sweden and Tord Magnuson and thus a nephew of King Carl XVI Gustaf. Vicky Elisabeth Andrén, whose parents are Elisabeth Malm and Kenneth Andrén, is born in 1983. Among the many guests were King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip, his girlfriend Sofia Hellqvist as well as Queen Sonja of Norway, who is one of Gustaf's sponsors. See photos at Expressen and Svensk Damtidning.
  • The Royal Court of Sweden announced on 3 September 2013 that Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris O'Neill are expecting their first child in early March 2014: "Princess Madeleine and Mr. Christopher O'Neill are delighted to announce that The Princess is expecting their first child. The birth is expected to take place in beginning of March of 2014. No changes to the schedule of The Princess's engagements and work for Childhood are planned during the fall of 2013." (See also Expressen.se.) Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill were married at Stockholm Palacce Church on 8 June 2013. As of now the couple lives in New York City, and as far as I know the court has not revealed if the couple plans to move to Sweden before the birth. This could be interesting constitutionally speaking, as the Swedish Act of Succession Article 4 says among others that "princes and princesses of the Royal House shall be brought up [...] within the Realm". However, the poorly formulated article doesn't say anything about what consequence it would have if a prince or princess is brought up outside the realm. Then again, one might ask if the text should be taken literally. Will non-titled children be affected? Personally I would be surprised if the future child becomes a Prince of Princess, but surely we will get more information from the court on this in due time. The preparatory works to the changes to the succession law in 1979 (Prop. 1977/78 no. 71) mentions the possibility of conditional consent to marriage, but I haven't heard anything about such a clause in the marital agreement.