9 July 2018

UK: Christening of Prine Louis of Cambridge

The christening of Prince Louis of Cambridge, son of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, took place in The Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London today, 9 July 2018. The ceremony was officiated by Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

According to the press release the following guests attended the christening ceremony:
  • The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall
  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
  • Michael and Carol Middleton 
  • James and Pippa Matthews
  • James Middleton
  • The godparents of Prince Louis (with spouses), all friends or family of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge:
    • Nicholas van Cutsem (wife Alice, née Hadden-Paton)
    • Guy Wignall Pelly (wife Elizabeth «Lizzy», née Wilson)
    • Harry Aubrey-Fletcher (wife Louise, née Stourton)
    • The Lady Laura Meade (daugther of Julian Marsham, 8th Earl of Romney, her husband is James Meade)
    • Hannah Gillingham Carter (husband Robert Carter)
    • Lucy Middleton (first cousin of the Duchess of Cambridge)
Prince George and Princess Charlotte were also present, while their great-grandparents Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, were absent. As far as I know no explicit reason has been given, but it was not due to ill health.

Following the 40 minutes' long service, the guests were invited to tea at Clarence House. They were among others served slices of christening cake, which was a tier taken from The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake.

1 July 2018

Royal June Summary

June 2018 is history. It has been a month full of royal events – among others a christening, a birth and several deaths. Normally I would have written blog articles about most of these events, if not all, but I just didn't find the time. What follows is a short summary of the most important events as I see them.

8 June: The christening of Princess Adrienne of Sweden, daughter of Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill, took place at Drottningholm Palace Chapel in the presence of King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Oscar, Prince Carl Philip. Princess Sofia, Prince Alexander, Prince Gabriel, Princess Madeleine, Christopher O'Neill, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas, Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler, Princess Birgitta, Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld, Baroness Christina Louise De Geer and Baron Hans De Geer, Hélène Silfverschiöld and Fredrik Dieterle, Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson and Tord Magnuson, Gustaf Magnuson and Vicky Magnuson, Dagmar von Arbin, Marianne Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg, Bertil Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg and Jill Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg.

Princess Estelle was named in the guest list that was released, but had apparently got sick and was therefore absent.

From the Queen's family: Thomas de Toledo Sommerlath, Walther L. Sommerlath and Ingrid Sommerlath, Patrick Sommerlath, Leopold Lundén Sommerlath, Anaïs Sommerlath, Chloé Sommerlath and Maline Sommerlath. From the O'Neill family: Eva Maria O'Neill, Annalisa O'Neill, Karen O'Neill, Tatjana d'Abo and Henry d'Abo, Anouska d'Abo, Countess Natascha Abensperg und Traun and Countess Milana Abensperg und Traun

From Germany HH Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a first cousin of the king. In addition representatives of the official Sweden, court and staff as well as friends of Princess Madeleine and her husband were also present. Sponsors of Princess Adrienne were Anouska d'Abo, Coralie Charriol Paul, Nader Panahpour, Baron Gustav Thott, Charlotte Kreuger Cederlund andn Natalie Werner.

Archbishop Antje Jackelén officiated, assisted by Bishop and Chief Court Chaplain Johan Dalman and Court Chaplain and Rector of the Royal Court Parish Michael Bjerkhagen. Following the christening ceremony the guests were invited to a reception at Drottningholm Palace.

The arms of Princess Adrienne, Duchess of Blekinge: The four quarters of the arms show the lesser coat of arms of Sweden (field 1 and 4), the arms of Folkunga (field 2) and in field 3 the arms of Blekinge. The inescutcheon shows the arms of the House of Bernadotte. In addition the badge of the Order of the Seraphim.

9 June: Prince Georg-Constantin of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach died in a riding accident near Apethorpe Palace in Northamptonshire, 41 years old. Georg-Constantin was the only son of Prince Wilhelm, a first cousin of the head of the family, Prince Michael. Georg-Constantin was survived by his parents, his wife Olivia, née Page and sister Désirée, Countess von und zu Hoensbroech. The late prince was the designated heir to the headship and his death means that the house will eventually die out in the male line.

11 June would have been Prince Henrik's 84th birthday. In his memory Queen Margrethe founded a medal which was given to members of the royal family, members of the court and staff and others who played a role in connection with Prince Henrik's illness, death and funeral. Prince Henrik's Memorial Medal is in silver and with a crown. Obverse: Queen Margrethe's profile faced right and the inscription «MARGARETA II – REGINA DANIÆ». Reverse: Prince Henrik's crowned monogram and the inscription «11.6.1934 – 13.2.2018». The medal is carried in a red cross ribbon with a wide middle stripe in white between two small stripes in gold. Go here for photos of the medal.

17 June: Prince Norodom Ranariddh of Cambodia was seriously injuried while his wife Ouk Phalla was killed in a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province's Prey Nub district in Cambodia. Former Prime Minister Prince Ranariddh (b. 1944) is the half-brother of King Norodom Sihamoni (b. 1953) and son of Norodom Sihanouk (1922–2012). Ranariddh married Ouk Phalla, his second wife, in 2010. The cremation of Ouk Phalla took place on 20 June.

18 June: Zara and Mike Tindall became parents to a daughter, who was born at the Maternity Unit of the Stroud General Hospital in Glouchestershire. According to the press release, «The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princess Royal, Captain Mark Phillips and Mike’s parents, Mr Philip and Mrs Linda Tindall, have been informed and are delighted with the news.» Zara Tindall is the daughter of HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) and Mark Phillips. Zara and Mike's first daughter, Mia Grace, was born in 2014. The baby girl, who is the fourth grandchild of The Princess Royal and the seventh great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was later named Lena Elizabeth.

19 June: HH Princess Elisabeth of Denmark, the eldest daughter of Hereditary Prince Knud (1900–1976) and Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde (1912–1995), died at 6.15 p.m. after a long illness, surrounded by her closest family, 83 years old. Princess Elisabeth, who for 45 years worked for the Danish Ministry of foreign affairs, was a first cousin of Queen Margrethe of Denmark and a second cousin of King Harald of Norway. Princess Elisabeth never married, but lived with filmmaker and director Claus Hermansen (1919–1997) for many years. Her younger brothers were Prince Ingolf (later Count of Rosenborg), b. 1940, and Prince Christian (later Count of Rosenborg) (1942–2013). They grew up at Sorgenfri Palace in Lyngby outside Copenhagen. Princess Elisabeth moved back to the palace in 2015. It has not been explicitly stated whether she died at home or in a local hospital.

The funeral service took place at Lyngby Church, where also her christening and confirmation took place, on 25 June. Queen Margrethe, Princess Benedikte and Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes were present, in addition to Count Ingolf and Countess Sussie of Rosenborg and Princess Elisabeth's niceses Josephine, Camilla and Feodora af Rosenborg (daughters of the late Count Christian of Rosenborg). See photos here. The urn with the ashes of the princess will be interred at Lyngby Cemetery next to the grave of Claus Hermansen.

20 June: It was announced that the christening of Prince Louis of Cambridge will take place on Monday 9 July 2018 in The Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London. Prince Louis will be christened by The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby.

25 June: Prince Friedrich-Karl of Waldeck and Pyrmont died, 85 years old. Prince Friedrich-Karl, a grandson of the last reigning prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont, Friedrich (1865–1893–1918–1946), was married to Ingeborg von Biela and had 3 daughters and 8 grandchildren.

26 May 2018

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark's 50th birthday celebrations

HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark celebrates his 50th birthday today, 26 May. The anniversary has been marked by several events and activities, including a «Royal Run», receptions, a gala banquet tonight and a birthday show tomorrow. The program in English can be found here.

Queen Margrethe hosts a gala banquet at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen tonight, with guests from both Denmark and abroad. The main guests are (I have mainly used the court's own list, with some changes):

The Royal Family
  • HM Queen Margrethe of Denmark
  • HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
  • HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
  • HRH Prince Joachim of Denmark
  • HRH Princess Marie of Denmark
  • HH Prince Nikolai of Denmark
  • HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark [, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg] 
  • HSH Prins Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg 
  • HSH Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
  • HM King Constantine of the Hellenes
  • HM Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes
  • HRH Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece
  • HRH Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
  • HRH Prince Philippos of Greece
  • HRH Princess Theodora of Greece
  • HRH Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece
  • HRH Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece
Foreign heads of state and royal dignitaries
  • HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
  • HM Queen Silvia of Sweden
  • HRH Crown Prince Victoria of Sweden
  • HRH Prince Daniel of Sweden
  • HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
  • HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
  • HM King Philippe of the Belgians
  • HM Queen Mathilde of the Belgians
  • HM King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands
  • HM Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
  • HRH Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
  • HRH Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
  • HSH Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein
  • HRH Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein
  • H.E. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, President of Iceland
  • Eliza Jean Reid
Other family members
  • HE Count Ingolf of Rosenborg
  • Countess Sussie of Rosenborg
  • HE Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg
  • Guillaume Bardin
  • Guillaume Bardin
  • Patricia Bailey

Other royals
  • HRH Prince Charles of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
  • HRH Princess Camilla of Bourbon-Two Sicilies

Other guests include members of the Government, Folketinget (the Parliament), official representatives of Greenland and Faroe Islands, members of the court and staff and many others. For a full list go here.

Updated on Sunday 27 May 2018 at 20:00 (minor typo corrected).

25 May 2018

Coat of arms of HRH The Duchess of Sussex

Buckingham Palace announced today the coat of arms of HRH The Duchess of Sussex, formerly Meghan Markle, wife since Saturday 19 May 2018 of HRH The Duke of Sussex (Prince Harry).

The press release said in full:
A Coat of Arms has been created for The Duchess of Sussex. The design of the Arms was agreed and approved by Her Majesty The Queen and Mr. Thomas Woodcock (Garter King of Arms and Senior Herald in England), who is based at the College of Arms in London.

Her Royal Highness worked closely with the College of Arms throughout the design process to create a Coat of Arms that was both personal and representative.

The blue background of the shield represents the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, while the two golden rays across the shield are symbolic of the sunshine of The Duchess's home state. The three quills represent communication and the power of words.

Beneath the shield on the grass sits a collection of golden poppies, California's state flower, and wintersweet, which grows at Kensington Palace.
It is customary for Supporters of the shield to be assigned to Members of the Royal Family, and for wives of Members of the Royal Family to have one of their husband’s Supporters and one relating to themselves. The Supporter relating to The Duchess of Sussex is a songbird with wings elevated as if flying and an open beak, which with the quill represents the power of communication.

A Coronet has also been assigned to The Duchess of Sussex. It is the Coronet laid down by a Royal Warrant of 1917 for the sons and daughters of the Heir Apparent. It is composed of two crosses patée, four fleurs-de-lys and two strawberry leaves.

The arms of a married woman are shown with those of her husband and the technical term is that they are impaled, meaning placed side by side in the same shield.

Mr. Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms said: "The Duchess of Sussex took a great interest in the design. Good heraldic design is nearly always simple and the Arms of The Duchess of Sussex stand well beside the historic beauty of the quartered British Royal Arms. Heraldry as a means of identification has flourished in Europe for almost nine hundred years and is associated with both individual people and great corporate bodies such as Cities, Universities and for instance the Livery Companies in the City of London."
The heraldic artist is, cf. the signature,  Robert John Parsons. The College of Arms will most certainly give the blazon (description) of the arms later on.

23 May 2018

Maternal family of HRH The Duchess of Sussex

The day before HRH The Duke of Sussex (Prince Harry) married Meghan Markle, the American genealogist Christopher C. Child published the article «Meghan Markle's maternal family» in Vita Brevis, the blog of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

In the blog article Child shows Meghan's matrilineal ancestry back to a Millie Jones, who was born in Georgia around 1815 and appeared last time in the national census of 1880, then living at Smiths in Hart County, Georgia.

Concerning Meghan's first marriage to Trevor Engelson, Child writes that they married at Ocho Rios, Jamaica on 10 September 2011.

His source is the Wikipedia article about the duchess. While there is no doubt that the wedding was celebrated in Jamaica, genealogists would normally focus on the legal marriage, which seems to have taken place in Los Angeles, USA. In his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, 2018 (Kindle Edition, Loc 1329), Andrew Morton writes:
With the ocean as backdrop, the couple recited vows they had written themselves [...] Though the couple had officially married in Los Angeles in a brief civil ceremony, this was the real celebration for family and friends, [...]
In other words, the legal marriage took place earlier than 10 September 2011. I suspect, however, that Child already knows this. In the third paragraph of his article, he stresses that «The lineage should be considered preliminary, as I have ordered several additional twentieth-century records that might lead to corrections or additions to the facts below.» He might have ordered twentyfirst-century records as well?

Postscript 26 May 2018 at 19:25: My article above was cut short because I had to prepare for a meeting. I had intended to comment on Andrew Morton's sources before signing off. Sources for the claim that the couple married in a civil ceremony in Los Angeles are not explicitly given. In the Acknoweledgement section the author refers to among others certain family members and friends, some by name, some unidentified. The way the ceremony at Ocho Rios was described, however, it seems quite plausible that the couple was already legally married before entering the island. I wonder, though, if documentation of the civil wedding in LA, is available, or do we have to wait some time before such details are released?

Updated on Saturday 26 May 2018 at 19:25 (postscript added).

21 May 2018

UK: Sussex wedding

HRH The Duke of Sussex, younger son of the Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, married at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on 19 May 2018 Rachel Meghan Markle, daugher of Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland. I was away for the weekend, so I could not post my observations before now.

From a constitutional and genealogical point of view, and that is usually what I focus on, there is not much to write about. The engagement was announced on 27 November 2017 and the Queen expressed that she was «delighted» for the couple. The formal declaration of consent was given on 14 March 2018. From the Court Circular of 19 May we learn that «The Marriage of Prince Henry of with Ms. Meghan Markle was solemnized in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, today».

In the Court Circular the Duke of Sussex was still referred to as Prince Henry of Wales.  Earlier the same day the following announcement was given:
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle: Announcement of Titles

Published 19 May 2018

The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales.  His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.

Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms. Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.
The title «Duke of Sussex» was for unknown reasons always the favourite of the bookmakers and they got it right this time, just like in 2011 when the Queen conferred on Prince William the title «Duke of Cambridge». Harry's new title was created for the first time in 1801 for Prince Augustus Frederick, the sixth son and ninth child of King George III and Queen Charlotte. The prince married twice in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act (the first time before the title creation), so there never was a Duchess of Sussex. Meghan has thus become the first one. And of course, Prince Harry has become the 2nd Duke (1st Duke of the 2nd creation).
So, when the constitutional aspects have been touched upon, as well as basic genealogical facts of the marriage, I could move on to the guest list. But as far as I know such a list has not been released. In the Court Circular we only learn, following the sentence of the solemnization:
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, with The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and other Members of the Royal Family, arrived at St. George's Chapel and were received at the Galilee Porch by the Dean and Chapter of Windsor.

Prince Henry of Wales, with The Duke of Cambridge, was received at the West Door by the Dean and Chapter of Windsor and Their Royal Highnesses were conducted to the Bray Chapel.

Ms. Meghan Markle drove to St. George's Chapel and was received at the West Door by the Dean of Windsor.

The Service was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the Dean of Windsor.

At the conclusion of the Service the Registers were signed in the Ambulatory.

The Bride and Bridegroom drove to Windsor Castle in an Ascot Landau, processed through the town of Windsor and returned to the Castle where The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh gave a Reception in their honour.
And that is not much to go by. Of course I watched the whole broadcast and as far as I know all the members of the British Royal Family were present except for Prince Louis of Cambridge, who was born earlier this year. Prince Philip, who will be 97 next month, had a hip operation earlier this year, but still walked without crutches. Very impressive.

Members of  Prince Harry's mother's side were of course also present. From the bride's family only her mother Doria Ragland was in attendance. Two days before the wedding Kensington Palace confirmed that Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, would not attend, and his health problems was given as an explanation. It had earlier been revealed that he had  had posed for staged photos with a paparazzi photographer and the embarrassment of it all might have made him feel too uncomfortable to attend. One can only feel sorry both for Meghan as well as for her father. She clearly wanted both her parents present for her wedding. Instead of her father, Ms. markle was accompanied to the altar by the Prince of Wales.

It appears that Meghan has had little or no contact with her half-brother Thomas Markle and Samantha Grant and their families for many years. They have created quite a few headlines before and after the engagement was announced, so it is not difficult to understand that they were not invited. That no uncles and aunts or other family members were invited was perhaps more surprising. It might say something about Meghan's priorities regarding family, but then again one should be careful not to jump to conclusions. She surely has her reasons.

The only royals who attended the royal wedding besides the members of the British Royal Family were Prince Seeiso and Princess Mabereng of Lesotho. Prince Harry has known Prince Seeiso, who is the youngest brother of King Letsie III of Lesotho, for many years. In 2006 the two princes founded Sentebale, a charity that «supports the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana,» to quote the charity's own website. Prince Harry has had little personal contact with members of the European royal family, which probably explains to some extent why no-one was invited. Of course he is only the younger son of the Prince of Wales and thus not in the direct line to inherit the throne, so his wedding could not be as grand as his brother's was. But I still felt something was missing. We already knew that no politicians would attend, but I still find it strange that the 6th in line of succession did not even invite the prime minister. One former prime minister attended, though – John Major – apparently because he following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales had played the role as guardian to Prince William and Prince Harry, being responsible for legal and administrative matters.

Instead of royals and representatives of the official UK, Harry and Meghan had invited representatives of charities and organisations Harry has endorsed as well as a long and impressive list of celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba, George Clooney and his wife Amal Alamuddin,  David and Victoria Beckham and Elton John and his husband David Furnish, to mention a few.

It was a great and enjoyable wedding ceremony, though. The couple looked a bit nervous, but very much happy and in love, the weather was great and the church was beautifully decorated. So much could be said about the dresses and the hats. Oh, the hats! But I will leave it at that. The ceremony had many highlights, including the introit, the hymns and the song «Stand by me» performed by Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir. Not to mention the address by the American Bishop Michael Curry, the presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church. How he could preach! The full text of his address can be read here, while the order of service is available here.

The service was lead by the Dean of Windsor, David Conner, while the marriage was solemnized by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Postscript Tuesday 22 May 2018 at 23.35: When commenting on non-British royals attending the wedding last Saturday, I obviously focused on reigning families. That is why I only mentioned the princely couple of Lesotho. But there were members of former reigning families and/or «Gotha members», including Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (a grand niece of Prince Philip and thus Prince Harry's second cousin) and Hereditary Prince Franz-Albrecht and Hereditary Princess Cleopatra of Oettingen-Spielberg (others would have to enlighten me concerning the motivation for inviting them – they certainly are not close relatives of Prince Harry, but obviously have learnt to know eachother somehow).

Besides the family members, representatives of charities and organisations and the celebrities – I could have mentioned many more than I did – there were of course also many friends of the couple in attendance, including Meghan's colleagues from the TV series Suits. I decided to give only a few examples. No full guest list has been released, but Netty Leistra and other contributors have assembled a survey in the guestlist section at the forum Nobiliana. Please go there if you want more names and details!

Updated last time on Tuesday 22 May 2018 at 23.35 (postscript added).

1 May 2018

Genealogen nr. 1, 2018

Siste utgave av Genealogen, medlemsbladet til Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening, kom i posten i går. Som vanlig kan bladet by på flere slekts- og temaartikler og foreningsstoff. Hovedartiklene denne gangen er:
  • Sten Høyendahl: Den problematiske slekten på Søndre Ringstad i Trøgstad
  • Lars Holden: Historisk befolkningsregister
  • Liv Marit Haakenstad: Kildekritikk og kildeføring
  • Lars Østensen: Hr. Hans Olsen Metrosinensis residerende kapellan til Torsken
  • Are S. Gustavsen: Jertrud Finnkjellsdotter (ca. 1729–1805), ei husmannskone i Skoger fra Vang i Valdres
I spalten «Ny litteratur» har Lars Løberg anmeldt oversettelsen av Sagaen om Håkon Ivarsson. Oversettelsen er det Edvard Eikill som har stått for, og utgiver er forlaget Sagabok. Videre har Anfinn Bernaas anmeldt Heime og ute. Brevskifte mellom Ivar Kleiven og Kristian Prestgard 1886–1932, redigert av Gudmund Harilstad og Kristoffer Kruken. Utgivelsen inneholder 78 brev skrevet av slekts- og lokalhistoriker Ivar Kleiven (1854–1934) og journalist og redaktør Kristian Prestgard (1866–1946), og har et register som teller over 700 personer.

Mitt eget bidrag denne gangen er anmeldelsen av  Torbjørn Greipslands Helt til jordens ende, som ble utgitt på Ventura forlag i 2017. Greipsland er både redaktør og bidragsyter. Andre hovedbidragsytere er Gracia Grindal, tidligere professor ved Luther Seminary i St. Paul, Minnesota, misjonsprest Sigmund Edland og cand.theol. Erik Kjebekk. Boken omhandler de mange norsk-amerikanske misjonærene. Hoveddelen inneholder biografier om rundt 30 misjonærer, mens del 2 innholder omfattende lister over misjonærene og som gir et godt personbiografisk utgangspunkt for videre forskning.

En del foreningsstoff må det også bli plass til i et medlemsblad. Foreningens årsmøte går av stabelen onsdag 23. mai og i den forbindelse er det gitt plass til åresberetning, regnskap og forslag til nytt styre og vedtektsendringer. Man kan også finne oversikt over donerte bøker til NSFs bibliotek og en særskilt oversikt over bokgaver fra Berit Gullbekk, som døde i desember 2017. Leserne får også et innblikk i flere prosjekter som foreningen har på gang, som avfotografering av «Totens Slegter», stamtavleverket til Henrich Holst Neumann (1863–1936) Fire av de til sammen 11 bindene er allerede avfotografert. Foreningen planlegger også å registrere og indeksere alle skifter som er foretatt i Norge. Dette er et stort og langvarig prosjekt som krever mange frivillige. Et viktig prosjekt som jeg håper mange vil bli med på!

Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening har hatt kontor og bibliotek og tilgang til møtelokaler i Øvre Slottsgata 2 B i Oslo siden 2010 sammen med andre foreninger tilknyttet Norsk Kulturvernforbund. Det har vært et flott og sentralt sted å være, men dessverre er husleien litt for stor for en forening av NSFs størrelse. I medlemsbladet kan man lese litt om flytteplanene. Nye lokaler er snart spikret, men jeg skal overlate til styret med å gi nærmere detaljer når kontrakten for nytt sted er undertegnet. Personlig synes jeg det er leit at foreningen må flytte, men jeg har selvsagt stor forståelse for at økonomiske hensyn må komme først. NSF vil flytte litt ut av byen, men får større plass, lettere tilgjengelighet for de som er avhengige av bil og pengene man sparer inn på lavere husleie kan brukes til andre prosjekter som kommer medlemmene til gode.

In English: The article is about the latest issue of Genealogen, the newsletter of the Norwegian Genealogical Society. In addition to genealogy articles and book reviews, the issue has information about this year's annual meeting, which takes place on 23 May. In addition the readers can learn about ongoing projects which the society has initiated and surveys of donated books to the library. The board also informs about the decision to move the office and library to a new place. The move will take place during the summer of 2018. More details about the new address will be given later.

27 April 2018

Name announcement: HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's third child, who was born on Monday 23 April 2018, has been named Louis Arthur Charles, Kensington Palace announced via its Twitter account today:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to announce that they have named their son Louis Arthur Charles.

The baby will be known as His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge.
The Battenbergs/Mountbattens continue to hold a strong impact on the British royal family.  The line of princes named Ludwig or Louis, two versions of the same name. is almost endless. Some examles:
  • Ludwig VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (1691–1768), father of
  • Ludwig IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (1719–1790), father of
  • Ludwig X, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, later Grand Duke Ludwig I of Hesse and the Rhine (1753-1830), father of
  • Ludwig II, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (1777–1848), father of
  • Ludwig III, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (1806–1877), brother of
  • Alexander Ludwig Georg Friedrich Emil, Prince of Hesse (1823–1888), m. morganatically 1851 Julie von Hauke (1825–1895), who was created Countess von Battenberg and later Princess von Battenberg. They were parents of
  • Ludwig Alexander (Louis), Prince von Battenberg (1854–1921), who later renouned his German title and assumed the surname Mountbatten and was created Marquess of Milford Haven, father of
  • Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, Prince von Battenberg (1900–1979), later Lord Louis Mountbatten, created Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, later created Earl Mountbatten of Burma. His elder sister was
  • Victoria Alice Elisabeth Julie Marie, Princess von Battenberg (1895–1969), mother of
  • Philip, Prince of Greece (1921–), later Philip Mountbatten, created Duke of Edinburgh and later Prince of the United Kingdom, father of
  • Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales (1948–), father of
  • William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge (1982–), father of among others
    • George Alexander Louis, Prince of Cambridge (2013–) and
    • Louis Arthur Charles, Prince of Cambridge (2018–)
Ludwig Alexander (Louis) von Battenberg, later Marquess of Milford Haven, grandfather of Prince Philip and great-great-great-grandfather of Prince Louis of Cambridge. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

I haven't got into details with all the title creations and renunciations, as that is not the most important here, the main point is of course the name Ludwig and Louis. And yes, there are many more examples in the family. Baby Prince Louis has an elder brother whose third name is Louis, while Louis is their father's fourth name. Prince Louis' second name is Arthur, which is also the second name of Prince William and the third name of the Prince of Wales. Baby Prince Louise's third name Charles is of course after his grandfather, the Prince of Wales. Charles is also Prince Harry's second name. Arthur was also King George VI's third name and of course the name of the seventh child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. And we could go on and on with many more examples.

Once again the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have picked a traditional royal name within the extended British royal family. Louis was not the main favourite of the bookmakers, but was mentioned as a possibility. I was more surprised that they didn't include a name from Catherine's Middleton family. Actually, you have to go back to her ancestor no. 12, i.e. her great-grandfather, to find the first example with one of the youngest son's three names, i.e. Stephen Charles Goldsmith (1886–1938), and as far back as no. 144 (seventh generation) to find the first encounter of Arthur –  Arthur Lupton (1747/48–1807). We are of course talking about known ancestors. There are some gaps in the ancestry table. I haven't found any ancestor named Louis in the book I have used as a source for the last paragraph, The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton, by the late William Addams Reitwiesner. Then again, I certainly don't think William and Catherine used the ancestry book to find names for their youngest child!

Updated last time on Saturday 28 April 2018 at 17.00 (minor changes to Ludwig Louis list).

26 April 2018

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2018

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2018 arrived just in time for Easter, but with so many books and magazines on my reading list, I didn't finish reading it until this week. Is this the first time King Haakon VII, Queen Maud and the then Crown Prince Olav has been put on the front cover of the RDQ? I think so. The cover photo also reveals that it is the Royal House of Norway's turn to be treated with A Family Album, a series authored by the magazine's historical consultant, Charlotte Zeepvat. As usual she provides an introductory to the history of the Norwegian monarchy before the album starts. All in all there are 54 illustrations of the various members of the Norwegian royal family and some of the estates connected to them. The genealogical table, most likely provided by Ted Rosvall himself. only covers one page this time, starting with King Haakon VII. A few minor mistakes though. The Bernadotte Descendants author always insists on writing «Beckmann» with two n's instead of the correct spelling, Beckman (surname of Elisabeth Ferner's former husband) with one n. Not sure why. And yes, I have commented on this before. And there is no hyphen in Märtha Louise. Minor trifles, yes, but considering the size of the survey it should't be too difficult to get it right.

There is more about the history of the Norwegian monarchy in this issue, as Trond Norén Isaksen has written the article From Patriotic Desire to Colonial Stigma. The Viceroyalty of Norway, 1814–1891. Isaksen provides a short summary of the article in his own blog.

But back to the beginning. In his Editor's Corner Ted Rosvall has this time decided to write about ... Ted Rosvall ... and rightly so! In late January 2018 Rosvall went to the Royal Palace in Stockholm to receive the Royal Golden medal «for his meritorious efforts as a genealogist and an intermediary of culture» from the king. So well deserved! The HM The King's Medal is divided into several classes, the medal Rosvall received was, as far as I understand it, the «8th size gold (silver-gilt) medal worn on the chest suspended by a blue ribbon».

In addition to Isaksen's contribution mentioned above, the magazine can boast of several interesting and well-written main articles:
  • In Favour of Grand Duke Kirill by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig
  • Princess Alix of Hesse's Visit to Harrogate (the future Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress of the Russias) by Elizabeth Jane Timms
  • Beatriz, the Roman Infanta (third child of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenie) by Dativo Salvia y Ocaña
In the series Little-known royals Coryne Hall gives a glimpse into the life of Princess Dagmar of Denmark (1890–1961), who married Jørgen Castenskiold (1893–1978) in 1922. Dagmar was a younger sister of King Christian X of Denmark and King Haakon VII of Norway.

John Wimbles (1935–2015) was well-known for his collection of letters and other material from among others the Romanian National Archives. David Horbury has in a seven-part series called Half a Century of Royal Letters; 1899–1946 compiled excerpts of letters from and to various members of the Romanian royal family. The present issue provided the 7th and last part.

Finally the column The World Wide Web of Royalty returns with genealogical news, this time including the Imperial, Royal and/or Princely houses of bavaria, Bourbon-Parma/Austria, Denmark, France, Hannover, Hohenzollern and Serbia.

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.  

American Ancestors (Spring 2018) Special Edition: Mayflower 400th Anniversary Guide

The Spring edition of American Ancestors, the periodical of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), was published earlier this week. It provides a guide to the Mayflower 400th Anniversary, which takes place in 2020. The English ship Mayflower arrived in what is today known as Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 with 102 passengers (know today as «the Pilgrims») and a crew of about 30 people.

The 68 pages special edition is packed with information on various events taking place during the anniversary year and articles covering different aspects of Mayflower history, including Notable Mayflower Descendants. A List of 100, with sources by Gary Boyd Roberts. On the list one can find several presidents and first ladies, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Barbara Pierce Bush, author Laura Ingalls Wilder, actors Clint Eastwood and Henry Fonda as well as Mormon founder Joseph Smith, to mention a few. The contents can be read here. There is so much history to explore, so I look forward to reading the edition in full.

 Photo: © 2016 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

Mayflower II, a copy of the original ship. It was built in 1957 and is currently under renovation. The photo was taken during my visit to Plymouth in 2016.

25 April 2018

King Harald V on sick leave

The Norwegian Royal Court informed earlier today that King Harald V is on sick leave for the rest of the week due to a strain and pains in one of his feet.

The court added that during the time the king is on sick leave, the Crown Prince will serve as regent in accordance with the Constitution Article 41. This is not entirely correct, however, as the Crown Prince is currently paying an official visit to Estonia, which means that it is the the Council of State, i. the Government, which «will conduct the administration of the realm» until the Crown Prince returns on late Thursday 26 April.

24 April 2018

UK: Third child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The Duke and Durchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine) became parents for the third time yesterday, 23 April 2018, at 11.01 a.m. The birth took place at the Lindo Wing of the St. Mary's Hospital in London, where also Prince George and Princess Charlotte were born. The announcement from Kensington Palace read:
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101hrs. The baby weighs 8lbs 7oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth.

The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.
If you wonder about the weight, 8lb 7oz = 3.827185 kg. As far as I know nothing has been said about the baby boy's length. The «Notes to the editors» part, which was not published  by Kensington Palace's Twitter account, but found its way to among other Sarah Hewson of Sky News, said that the medical staff in support were Mr. Guy Thorpe-Beeston, Surgeon Gynaecologist to The Royal Household,  Mr. Alan Farthing, Surgeon Gynaecologist to HM The Queen, Dr. Sunit Godambe, Consultant Neonatologist at the Imperial College NHS Trust and Professor Huw Thomas, Physician to HM The Queen and Head of the Medical Household.

The notes meant for the editors said that «The name of the baby will be announced in due course». As I didn't have the time to blog yesterday, I had hoped to write a combined birth and name article today, but obviously we are still waiting for the name to be announced. Hopefully I can return with a follow-up tomorrow.

23 April is St. George's Day, so if the name had not already been taken by the baby boy's brother, George would have been an obvious choice. The favourite of the bookmakers is Arthur, followed by Albert. Other names being mentioned are James, Philip, Alexander, Henry, Edward. Frederick, Thomas, Alfred, Jack, Louis, Michael, Charles and William. The Duchess' father is named Michael, by the way, while her grandfathers were named Peter and Ronald respectively. Philip after Prince William's grandfather would be a good choice, but the Duke and Duchess might want a name which is not taken by a living member of the royal family. Now I am of course talking about the call name. I would be surprised if Michael isn't chosen as the second or third name, but I would be equally surprised if it is announced as his call name. Then again, it is very seldom that I get the correct answer in the guessing game ... My choice would be Alfred Michael Philip (or maybe Alfred Philip Michael sounds better?), but I guess Arthur is more likely. We all seem to guess on a traditional royal name, as with George and Charlotte, but for the third child the Duke and Duchess might feel less tradition-bound? The most popular male names in 2016 can be found at the website of the Office for National Statistics. Thomas and Robert should definately not be ruled out, but I just cannot imagine names like Oliver, Noah, Logan, Mason, Finley or Harrison.

The new-born Prince of Cambridge entered the world as no. 5 in the line of succession to the British throne. A point to be made her is of course «in the old days» the new prince would have pushed his elder sister Charlotte down the ladder. But the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which applies to «a person born after 28 October 2011» and which came into force in full on 26 March 2015 (to be more exact: «The day appointed for the coming into force of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, so far as it is not already in force, is 26th March 2015»), secured Charlotte's position in the line of succession ahead of any younger brother. So we can say that history was made yesterday.

Another point is that yesterday's royal birth meant that the Duke of York was pushed down to no. 7 in the line of succession and does not need his mother's consent to marry again if he so wishes. He could therefore remarry his ex-wife, as so many have speculated on. I am not convinced, however, that the Queen, under such a scenario, would have refused consent if it was still needed. The Duke of York might be content with the present status after all.

Finally, I must say I am pleased with the gift guidance released yesterday:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are extremely grateful for the support and goodwill being expressed at this happy time.  However, Their Royal Highnesses do not wish to encourage the sending of gifts to them on this occasion, and feel that any generosity of spirit felt by individuals should be directed to those more in need.

As such, they would be grateful if people wishing to give gifts look to provide their support in one of two ways:

(a) by donating to a children’s charity which is local to them (i.e. to the gift giver) as a way of marking the birth of Their Royal Highnesses' third child;

or, alternatively,

(b) by donating to Evelina London Children's Hospital:


Gifts from commercial organisations will not be accepted.  They will be returned to the sender, unless the cost of shipping is too prohibitive, in which case the commercial gifts will be donated to an appropriate charity.
Kensington Palace might have published something similar in connection with the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte for all I know. Regardless, I like the stand the couple has made.

15 March 2018

UK: The Queen's Declaration of Consent to the marriage between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

It was just a formality, but still a formality that had to take place before the wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle on 19 May 2018. The website of the Privy Council has published the following declaration:

«At the Court at Buckingham Palace
THE 14th DAY OF MARCH 2018
Her Majesty in Council was this day pleased to make the following Declaration. 
Richard Tilbrook.
I decleare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council.»

Sweden: More about the name of Princess Adrienne

I wrote the article about the name of Princess Adrienne on Tuesday evening because I didn't have the time to blog on Monday when the Council of State, in which the name was announced, took place. But I still managed to miss out on some additional information about the name, so I will have to write another blog article on the subject.

The Swedish magazine Svensk Damtidning wrote on 12 March 2018 under the headline «Svensk Damtidning avslöjar – hemligheten bakom Madeleines namnval» («Svensk Damtidning reveals – the secret behind Madeleine's name choice») that Adrienne was a name Queen Silvia had loved for many years. According to the Swedish pastor Adrienne Riddez on her Facebook wall (her message seems to have been deleted), they met eachother some time in the late 1990s and the queen had said: «Oh, is your name Adrienne, that is such a beautiful name. I should have given that to Madeleine!» And a generation later the name was given to Princess Madeleine's third child.

The head of the information department at the Royal Court in Sweden, Margareta Thorgren, seems to have confirmed the story, but also stressed that Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill had chosen the name for the simple reason that they liked it. «They chose Alice after Princess Madeleine's grandmother [«mormor» – «mother's mother»] and Josephine after Chris' grandmother [«mormor» – «mother's mother»]. But the name Adrienne stands on its own.»

The last piece of information is quite interesting. Naturally most commentators, myself included, pointed at Queen Josephine of Sweden as the source of inspiration for the name. I should of course have double-checked the ancestry of Chris O'Neill before I published my article on Tuesday night. After all, some information about his family has been published at the Nobiliana forum in the thread «Ancestors of Christopher O'Neill» (too many contributors to mention them all). Svensk Damtidning, and/or Ms. Thorgren, has messed up a bit, though. It is Chris' farmor («father's mother») who was named Josephine, not his mormor: Josephine Cesario, b. around 1896.

13 March 2018

Sweden: HRH Princess Adrienne Josephine Alice, Duchess of Blekinge

In the Council of State held at Stockholm Palace yesterday, 12 March 2018, King Carl Gustaf informed his government that his new granddaughter, who was born 3 days earlier, had received the name Adrienne Josephine Alice and the title Duchess of Blekinge. The name in daily use would be Adrienne.

As usual the choice of name immediately became a debate topic in newspapers, TV, blogs and other social media. It was not difficult to point at Queen Josephine, née Princess of Leuchtenberg (1807–1876) as the inspiration for the second name, and to Queen Silvia's mother Alice Sommerlath, née de Toledo (1906–1997) as the inspiration for the third name. Josephine is also the fourth name of Princess Madeleine, mother of the (now relatively) newborn princess, and also appear among the names of other members of the larger Bernadotte family. Princess Adrienne's aunt Crown Princess Victoria has Alice has her third name, as has Adrienne's great-aunt Princess Birgitta. Both Josephine and Alice are rather common names in royal European history.

But what about Adrienne? Of course it was once again a name no-one had guessed. It is has no roots in Swedish royal history and is French of origin, but considering the French roots of the Bernadotte family it is in my opinion a good choice, even if it is deemed «untraditional» in the European royal circle. So where have Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill taken inspiration from? In the Facebook group Royalty Digest Quarterly, its administrator – and editor of the magazine with the same name – Ted Rosvall mentioned yesterday that «The name ADRIENNE does appear in the Bernadotte family. The soon to be 102, Dagmar von Arbin, née Bernadotte af Wisborg, has two granddaughters by that name: JANA Adrienne De GEER [Gummeson] and ADRIENNE Ebba Sophie De GEER [Heurlin]. The former has a daughter named ADRIENNE Maria Madeleine Gummesson De GEER».

I followed up, after having read a Twitter message on the subject, by mentioning that one of Queen Josephine's ancestors (and of Princess Adrienne, of course) had the name Adrienne – Adrienne Dyel de Graville. There was some initial confusion about which Josephine I was actually referring to and the number of generations, and I have to take the main responsibility for that (such things happen when you write in haste during a short break), but eventually I think the connection was well settled:

Princess Adrienne (b. 2018) --> Princess Madeleine (b. 1982) --> King Carl XVI Gustaf (b. 1946) --> Prince Gustaf Adolf (1906–1947) --> King Gustaf VI Adolf (1882–1973) --> King Gustaf V (1858–1950) --> King Oscar II (1829–1907) --> Queen Josephine, née Princess of Leuchtenberg (1807–1876) --> Eugène de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg (1781–1824) --> Josephine, Empress of the French 1804–1810, née Tascher de la Pagerie (1763–1814) --> Joseph Gaspard de Tascher de la Pagerie (1735–1790) --> Marie Françoise Boureau de la Chevallerie (1709–1787) --> Marie Thérèse de Jaham (b. ca. 1686) --> Adrienne Dyel de Graville (ca. 1658–1729).

And if that is not enough, Adrienne's parents were named Adrien Dyel de Graville and Adrienne Dyel de Vaudroque. However, we should take some reservations about the eldest generations, as the tweet mentioned above based its information on the ancestry table given in the Wikipedia article about Empress Josephine, and as of today it is completely without sources.

There are also other Internet pages which either gives details about Adrienne Dyel de Graville and or mentions the connection between her and the Bernadottes, such as Geneanet.org and Généalogie et Histoire de la Caraïbe, including «G.H.C. Numéro 54 : Novembre 1993 Page 890» and «Généalogie et Historie de la Caraïbe No 115 Mai 1999» (rtf file)). The website covering French-Caribian genealogy seems to be rather serious, but unless my somewhat limited understanding of the French language has failed me, I can't find any sources stated there either.

I should add that the genealogist and author Ted Rosvall in his book Bernadotteättlingar (2010) shows on p. 114 Queen Josephine's ancestry back to Marie Françoise Boureau de la Chevallerie (1709–1787), the granddaughter of Adrienne Dyel de Graville. Chantal Cosnay is responsible for the genealogy research in France.

So, if we for the sake of the argument accepts the connection mentioned above – Adrienne of the 17th century would then be Princess Adrienne's 11 x great-grandmother, if I have not messed up the counting completely – has Princess Madeleine consulted her ancestry table in order to find a suitable name? She has most likely knows her de Geer relatives and can have taken inspiration from them. It is difficult to say for sure before she or her husband should one day in the future decide to comment on the name choice.

Adrienne is, by the way, not a very common name in Sweden, but according to Statistics Sweden there are currently (as of 31 December 2017, that is) 305 women with the name Adrienne, of whom 141 have Adrienne as their call name.

Following the birth of Princess Adrienne, the line of succession to the throne of Sweden is as follows:
  1. Crown Princess Victoria (1977)
  2. Princess Estelle (2012)
  3. Prince Oscar (2016)
  4. Prince Carl Philip (1979)
  5. Prince Alexander (2016) 
  6. Prince Gabriel (2017)
  7. Princess Madeleine (1982)
  8. Princess Leonore (2014)
  9. Prince Nicolas (2015)
  10. Princess Adrienne (2018)

10 March 2018

Royal birth in Sweden: Princess Madeleine's third child

Photo: © 2017 Christopher O'Neill.

The Swedish Royal Court (The Office of The Marshal of the Realm) announced yesterday morning 9 March 2018 that Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris O'Neill earlier that day had become parents for the third time.
Announcement from HE The Marshal of the Realm

The Office of The Marshal of the Realm is delighted to announce that HRH Princess Madeleine gave birth to a healthy child on Friday 9 March 2018 at 00:41 at Danderyd Hospital.

Both mother and child are in good health.

Svante Lindqvist
Marshal of the Realm
The announcement was later followed up by a press release in which the gender of the child was revealed:
HRH Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O’Neill have had a daughter

On Friday the 9th March at 00.41, Princess Madeleine gave birth to a daughter at Danderyd Hospital in Stockholm.

Weight: 3465 gram
Length: 50 cm

Mr O’Neill was present at Danderyd Hospital throughout the birth.

"We are thrilled about the new addition to our family. Leonore and Nicolas are looking very much forward to finally meeting their new little sister," says Mr O’Neill.
Salutes of 21 shots were fired at noon on the occasion of the birth . The parents returned home with their new daughter later the same day.

The newborn princess is the seventh grandchild of King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia. The baby has entered the line of succession to the Swedish throne as no. 10. The name and title will be announced in a Council of State to be held on Monday 12 March at 11:15. A Te Deum to mark the birth of the princess will take place the same day at 12:15.

It is more or less impossible to predict what name Princess Madeleine and her husband has decided on. Neither Leonore or Nicolas were traditional names in Swedish royal history. But maybe the couple will surprise us with Martha or Eugenie this time?

25 February 2018

Royal birth in Serbia

The Office of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia released the following statement this morning concerning the birth of a new prince of Serbia:
Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine announce with joy that the Royal Family just gained a new member. HRH Princess Danica, the wife of HRH Prince Philip, gave birth to a son Stefan, in Belgrade on Sunday, 25 February 2018 at 10:30 am. 
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, the bells of Belgrade’s St. Sava temple rang as signal of the birth of the new born of the Karadjordjevic Royal family, and this was the first time in history that 49 bells of the biggest orthodox temple in Balkans will announce such a birth. The bells of St. George church in Oplenac rang as a sign of the birth as well. 
The mother and the baby are doing well. [...]
This male birth is the first one in the Royal Family in Serbia for 90 years when HRH Prince Tomislav was born in Belgrade, who was the brother of HM King Peter II, the grandfather of HRH Prince Philip.
His Royal Highness Prince Philip is the fraternal twin of Prince Alexander and second in line to the Throne after Hereditary Prince Peter. He is the son of HRH Crown Prince Alexander and HRH Princess Maria da Gloria of Orleans Bragança. Prince Philip is the grandson of HM King Peter II and HM Queen Alexandra. His Godparents are HM King Constantine of the Hellenes, HM the Queen of Spain and HRH the Duchess of Calabria.
Prince Philip was born at Falls Church, Virginia, USA on 15 January 1982. He married Danica Marinkovic, b. Belgrade 17 August 1986, in the Saborna Church in Belgrade, Serbia on 7 October 2017.

20 February 2018

Funeral service for Prince Henrik of Denmark

The funeral service for Prince Henrik of Denmark, who died at Fredensborg on Tuesday 13 February 2018, took place today, 20 February 2018, at Christiansborg Palace Church in Copenhagen. Following the wishes of the deceased, the funeral service was kept private with only the closest family members as well as representatives of the court and the official Denmark present.

The Danish Royal Court issued the following list of family members and other dignitaries, 60 persons in all:

The Queen's family
  • Queen Margrethe II
  • Crown Prince Frederik
  • Crown Princess Mary
  • Prince Christian
  • Princess Isabella
  • Prince Vincent
  • Princess Josephine
  • Prince Joachim
  • Princess Marie
  • Prince Nikolai
  • Prince Felix
  • Prince Henrik
  • Princess Athena
  • Princess Benedikte (of Denmark and of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg)
  • Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes, née Princess of Denmark
  • King Constantine of the Hellenes
  • Princess Elisabeth
  • Count Ingolf of Rosenborg
  • Countess Sussie of Rosenborg
  • Countess Alexandra of Frederiksborg (former wife of Prince Joachim)
Prince Henrik's family
  • Francoise Bardin Monpezat
  • Étienne de Monpezat
  • Isabelle de Monpezat
  • Jean Baptiste de Monpezat 
  • Gill de Monpezat
  • Catherine de Monpezat 
  • Guillaume Bardin
  • Laurence Bardin
  • Charles Henri Keller 
  • Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen
  • Chairman of Folketinget (the Parliament) Pia Kjærsgaard
  • President of the Supreme Court Thomas Rørdam
  • The French Ambassador to Denmark, François Zimeray 
  • Several present and former court members.
Go here for the full list.The funeral service was conducted by bishop emeritus Erik Norman Svendsen. His speech can be read here (in Danish), while the program of the service can be read here (also in Danish).

As I have mentioned earlier, Prince Henrik declared last year that he didn't want to be interred together with Queen Margrethe at Roskilde Cathedral. Instead he will be cremated and his ashes partly scattered on sea and partly put in an urn which will be interred in the private garden at Fredensborg Palace. Hopefully the urn grave will be marked by a headstone. I am sure that more information on this will be available later. The private garden is open to the public in July and early August.

15 February 2018

Tjukke Slekta nr. 1, 2017

En ny utgave av Tjukke Slekta, medlemsbladet til Sør-Østerdal Slektshistorielag, kom endelig i postkassen denne uken. Utgaven er nummerert som nr. 1 for 2017. Vanligvis kommer det tre utgaver i året, så det er åpenbart, som redaksjonen også påpeker, at man har slitt med stofftilfanget. Kanskje jeg bør tenke litt på hva jeg selv eventuelt kan bidra med? Jeg er medlem i slektshistorielaget fordi jeg stammer fra slekter i Åmot og Elverum. Dessuten: to søstre av min tippoldefar Ole Tollefsen Hoelseth (1856–1940) giftet seg og endte opp i Trysil.

Uansett, Tjukke Slekta kom sent, men godt. Det er sjelden noe å si på innholdet. Medlemsbladet er uten tvil ett av de beste slektshistoriske tidsskriftene her til lands, med artikler av høy kvalitet og og selvsagt med etterprøvbare kildehenvisninger og kildekritiske og metodiske drøftinger.

Denne gangen inneholder bladet følgende artikler:
  • Trond Bækkevold: ««Hun er myg indtil Kjødet er igjengroet» – en voldssak i grenselandet»
  • Solveig Glesaaen, med bidrag fra Ann Helen Jakobsen: «Hvor kom Ann Helens far egentlig fra? Et slektshistorisk mysterium i krigens kjølvann»
Den første artikkelen omhandler Marte Andersdatter, opprinnelig fra Gravbergsmoen i Våler (1784–1837), som i 1834 anmeldte ektemannen Mattis Jakobsson for vold. Vi får referater fra rettssaken, som endte med at begge ble dømt, han til ett års slaveri på Akershus festning, hun ett år i Christiania tukthus, hvor hun også døde. Bækkevold har ellers sørget for en fem siders slektstavle. Store deler av etterslekten havnet i nedslagsfeltet for slektsforeningen (Elverum, Åmot, Stor-Elvdal, Rendalen, Engerdal og Trysil).

Den andre artikkelen dreier seg om Olaf Trygve Kristiansen (Brenden) (1910–1989) fra Elverum. Også her får vi flere sider med detaljer om slektskretsen.

I tillegg inneholder utgaven det et medlemsblad skal gjøre, nemlig referat fra årsmøtet 2017 samt regnskap og årsberetning for 2017.

Short English summary: The article is about the latest issue of Tjukke Slekta, the newsletter of Sør-Østerdal Slektshistorielag (Sør-Østerdal Genealogical Society), which covers the current municipalities of Elverum, Åmot, Stor-Elvdal, Rendalen, Engerdal and Trysil. I descend from several families in Åmot and Elverum, and two of my great-great grandfather Ole Tollefsen Hoelseth's sisters married and ended up in Trysil.

14 February 2018

Death of HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark

Photo: Holger Motzkau 2010, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-3.0).

The Royal Court in Copenhagen announced early this morning the death of Prince Henrik, husband of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark:
His Royal Highness Prince Henrik died peacefully in his sleep Tuesday 13 February at 11.18 pm, at Fredensborg Palace.

Her Majesty the Queen and the two sons were at his side.
Prince Henrik was 83 years old. He was transferred from Rigshospitalet to Fredensborg Palace earlier on Tuesday to spend his remaining time there. No cause of death has been made public, but he suffered among others from a lung infection, which caused his hospitalisation in late January 2018.

Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat was born on 11 June 1934 in Talence outside Bordaux in France as the second child and eldest son of André de Laborde de Monpezat (1907–1998) by his wife, Renée Doursenot (1908–2001). His siblings were Françoise (b. 1932), Anne Marie (b. 1935), Joseph (1939–1957), Therese (1940–1959), Étienne (b. 1942), Jean-Baptiste (b. 1943), Catherine (b. 1946) and Maurille (1947–2015).

 Coat of arms of the family of De Laborde de Monpezat. Photo: «Sococan», Wikimedia Commons.

Henri, who was raised Catholic, married Princess Margrethe of Denmark at Holmens Church in Copenhagen, Denmark on 10 June 1967 and was created Prince of Denmark with the style of Royal Highness. He went by the Danish version Henrik. Princess Margrethe succeeded to the throne in 1972 following the death of her father, King Frederik IX. From 2005 until 2016 Prince Henrik used the title HRH The Prince Consort. Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe had two sons, Crown Prince Frederik, b. 1968, and Prince Joachim, b. 1969, and 8 grandchildren.

Prince Henrik and Queen Margrethe in 2010: Photo: Holger Motzkau 2010, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons (cc-by-sa-3.0).
As a child Prince Henrik lived a few years in Vietnam due to his father's work there, but returned to France in 1939. He received education at his home in Cahours until 1947 when he attended a jesuit boarding school in Bordaux, before continuing his education at Cahors Gymnasium. At the age of 16 he went to Hanoi where he graduated from the city's French Gymnasium in 1952. For the next few five years Prince Henrik studied law and political science at Sorbonne in Paris as well as oriental languages (Vietnamese and Chinese (Mandarin?)) at École Nationale des Langues Orientales. He later continued his oriental language studies in Hong Kong and in Saigon.

Following military service, Prince Henrik worked as a diplomat, among others at the French Embassy in London, where he met the then Princess Margrethe for the first time in 1965. They got engaged in October the year after.

 Prince Henrik in 1966. Photo: The Dutch National Archives/Wikimedia Commons.

Court mourning

It has been announced that the Court will be in mourning from today until 14 March 2018:
In the period of mourning, Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family and the Court will not participate in social or entertainment events. During the Court mourning, dark clothing will be worn at public appearances. Personnel in uniform will wear black armbands on the upper part of the left arm.
A mourning salute of 27 shots will take place on Thursday 15  February at 8 a.m.

King Harald of Norway, who has expressed his condolences, has decided that the Norwegian state flag to fly on half staff from the palace balcony today and at the day of the funeral.

The Royal Palace in Oslo earlier today. Photos: © 2018 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

Funeral service 

Following the mourning salute, Prince Henrik's coffin will be brought from Fredensborg Palace to Amalienborg at 10 a.m. On Friday his coffin will be transferred to Christiansborg Palace Church, where the funeral service will take place on Tuesday 20 February. It will not be a state funeral, but a private service for the family and a few friedns. Bishop emeritus Erik Norman Svendsen will conduct the service.

Prince Henrik declared last year that he did not wish to be interred together with Queen Margrethe at Roskilde Cathedral. In accordance with his own wishes, he will be cremated and half of his ashes will be spread at sea in Danish waters, while the other half will be spread in the gardens of Fredensborg Palace (cf. The Local). The newspaper Politiken claims, and this version seems to be more likely, that an urn with half of the ashes will be interred in the Palace Gardens at Fredensborg. I understand that it will be in the private part of the royal gardens, which is open to the public in the summer only. I suppose a headstone will mark where his ashes will be interred. When Prince Henrik first decided to break from the tradition to be interred in Roskilde Cathedral, I think his solution makes sense. It is good that his family will be able to visit his urn grave at Fredensborg whenever they feel for it in such a private setting.

Links to obituaries and other articles in English
In the latter obituary The Telegraph wrongly states that «He declared that he would be buried in France, on the grounds that the admirable Queen Margrethe had not been a supportive wife. Many Danes were upset by his treatment of the Queen and some took the line that since he felt like this, it was fine to send his body back to France.»

This is not accurate, as the court made it clear that Prince Henrik was going to be buried in Denmark, not in France.

How Prince Henrik will be remembered

So many things can be said about Prince Henrik, most of them good. It is not so easy to describe him in my own words, but I will make it a try. He was certainly one of the most interesting and colourful personalities within the Royal Family of Europe. Yes, he had difficulties with accepting his role walking two steps behind his wife. And while one can understand the principles behind his view that he should have been styled as King Consort when Margrethe became Queen in 1972, the self-centred way he too many times demonstrated his views were uncalled for. The decision not to be buried together with his wife and his claim that his wife had made him look like a clown could partly be explained by his illness. As I wrote last September, I hope that the Danes and the rest of the world will first of all remember his many years of tireless work for the good of Denmark. He was highly intelligent, spoke many languages (but his Danish was always spoken with a heavy accent), loved cooking, wine and poetry, wrote his memoirs and several other books, was always the first one out on the dancing floor. He was certainly respected by the Danes, but might not have been fully accepted. Maybe his personality and intellectuality was just «too much». He was charming and outspoken, had  agreat sense of humour and could certainly laugh of himself. But he also had a difficultg temper and has been described as an authoritarian, for instance in the way be brought up his sons. But first of all he was a loving husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather and with a large circle of friends. He will be greatly missed by them all.

 Prince Henrik's monogram. Photo: «Glasshouse»/Wikimedia Commons.

 Coat of arms of Prince Henrik of Denmark. Photo: «Sococan», Wikimedia Commons.

Updated on Tuesday 20 February 2018 at 21:50 in order to correct information about Prince Henrik's siblings. Last time updated on Wednesday 21 February 2018 at 08.30 (name of Prince Henrik's brother Jean corrected from «Jean» to «Jean-Baptiste»).

13 February 2018

Denmark: Prince Henrik transferred to Fredensborg Palace

The Danish Royal Court announced today that Prince Henrik, the spouse of Queen Margrethe, has been released from Rigshospitalet and transferred to Fredensborg Palace, where he wishes to spend the final days of his life together with his family. His condition remains serious, the announcement said..

Prince Henrik was admitted to hospital on 28 January after a vaction in Egypt. It was later revealed that the doctors had found a benign tumor in his left lung. He also suffered from a lung infection. Last Friday the court announced that Prince Henrik's condition had seriously deteriorated and that Crown Prince Frederik's stay in South Korea in connection with the Olympic Games had been cut short and that he was on his way back to Denmark.

Prince Henrik had several stays in hospital last year. In September 2017 it was announced that he suffered from dementia.

12 February 2018

UK: More details about the royal wedding in May revealed

Kensington Palace published today the following information about the wedding between Prince Henry of Wales and Meghan Markle on 19 May 2018:
An update on the wedding of HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Ms. Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle are hugely grateful for the many good wishes they have received since announcing their engagement.

They are very much looking forward to the day and to being able to share their celebrations with the public. They have made the following decisions about their wedding day on Saturday 19th May, 2018:

The Wedding Service will begin at St George's Chapel at 1200. The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd. David Conner, will conduct the Service. The Most Revd. and Rt Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, will officiate as the couple make their marriage vows.

At 1300, the couple, now married, will undertake a Carriage Procession along a route from St George's Chapel, leaving Windsor Castle via Castle Hill and processing along the High Street and through Windsor Town, returning to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk.

They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day.

Following the service, there will be a reception at St George's Hall for the couple and guests from the congregation. The couple will join this on return from the Carriage Procession.

Later that evening, The Prince of Wales will give a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family.

We look forward to sharing further details about the wedding day in the weeks and months ahead.
The carriage procession seems to follow more or less the same route as at the wedding of the Earl and Countess of Wessex (Prince Edward and the former Sophie Rhys-Jones) in 1999. In this way the public will get their share of the royal wedding, which is rather nice.

In other news, Daily Mail (yes, I know) claims to know that Prince Henry has invited his uncle the Duke of York's former wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, to the wedding. Well, why not? Anyway, I am sure there will be many speculations in the weeks to come. I will not bother to comment on them all. The Express, on the other hand, seems to think it is appropriate to conduct a poll about whether the Duchess of Cornwall should be invited to the wedding or not. According to the poll, «30% think Harry and Meghan should NOT invite Duchess» (in other words, 70 % think she should be invited). It is of course just nasty «journalism» – clickbaiting of the worst kind – and the tabloid's only motivation is to sell more copies. The Express is of course a newspaper one doesn't really need to buy, or to read at all.