13 April 2016

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2016

I received the latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly – no. 1, 2016 – a couple of weeks ago. On the front page of every issue we get the introduction line, «Started in 2006, Royalty Digest Quarterly is a journal devoted to the history, genealogy and images of the Royal Families of Europe». In other words, the magazine, which took over the reigns after the UK-based Royalty Digest ceased to exist in 2005, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. It is a quality magazine which I look forward to receiving and reading – and commenting on in my blog!

In his Editor's Corner, Ted Rosvall has this time not surprisingly decided to focus on the events of 2 March 2016, when Prince Johann Georg «Hansi» of Hohenzollern died and Prince Oscar of Sweden was born. The last paragraph of his editorial column is especially interesting: «Not everyone rejoices though. Several columnists and angry journalists now holler about how the Royal Family has grown by leaps and bonds and that it is [on] high time to call a halt to this uncontrolled fertility. «How many ribbon cutters do we need?» one newspaper exclaimed. My counter question is: How many unprofessional, offensive and opportunistic journalists can we stomach?»

The newspapers, their journalists and correspondents are of course using their constitutional right to speak out and express their critical views of the monarchical institution and the royal house. But I don't appreciate the timing of their writing. Let the royal family and its supporters be allowed to enjoy the happy news a day or two. No need for fun killing! There are many other days in the year the republicans can speak out. And shouldn't they be concerned more about the principles rather than directing such personal comments towards the royal family?

Anyway, the Royal House of Great Britain is the topic for Charlotte Zeepvat's Family Album this time, something that explains the portraits on the front cover: Mary, Queen of Scots and her son King James VI of Scotland. The history of the English/Scottish/British monarchy is long, so Zeepvat limits the first part of her presentation to The Journey to Hanover, which takes us from Alfred the Great to Queen Anne (1665–1702–1714). As usual the family album includes an impressively large number of portraits of the royals – 86 i all – in addition to a photo of Hampton  Court Palace and a drawing of Windsor Castle. As well as genealogical tables showing the Houses of Tudor and Stewart and of the descendants of James VI of Scotland and I of England.

Before we get to the family album, Marlene A. Eilers Koenig gives her presentation and analysis of the Royal Marriages Act, clearing up a few misunderstandings on the way. Leaving the British Isles for a while, Coryne Hall takes the readers to Malmaison – 'The Prettiest Property I know' and the story of Josephine Bonaparte's country home.

I have in earlier comments on the Royalty Digest Quarterly and the European Royal History Journal asked for more articles about «lesser-known» royal and princely houses, and Charlotte Zeepvat doesn't disappoint me with her article When Royalty Take an Interest in Royalty. Here we meet Prince Wilhelm Karl of Ysenburg and Büdingen (Dr. Wilhelm Karl Prinz von Isenburg) (1903–1956), who published several genealogy works, but is also know for his interests in and works on among others Rassenreinheit, «racial purity».

Luis Fernando de Orleans y Borbón, Infante of Spain. Photo: Bain News Service/Wikimedia Commons.

Lucas Szkopinski's article Drugs, sex and an Infante of Spain is as entertaining as the title suggests. It tells the tragic story of Luis Fernando of Spain (1888–1945), second and youngest son and child of Infante Antonio of Spain, Duke of Galliera (1866–1930) and Infanta Eulalia of Spain (1864–1958): «Luis, often wearing heavy make-up and dressed as a woman, became a key figure in Parisian social life». According to the article, «Everybody knew him because his range of friends was vast: from Royalty to the employees of most of the gay brothels». Szkopinski gives an honest and balanced portrait of the turbulent and scandalous life of a royal hardly anyone, even the most accomplished students of royal genealogy and history, has heard about.

Ove Mogensen from Denmark has traveled all over the world in his «hunt» for royal gravesites, and his knowledge of the history of these memorials are impressive. He has finally made a contribution to RDQ with his article The Royal Burial Places in the Riddarholm Church in Stockholm. The church was closed when I visited the Swedish capital for the first (and still only) time in 2006. After reading the article I am more eager than ever to visit Stockholm again in order (among others) to visit the church and the to see the royal resting places there.

The last column, The World Wide Web of Royalty, gives us this time news from the Imperial, Royal or Princely Houses of Austria, Great Britain, Hohenzollern, Leiningen, Paar, Salm-Salm, Solms-Laubach, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Spain, Sweden and Windisch-Graetz.

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.


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