19 October 2016

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 3, 2016

In his Editor's Corner in the latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly (no. 3, 2016), Ted Rosvall comments on the increasing number of divorces within the European Royal Families. The lastest out is the separation of Princess Märthan Louise of Norway and Ari Behn, announced by the Norwegian Royal Court in August 2016. In the 19th century royal divorces were «extremely scarce», as Rosvall points out. He has made a list of the examples he could think of, 12 in all.

On the front page the readers are served a photo of Queen Victoria in the mid-1960s surrounded by (from the left) the Crown Princess of Prussia, Princess Beatrice, Prince Leopold and Princess Louise.

The opening article, Mariana Vitoria and the Royal weddings in Portugal in the 18th Century, is written by Alberto Penna Rodrigues. Portuguese royalty is a topic he knows well, and it is a well-written, very detailed  and interesting article, even if it could have been somewhat better organised. The Mariana Vitoria (Maria Anna Victoria) (1718–178) in question was the eldest daughter of King Felipe V of Spain and Isabel Farnesio. She was first engaged to King Louis XV of France at the age of seven (!) and later married to the future King João V of Portugal.

I have earlier several times written how much I like to read articles about «royal surroundings» and not only the royals themselves: Nannys, court members, private teachers (tutors) etc. Another way of learning more about the royals and the royal court in question. The second part of Charlotte Zeepvat's article 'My dearest Patsy'. A nurse and her royal patients was as interesting as the first part. The nurse  Elizabeth Paterson, née Stuart gave a helping hand in connection with many royal births, and we learn a lot about both her and the royals in question through an impressive amount of letters.

The readers are also treated with the third part of Charlotte Zeepvat's The Royal House of Great Britain and Ireland. A Family Album. Besides the introduction, the article includes 106 portraits/family group photos besides a photo of Balmoral. Queen Victoria even smiles on one of the photos! The two pages mapping out the descendants of james VI of Scotland and I of England are most useful.

Queen Anne of Romania, née Princess of Bourbon-Parme, died on 1 August 2016, and the historian Diana Mandache has written her obituary. Romania is also the topic in the article Half a Century of Royal Letters; 1899-1946. Collected by John Wimbles from the Romanian National Archives and other sources, compiled and introduced by David Horbury. So many wonderful letters! I just loved it. Give us more!

Finally, the latest issue gives us royal news through the column The World Wide Web of Royalty. This time we get news from the Imperial, Royal and/or Princely (or ducal) families of Denmark, Hohenlohe, Leiningen, Romania, Sweden and Westminster. The death of Gunnila Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg, is included. The short note says she had three children with her first husband, while she had in fact four, but this was not well known outside family circles when the magazine went to print.

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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