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.