10 November 2019

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 3, 2019

The third issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly was posted from Sweden on 25 September and I received it soon after, but I have been busy with travelling in October (Cyprus, Poland and the United Kingdom) and have also been busy with other commitments, including my administration work for Slektshistoriewiki, the Norwegian Genealogy Wiki. In other words, I have not found the time to update my blog for a while, and I am not sure if I will have much time in the nearest future either, so this will be a shorter RDQ commentary than usual.

If you wonder about the cover, it shows a photo from the wedding of Princess Diane of Orleans to Duke Carl of Württemberg in 1960, with all the «children of France», i.e. the children of the then Count of Paris (Henri, 1908–1999) and Isabella, née Princess of Orléans and Braganza (1911–2003): Seated: François, Claude, Thibaut, Diane, Henri, Chantal. Standing: Michel, Hélène, Anne, Prince Michael of Greece (first cousin and foster brother), Isabelle and Jacques.

  • The Wedding of King Peter II of Yugoslavia and Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig
  • Princess Maximiliane of Bavaria 1810–1821 by Elizabeth Jane Timms
  • 'Utterly Mrs Ronald Greville...' by Coryne Hall
  • The Royal Houses of France. A Family ALbum II: The House of Bourbon-Orléans by Charlotte Zeepvat
  • The November 1918 Abdications, part V by Bearn Bilker
  • Two Emperors and One King on the Water [part I] by Douglas Scott Brookes
  • World Wide Web of Royalty
Marlene Koenig's article describes how the couple met and all the political discussions and quarrels in advance of the wedding. The marriage itself, which she doesn't comment on, was not a success and the couple lived separately for most of their married life. But of course something positive came out of the marriage – Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia (Serbia), one of the most sympathetic royals around.

In Coryne Hall's article we meet Margaret Helen Anderson (1863–1942), who was married in 1891 to Hon. Ronald Greville (d. 1908), eldest son of the 2nd Baron Greville. She inherited her fortune from her father, William McEwan. The article describes among others her friendship with members of the Royal Family, especially King Edward VII and King George VI.

As far as I understand The November 1918 Abdications, part V, was the last part of the series Bearn Bilker has written on the the abdications in Germany in November 1918. I have really enjoyed reading the articles.

The World Wide Web of Royalty column this time takes us to the Imperial, Royal, Princely and/or mediatized houses of Austria-Este (Belgium), Hohenberg, Liechtenstein, Lippe, Netherlands and Prussia.

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.

9 October 2019

Sweden: Changes to the Royal House

Court decision 7 October 2019. Photos of documents published at the Swedish Royal Court's Facebook page.

The Swedish Royal Court announced on Monday 7 October 2019 that the King had decided to «downsize» the Royal House, which meant that the children of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia and of Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill had ceased to be members of the Royal House and now only were members of the Royal Family. They are also no longer styled Royal Highness. The press release in full said:
His Majesty The King has decided on changes to The Royal House. The purpose of these changes is to establish which members of The Royal Family may be expected to perform official duties incumbent on the Head of State or related to the function of the Head of State.

His Majesty The King has decided that the children of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and the children of Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O’Neill will no longer be members of The Royal House.

Prince Alexander, Prince Gabriel, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas and Princess Adrienne will continue to be members of The Royal Family. However, they will no longer enjoy the style of Royal Highness and, in the future, will not be expected to perform duties incumbent on the Head of State.

Prince Alexander (Duke of Södermanland), Prince Gabriel (Duke of Dalarna), Princess Leonore (Duchess of Gotland), Prince Nicolas (Duke of Ångermanland) and Princess Adrienne (Duchess of Blekinge) will retain their titles of Duke and Duchess previously granted by His Majesty.

His Majesty The King and Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess are, together with Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Daniel, Sweden’s highest representatives within the Realm and vis-à-vis other States.

Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, and Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine will continue their work in the non-profit foundations and organisations which they have founded or in which they are involved. In addition, they will perform official duties to the extent decided by His Majesty.


7 October 2019

Fredrik Wersäll
Marshal of the Realm
I was not very surprised by the news – the downsizing was bound to happen some day – but the timing was odd. It had made more sense if the king had clarified the membership prior to the birth of Princess Leonore. As the royal children in question were never expected to take on official engagements, I have earlier on several occasions (see for instance my article of 14 September 2013) said that I would have preferred if they hadn't got any titles at all. Only royals expected to represent the royal house should have titles. The Swedish king has now made a system which somewhat resembles the Norwegian, where those who are styled Majesty or Royal Highness are members of the royal house, while the others are «only» members of the royal family. The only difference is that both children of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel are styled Royal Highness, while among the Norwegian Crown Prince's children only Princess Ingrid Alexandra have that style. In addition, in the Norwegian Royal Family Prince Sverre Magnus, Princess Märtha Louise and Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner are styled Highness while abroad (but not in Norway – although the Royal Court has never given a satisfactory explanation to this, I guess the decision was made because titles and styles means more abroad than at home).

In the press conference which followed the announcement, the Marshal of the Realm among others stressed that the prince(ss) and ducal titles for the royal children in question were personal and could
not be transferred to their spouses and children.

King Carl XVI Gustaf's decision does of course not affect the line of succession. However, the question of the upbringing of Princess Madeleine's children outside the realm, cf. the Act of Succession Article 4, remains unsolved. Another question is what would happen if Prince Carl Philip or Princess Madeleine had another child. I expect that the king would make no difference and would settle on the personal title of prince/princess (and ducal title), but of course not give the style Royal Highness.

Members of the Royal House
  • HM King Carl XVI Gustaf (b. 1946)
  • HM Queen Silvia (b. 1943)
  • HRH Crown Princess Victoria (b. 1977)
  • HRH Prince Daniel (b. 1973)
  • HRH Princess Estelle (b. 2012)
  • HRH Prince Oscar (b. 2016)
  • HRH Prince Carl Philip (b. 1979)
  • HRH Princess Sofia (b. 1984)
  • HRH Princess Madeleine (b. 1982)
  • HRH Princess Birgitta (b. 1937)
Members of the Royal Family

The Royal Family consists of the members of the Royal House as well as the King's other grandchildren and sisters as well as the widow of the King's Uncle Count Sigvard of Bernadotte.
  • Prince Alexander (b. 2016)
  • Prince Gabriel (b. 2017)
  • Princess Leonore (b. 2014)
  • Prince Nicolas (b. 2015)
  • Princess Adrienne (b. 2018)
  • Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler (b. 1934)
  • Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld (b. 1938)
  • Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson (b. 1943)
  • Countess Marianne Bernadotte of Wisborg (b. 1924)
The Line of Succession to the Swedish Throne

As said, the line of succession remains unchanged:
  1. HRH Crown Princess Victoria (b. 1977)
  2. HRH Princess Estelle (b. 2012)
  3. HRH Prince Oscar (b. 2016)
  4. HRH Prince Carl Philip (b. 1979)
  5. Prince Alexander (b. 2016) 
  6. Prince Gabriel (b. 2017)
  7. HRH Princess Madeleine (b. 1982)
  8. Princess Leonore (b. 2014)
  9. Prince Nicolas (b. 2015)
  10. Princess Adrienne (b. 2018) 
Updated on Thursday 10 October 2019 at 21:05 (minor spelling mistake corrected).

12 September 2019

Belgium: Son of Prince Amadeo and Princess Elisabetta named Maximilian

The Belgian Royal Court announced on Thursday 12 September 2019 that Prince Amadeo and Princess Elisabetta's son, who was born on 6 September 2019, has been named Maximilian. Then announcement doesn't say if the baby boy has received more than one name. His sister Anna Astrid was born in 2016.

Archduke Maximilian of Austria(-Este) is no. 8 in the line of succession to the Belgian throne:
  1. Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant (2001)
  2. Prince Gabriel (2003)
  3. Prince Emmanuel (2005)
  4. Princess Eléonore (2008)
  5. Princess Astrid (1962)
  6. Prince Amadeo, Archuke of Austria(-Este) (1986)
  7. Archduchess Anna of Austria(-Este) (2016)
  8. Archduke Maximilian of Austria(-Este) (2019)
  9. Princess Maria, Archduchess of Austria(-Este) (1988)
  10. Prince Joachim, Archduke of Austria(-Este) (1991)
  11. Princess Luisa, Archduchess of Austria(-Este) (1995)
  12. Princess Laetitia, Archduchess of Austria(-Este) (2003)
  13. Prince Laurent (1963)
  14. Princess Louise (2004)
  15. Prince Nicolas (2005, twin)
  16. Prince Aymeric (2005, twin)

8 September 2019

Royal birth in Belgium

The Belgian Royal Court announced on Saturday 7 September 2019 that Prince Amadeo and Princess Elisabetta the previous night – 6 September 2019 – had become parents to their second child and first son.

The baby boy was born at the UMC Sint-Pieter Ziekenhuis (Saint-Pierre University Hospital) in Brussels on 9.05 p.m., 6 September 2019. He weighed 3,3 kilo and was 50 cm long. The prince is titled Archduke of Austria-Este. The name has not yet been released.

The couple's first child, Archduchess Anna Astrid, was born in Brussels on 17 May 2016. Prince Amadeo of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este, is the eldest son of Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz of Belgium, and thus a nephew of King Philippe of the Belgians.

29 August 2019

Norway: Princess Ingrid Alexandra's confirmation

Princess Ingrid Alexandra's confirmation will take place in the Palace Chapel in Oslo on Saturday 31 August 2019 at noon.

The princess has received her confirmation instruction at the Asker Church congregation under the direction of Provost Tor Øystein Våland and Vicar Karoline Astrup. The confirmation service in the Palace Chapel will be officiated by the Bishop of Oslo, Kari Veiteberg, and the Praeses of the Norwegian Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien.

After the confirmation service, Princess Ingrid Alexandra's grandparents King Harald and Queen Sonja will host a luncheon in the Banqueting Hall of the Royal Palace.

Guest list
The Royal Palace released today part of the guest list:

The part of the guest released to the public is limited to members of the royal family, sponsors, other family members of the princess, the official Norway, the Church of Norway, the Diplomatic Corps and various organisations.

The Royal Family
  • King Harald (sponsor)
  • Queen Sonja
  • Crown Prince Haakon
  • Crown Princess Mette-Marit
  • Princess Ingrid Alexandra
  • Prince Sverre Magnus
  • Marius Borg Høiby
  • Princess Märtha Louise (sponsor)
  • Maud Angelica Behn
  • Leah Isadora Behn
  • Emma Tallulah Behn
  • Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner
Other sponsors
  • King Felipe of Spain
  • Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark 
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
  • Marit Tjessem
Other royals
  • Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
  • Prince Christian of Denmark
The official Norway
  • President of the Storting Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen and Per Kristian Trøen
  • Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Sindre Finnes
  • Chief Jusstice of the Supreme Court Toril Marie Øie and Rune Brekke
  • First Vice President of the Storting Eva Kristin Hansen
  • Finance Minister Siv Jensen
  • Culture minister Trine Skei Grande
  • Children and Families Minister Kjell Ingolf Ropstad
  • Second Vice President of the Storting Morten Wold
  • Third Vice President of the Storting Magne Rommetveit 
  • Fourth Vice President of the Storting Nils T. Bjørke
  • Fifth Vice President of the Storting Abid Q. Raja
  • Parlamentary leader Trond Helleland
  • Parlamentary leader Hans Fredrik Grøvan
  • Parlamentary leader Marit Arnstad
  • Party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum
  • Plenary leader of Sametinget (Sámi Parliament) Tom Sottinen
  • President of Sametinget (Sámi Parliament) Aili Keskitalo
  • Permanent Secretary to the Government Anne Nafstad Lyftingsmo
  • County Governor Valgerd Svarstad Haugland
  • The mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen
  • The mayor of Asker, Lene Conradi
  • Chief of Defence, Admiral Haakon Bruun-Hanssen
  • Commander of His Majesty The King's Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Vegard Flom 
  • National Police Commissioner Benedicte Bjørnland
  • Police Commissioner of Oslo Beate Gangås
  • Chief of the Royal Police Escort, Roy Hagen-Larsen
Diplomatic corps
  • Ambassador of Myanmar, Maw Maw, doyen (dean)
  • Ambassador of Sweden, Krister Bringéus
  • Ambassador of Denmark, Jarl Kåre Frijs-Madsen
  • Ambassador of Spain, Maria Isabel Vicandi
The Church of Norway and other religious communities
  • The Praeses of the Norwegian Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien
  • Bishop Kari Veiteberg
  • Cathedral cantor (domskantor) Kåre Nordstoga
  • Provost of Asker Tor Øystein Vaaland 
  • Vicar of Asker Karoline Astrup
  • Head of the Church Council Kristin Gunleiksrud Raaum
  • Chairperson of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities, Britt Strandlie Thoresen
  • General Secretary of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities, Ingrid Rosendorf Joys
  • Youth Representative of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities and the Muslim Dialogue Network, Yasmine Fatima Angell Morchid
  • Youth representative of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities, board member of Norway's Young Catholics, Martin Bao Anh Vo 
  • Youth representative of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities
  • Youth representative of the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities, commitee member Norwegian Humanist Youth, Iver Daaland Åse 
  • Head of the Church Council's Commitee for youths, Ufung, Silje Håve Smørvik
  • Bishop emeritus Gunnar Stålsett and Unn Stålsett
  • Chief executive officer Ole Erik Almlid, NHO (Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise)
  • Chairperson Hans Christian Gabrielsen, LO (Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions)
  • Chairperson Rode Margrete Hegstad, LNU (The Norwegian Children and Youth Council)
  • Chief agent Are Shaw Waage,  Miljøagentene (The Eco-Agents)
  • Juliane Snekkestad (partner of Marius Borg Høiby)
  • Espen and Renate Høiby with children
  • Christian Høiby
  • Ina Høiby and Mads Hvilshøj
  • Tuva Høiby
  • Per Høiby and Louise Dedichen
  • Anette Bastviken
  • Susanne K. Dedichen Bastviken
  • Julie Høiby and Teodor C-G Teigen
  • Joachim Høiby and June Bolme
  • Kristin Høiby
  • Kamilla Høiby Bjørnøy
  • Maria Viig Bjørnøy and Are Hoel
  • Anniken Høiby Bjørnøy
  • Erling Lorentzen (widower of Princess Ragnhild) and his partner, Ebba Løvenskiold
  • Cathrine Ferner Johansen (eldest daughter of Princess Astrid) and Arild Johansen
  • Lis Haraldsen (sister-in-law of Queen Sonja)
  • Ian Swanstrøm (niece of Queen Sonja) and Carl Christian Dahl
  • Tom Ivar Junker
  • Janne Cecilie Junker
  • Elsie Sargeant
Erling Lorentzen, the widower of Princess Ragnhild, used to be listed in the Royal Family section also after his wife's death, but seems to have been removed 3–4 years ago, probably when he got a new partner.

Updated last time on Friday 30 August 2019 at 00.20 (minor correction).

16 August 2019

Death of Princess Christina of the Netherlands

The Dutch Royal Court announced today the death of Princess Christina of the Netherlands, youngest of the four daughters of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard. She was thus the youngest sister of Princess Beatrix, who abdicated as Queen of the Netherlands in 2013, and an aunt to King Willem-Alexander.

Princess Christina, who was born at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn on 18 February 1947, died at the Noordeinde Palace complex in The Hague in the morning of 16 August 2019, after having suffered from bone cancer for several years.

The princess married in 1975 the Cuban-born Jorge Pérez y Guillermo and had 3 children by him – Bernardo (b. 1977, Nicolas (b. 1979) and Juliana (b. 1981) as well as 5 grandchildren. Princess Christina was excluded from the line of succession to the Dutch throne by not seeking and obtaining consent by Act of Parliament, cf. the Dutch Constitution Article 28 (2). All descendants are thus also excluded. Princess Christina and Guillermo divorced in 1996. Princess Christina, who for the main part had lived in New York and in Italy for many years, was an accomplished singer and had studied vocal teaching. In later years she took an interest in dance therapy and sound therapy.

According to the press release, «Princess Christina’s remains will be taken to Fagel’s Garden Pavilion in the grounds of Noordeinde Palace, where close friends and family will pay their last respects. The cremation will be held in private.»  According to Netty Leistra at Nobiliana.de (thread «Prinses Christina der Nederlanden»,  Death Announcements Gotha 2019) the private ceremony and cremation will take place on 22 August 2019.

14 July 2019

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 2, 2019

The latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly arrived in my mailbox two weeks ago or so. The green and beautiful cover includes an image of the French royal family in 1823, showing from left to right Marie Thérèse, Duchess of Angouleme, Louis Antoine, Duke of Angouleme, Henri, Duke of Bordaux in the arms of his grandfather Charles, Duke of Artois, in front Louis XVI, Louise Marie Thérèse of Artois and her mother the Duchess of Berry.

We are in other words going French this time, with the traditional Family Album by Charlotte Zeepvat covering The Royal Houses of France, Part I, The House of Bourbon – Henri IV to Henri V. I count 99 images of various members of the House of Bourbon and of the palace of Versailles, in addition to 3 pages with family tables.

Charlotte Zeevat, the historical counsultant to Royalty Digest Quarterly, has also made another large contribution, 'Dearest Millie'. Letters to a royal nurse, telling the story of Millicent Elizabeth Crofts (1852–1941), who from the 1870s until 1887 was a nurse to the children of Grand Prince Vladimir of Russia and his wife Grand Princess Marie, née Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin: Kirill (1876), Boris (1877), Andrei (1879) and Elena (1882) and perhaps also the eldest, Alexander (1875). The article is based on the collection of Millicent Croft's papers sold by auction by Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh in February 2018. It is both a well researched and well written article which I enjoyed very much.

Another great contribution this time is Stefan Haderer's article The Baltazzis. A family's rise and fall in the Habsburg Empire. The Baltazzis was a prominent family of Levantine origin, Phanariot Greeks from Constantinople who were close both the the court of Constantinople and later of Vienna. Theodore and Eliza Baltazzi had 10 children, of whom the eldest Elizabeth «Lizzie» married Albert Llewellyn Nugent,3rd Baron Nugent, while the second oldest Helen married Baron Albin Vetsera. Their daughter Marie (Mary) (1871–1889) was a mistress to Crown Prince Rudolf (1858–1859) and killed at Mayerling in 1889, a tragedy that of course explains the fall of the Baltazzis from the court in Vienna. The website of the Levantine Heritage Foundation, has, by the way, a collectionn of Baltazzi documents at their website which is worth having a look at. The Baltazzi family had many other interesting connections as well. Christopher Long has worked on the family's genealogy, but it doesn't seem to be available at the moment. Haderer's article is really interesting, please read it! More of this!

And if this is not enough, Bearn Bilker continues with the 3rd part of his The November 1918 Abdications in Germany, this time covering grand duchies of Baden and Oldenburg and the duchy of Anhalt.

Bilker has also made a second contribution to the issue, Woizlawa-Feodora. Royal Centenarian, which also is worth reading. Princess Woizlawa-Feodora Reuss, née Duchess of Mecklenburg, only daughter of Duke Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg (1873–1969) and his first wife Priness Victoria Feodora Reuss (younger line) (1889–1918), was born on 17 December 1918 and celebrated her 100th birthday last fall, with among others the author present at the party. Woizlawa-Feodora was in 1939 married to Prince Heinrich I Reuss (1910–1982) of the younger line and had 5 sons and one daughter. As Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich was a brother to Heinrich, who in 1901 married Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Princess Woizlawa-Feodora was a first cousin to Queen Juliana and was a bridesmaid to her wedding to Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. Princess Woizlawa-Feodora sadly passed away on 3 June 2019.

Finally, the readers are treated with the traditional column The World Wide Web of Royalty, which this time has genealogical news of the Imperial, Royal, Princely and/or Mediatized families of Bavaria, United Kingdom, Hessen-Phillipsthal-Barchfeld, Hohenberg, Luxembourg, Reuss, Rothan and Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.

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.

Konge i skoeske?

Den siste uken har jeg jobbet med to artikler i Slektshistoriewiki, den ene om Det kongelige mausoleum på Akershus slott og den andre om Krypten samme sted. Underveis i arbeidet kom jeg over en herlig utveksling fra desember 1993 og januar 1994 mellom tidligere stortingsrepresentant og kultur- og vitenskapsminister Lars Roar Langslet og dr.med. Per Holck angående oppbevaringen av hodeskallene til kong Håkon V Magnusson og dronning Eufemia.

Under overskriften «Konge i skoeske» skrev Langslet som en innledning til en kommentar om diskusjonene rundt den nøyaktige beliggenheten til kong Olav den Helliges grav i Nidarosdomen:
«For vel elleve år siden var jeg til stede ved en eiendommelig seremoni: Et sølvskrin med de jordiske levninger av kong Håkon 5. Magnusson og hans dronning Eufemia ble satt inn i muren i den kongelige gravkrypt på Akershus Slott. Levningene bestod av bare de to kongelige kranier – derfor greide det seg med et skrin av middels størrelse. Jeg var blant de få som fikk se dem før skrinet ble lukket. Gjennom generasjoner hadde hodeskallene vært brukt som demonstrasjonsmateriale ved Anatomisk institutt, fikk vi høre, og der ble de oppbevart i to skoesker. Men omsider hadde noen skjønt at skoesker ikke er noe verdig gravsted for en norsk konge og dronning, og Riksantikvaren ordnet opp.»
(Aftenposten 30. desember 1993 nr. 599, s. 8.)

Per Holck satte bokstavelig talt skapet på plass i et motinnlegg på nyåret:
«Disse middelalderske skallene er hele tiden blitt oppbevart på instituttet – selvfølgelig ikke i skoesker, slik Langslet påstår, men i egne skap. Skallene har utgjort en del av den verdifulle antropologiske samlingen her, og det er således ganske freidig å påstå at disse klenodier «gjennom generasjoner hadde vært brukt som demonstrasjonsmateriale ved Anatomisk institutt». At Riksantikvaren skulle ha opptrådt som en slags reddende engel som «omsider skjønte at skoesker ikke er noe verdig gravsted for en norsk konge», er heller ikke riktig. Hvorfor hadde da ingen grepet inn tidligere? At skallen befant seg på Anatomisk institutt, var jo kjent siden 1868. Tvert imot gikk det hele syv år – efter diverse henvendelser fra privatpersoner – før de antikvariske myndigheter tok hansken opp. At innmuringen i 1982 heller ikke skjedde i «et sølvskrin», men «bare» i et av rustfritt stål», er kanskje av mindre betydning i denne sammenheng.»
 (Aftenposten 11. januar 1994 nr. 16, s. 15.)

Holck mente at Langslet hadde satt instituttet i et mindre flatterende lys. langslet fulgte så opp med en sluttreplikk, som er den morsomtste i utvekslingen, og med herlig språk og en strålende avslutning:
 «Kong Håkon V Magnussons hodeskalle ble altså oppbevart på Anatomisk institutt 1868–1982 i et skap – ikke i en skoeske, slik jeg dengang ble fortalt. Dette berøver naturligvis min artikkel (30.12) for en poetisk forsiring. Men jeg kan ikke innse at det rokker mitt poeng: At Anatomisk institutt ikke var det naturlige gravsted for en norsk middelalderkonge. Og i dette er vel dr.med. Per Holck helt enig, siden det var han som tok saken opp (se 11.1.)? Et innspill som jeg selvsagt gir ham stor heder for. Han anklager meg for å ha satt instituttet «i et lite flatterende lys», fordi jeg «ganske freidig» har påstått at den kongelige skalle var demonstrasjonsmateriale ved instituttet. Men jeg la ikke noe odiøst i «demonstrasjonsmateriale»! Jeg trodde ganske enkelt at hensikten med å ha gamle kranier i den antropologiske samlingen var at studenter og forskere skulle ha adgang til å se og studere dem. For det var vel tross alt en nøkkel til skapet?»
(Aftenposten 20. januar 1994 nr. 32, s. 15.)

6 July 2019

The Royal Mausoleum, Akershus Palace, Oslo

The Royal Mausoleum, Akershus Palace, Oslo. © 2019 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

The Royal Mausoleum in the crypt of Akershus Palace was finished in 1948. The architect Arnstein Arneberg was also responsible for drawing the sarcophaguses.

King Haakon VII (1872–1957) and Queen Maud (1869–1938) rest in the white sarcophagus made of marble, while the green sarcophagus in bronze is the last resting place of King Olav V (1903–1991) and Crown Princess Märtha (1901–1954).

I visited Akershus Palace and The Royal Mausoleum today. I moved to Oslo in August 1989, so it only took me almost 30 years go get there ...

Norsk Slektshistorisk Tidsskrift, bind XLV, hefte 4

Siste utgave av Norsk Slektshistorisk Tidsskrift (bind XLV (45), hefte 4), som utgis av Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening, kom endelig i postkassen tidligere denne uken. NST kunne denne gangen by på:
  • Fra redaksjonen, s. 203.
  • Atle Steinar Langekiehl: To slektskretser fra søndre Borgarsyssel rundt år 1600 og deres ætteforbindelser, s. 205.
  • Geir Liavåg Strand: Nye opplysningsr om Johan von Cappelen (1720–1792) sine born, s. 259.
  • Tor R. Weidling: Middelalderens jordebøker på Digitalarkivet, s. 263.
Temaet for hovedartikkelen er forbindelsene mellom to slektskretser fra hhv. Rolvsøy og Hvaler i søndre Borgarsyssel (den sørlige delen av dagens Østfold). Artikkelen har en god metodisk fremstilling, men er lett å lese og har for øvrig 6 slektstavler og en rekke illustrasjoner.

Geir Liavåg Strand utga høsten 2017 sammen med Hans Cappelen, Guri Alme og Solveig Viseth boken Johan von Cappelen og arven etter han, og NST-artikkelen må ses som en oppsummering av denne. Artikkelen er kort, men likevel viktig, idet den etter gjennomgang av skiftet etter Johan korrigerer opplysninger gitt i Thomles Cappelen-bok fra 1896. Johan er for øvrig min 5xtippoldefar.

Avslutningsvis gjør Tor Weidling, som er historiker og førstearkivar ved Riksarkivet, rede for flere jordebøker som nå er digitalisert og publisert på Digitalarkivet (Bergens Kalvskinn, Biskop Eysteins Jordebok og Aslak Bolts jordebok med flere).

Summary in English: The article gives a short survey of the contents of the latest issue of Norsk Slektshistorisk Tidsskrift, a periodical published by Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening (The Norwegian Genealogical Society).

UK: Christening at Windsor

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (2 months old), the son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, was christened in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle today. The ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

There is nothing much to add, really.  3 days ago the media received a «Media advisory» informing that «The godparents, in keeping with their wishes, will remain private». In my opinion the Sussexes are still struggling with finding the right balance between their official role and their wish for privacy for their son. I am sure it will be sorted out eventually. Richard Palmer, royal correspondent of The Daily Express, claims that the Sussexes «are in breach of a legal requirement to make the names of Archie’s godparents available to the public». So maybe the names will be revealed later, some way or the other, just like with the place of Archie's birth.

After the christening two photos were released on Instagram. The family photo which was taken in the Green Drawing Room shows Duke and Duchess of Sussex sitting with their son Archie and with the Duchess of Cornwall on the left and the Duchess of Cambrigde on the right. Behind them were (from left to right) the Prince of Wales, Doria Ragland, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale (the last two sisters of Diana, Princess of Wales) and the Duke of Cambridge.

The two photos were accompanied with a short text, which among others said:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are so happy to share the joy of this day with members of the public who have been incredibly supportive since the birth of their son. They thank you for your kindness in welcoming their first born and celebrating this special moment.

Their Royal Highnesses feel fortunate to have enjoyed this day with family and the godparents of Archie.

Their son, Archie, was baptised wearing the handmade replica of the royal christening gown which has been worn by royal infants for the last 11 years. The original Royal Christening Robe, made of fine Honiton lace lined with white satin, was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1841 and first worn by her eldest daughter. It was subsequently worn for generations of Royal christenings, including The Queen, her children and her grandchildren until 2004, when The Queen commissioned this handmade replica, in order for the fragile historic outfit to be preserved, and for the tradition to continue.

25 May 2019

Genealogen nr. 1, 2019

Siste utgave av Genealogen, medlemsbladet til Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening, lå og ventet på meg i postkassen da jeg kom hjem fra jobb i går ettermiddag. Tradisjonen tro gir jeg en kort presentasjon av innholdet samt noen flere detaljer om mine egne bidrag.
  • Lisbeth Løchen. Havaristene fra «De Zee Ploeg», s. 4–20. Sølvi Løchen har også bidratt til artikkelen.
  • Petter Vennemoe. Jakob Andersen Dishington. Del 2. Den eldre slekt Dishington i Skottland/Orknøyene, s. 21–38.
  • Are S. Gustavsen. Arlen D. Ness (1939–2019) – selve Gudfaren blant amerikanske motorsykkelbyggere, s. 38–43.
  • Dag Trygsland Hoelseth. Bøgh II. Et avsluttet kapittel, s. 44–47.
  • Elaine Helgeson Hasleton. Bygdelagenes Fellesraad and Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening Parnership, s. 48–49.
  • Rune Nedrud. Nye muligheter innen DNA-testing, s. 50–52. (Oversettelse av artikkel av Robin Wirthlin publisert på nettstedet Familylocket.com.)
  • Dag Trygsland Hoelseth. Tom Larsen (1960–2019), s. 57.
I tillegg inneholder utgaven som vanlig en del foreningsstoff, deriblant årsberetningen for 2018, regnskap og en bokgaveliste. Årsmøtet finner sted førstkommende tirsdag 28. mai kl. 19 i foreningens lokaler i Industriveien 6 på Lørenskog.

Historien om pinkskipet De Zee Ploegs havari ved Herdla i Hordaland i 1817 kan man lese litt om på Slektshistoriewiki. Artikkelen i Genealogen forteller om bakgrunnen til de tyske passasjerene, hvem som ble igjen i Norge og litt om de som enten dro tilbake til Tyskland eller kom seg til USA med nytt skip. Forfatterne har også skrevet av en del lister over passasjerene, bagasje m.m.

Del I av Petter Vennemoes artikkel om den skotske Dishington-slekten med etterkommere i Norge stod på trykk i Genealogen nr. 2, 2017.

Are S. Gustavsen, tidligere redaktør i Genealogen og nå redaktør i Norsk Slektshistorisk Tidsskrift, har skrevet en artig artikkel om Arlen D. Ness (1939–2019), spesielt godt kjent i det amerikanske motorsykkelbyggemiljøet, og med aner fra Nes i Vik sogn (Gaular), Sogn og Fjordane.

Mitt hovedbidrag denne gangen, Bøgh II. Et avsluttet kapittel, har sin bakgrunn i min oppgave som (hoved-)administrator for Slektshistoriewiki. Administratoroppgaven går blant annet med på å lage maler og passe på at nye bidrag sånn noenlunde følger disse malene slik at artiklene får et enhetlig og ryddig inntrykk. Fra tid til annen klikker jeg på «Tilfeldig side»-lenken i venstre marg for å se om det er noe jeg bør rydde opp i. Av og til finner jeg artikler som er litt for knappe og som burde utvides en smule. Artikkelen Bøgh II er en kort summarisk presentasjon av en slektsoversikt i slektskalenderen Norske Slægter fra 1912. Diplomaten Leif Bøgh Henrikssen fikk i 1900 bevilling til å anta sin mors pikenavn som slektsnavn. Både han og datteren er inkludert i en bok om konas Heiberg-slekt utgitt i 1942. Etter det har jeg ikke funnet den lille familien til Leif Bøgh (1871–1945)  i trykt litteratur, men det forekommer noen ufullstendige opplysninger på diverse nettsteder. Slektsoversikten fra 1912 inneholdt dessuten en del feil. Min artikkel gir en kort presentasjon av slektskretsen og en overmoden oppdatering og retter samtidig opp noen feil som er kommet på trykk under årenes løp. Artikkelen forteller også hvordan jeg gikk frem for å finne ut hvor det ble av datteren Emmy etter 2. verdenskrig. Artikkelen utgjør nå forskningsstatus for denne kognatiske grenen av Bøgh-slekten. Et lite bidrag i en store sammenhengen, men viktig nok for de som interesserer seg for akkurat denne familien.

Under arbeidet med artikkelen ble selvfølgelig de genealogiske opplysningene for den nærmeste slektskretsen kontrollert opp mot primærkilder. Men den historiske presentasjonen av Bøgh-slekten bygget jeg av tidsmessige grunner kun på trykte kilder. Jeg håper virkelig ikke at jeg da har kommet i skade for å gjenta informasjon som kan vise seg å være feil. Fint hvis leserne sier ifra i tilfelle! I fjor blogget jeg ellers om «slektsvirus» i en artikkel om Vogt som kan være verdt å lese i denne sammenheng.

Bøgh-slekten (Bøgh I) som Leif stammet fra gjennom et kvinneledd hadde for øvrig fortjent en ny gjennomgang og oppdatering. I litteraturen om Leifs farsslekt Henrikssen er det også en del opplysninger som det kan stilles spørsmålstegn ved og således hadde også Henrikssen-slekten fortjent å bli studert nærmere og skrevet om. Noen som føler seg kallet?

Når det gjelder Slektshistoriewiki-artikkelen om Bøgh II så er den foreløbig ikke oppdatert med de nyen opplysningene gitt i Genealogen-artikkelen. NSFs medlemmer og andre lesere av tidsskriftet må få lov til å lese utgaven først, så tar jeg en summarisk oppdatering senere. I fotnote 15 i artikkelen nevner jeg forresten at man kan finne datteren Emmy i den kommunale folketellingen for Bergen i 1922. Der var navnet transkribert til «Jenny??», noe jeg sendte feilmelding om til Digitalarkivet. Riktignok hadde jeg ikke funnet originalen, men mente det var verdt å få det sjekket opp. Etter at artikkelen min ble sendt til redaktøren har altså Digitalarkivet kontrollert originalen og rettet opp.

Avslutningsvis om artikkelen vil jeg kommentere opplysningene om at Leif Bøgh fra Bergen og Lydia Heiberg fra Kristiania giftet seg i Råde kirke i 1903. Jeg har ennå ikke funnet ut hvorfor vielsen fant sted akkurat der. Men jeg hadde neppe funnet vielsesstedet uten transkripsjonen i Digitalarkivet. En stor takk rettes til de frivillige i gruppen Råde lokalsamling som har stått for arbeidet!

Slektsforskeren Tom Larsen, som var aktiv i Ringerike Slektshistorielag i mange år og som skrev mange artikler for medlemsbladet Hringariki m.m., døde 11. mars i år, 2019. Hans alt for tidlige bortgang er et stort tap for slektsforskermiljøet, ikke bare på Ringerike. Etter at jeg hadde lest Sten Høyendahls nekrolog i Aftenposten 23. mars, gikk jeg i gang med en egen artikkel om Tom i Slektshistoriewiki, og jeg fikk god hjelp av Høyendahl til bibliografien. Ettersom jeg allerede hadde skrevet en presentasjon av Tom på wikien og deadlinen for Genealogen allerede var passert da dødsfallet ble kjent, ble jeg av tidsmessige grunner bedt om å skrive minneordene i Genealogen, selv om det ellers hadde vært mer naturlig om Høyendahl eller andre som kjente Tom hadde fått oppgaven. Minneordene bygger for en stor del på Høyendahls nekrolog, men med noen få tilleggsopplysninger.

Redaktør Rune Nedrud har ellers gjort en del designmessige endringer denne gangen. Svein Becken har gitt seg med design- og layoutoppgaven m.m., og redaktøren har tatt i bruk et nytt redigeringsprogram. Den største endringen innholdsmessig er kanskje at foreningspresentasjonen (adresser m.m.) er plassert på siste innbrettsside i stedet for den første. Det tror jeg de fleste leserne vil venne seg fort til.

Jeg leste som vanlig korrektur på bidragene til herværende utgave av Genealogen, men bare forskningsdelen. Da jeg ble redaksjonsmedlem i Genealogen i 2010 var jeg en av tre korrekturlesere. Nå er det bare jeg igjen. Dette håper jeg det kan bli gjort noe med. Selv om jeg har god erfaring som korrekturleser, blant annet i mitt daglige arbeid som redaksjonskonsulent i Lovdata, herunder utgivelsen av Norsk Lovtidend, så får jeg ikke med meg alt. Jeg håper jeg kan få en ny kollega før arbeidet med neste utgave av Genealogen skal sluttføres. Som korrekturleser ser jeg først og fremst etter ortografiske feil, men sier også ifra hvis setningsoppbygging m.m. kunne vært bedre. Redaktøren er dog opptatt av at den enkelte bidragsyters språkstil skal respekteres, så det er ikke nødvendigvis alt som blir rettet opp.

I forrige utgave av Genealogen (nr. 2, 2018) hadde Kjersti Aamodt på trykk artikkelen Erika Amundsdatter – en liten kvinne i historien. Hun oppholdt seg i Kristiania på 1790-tallet og endte opp i Røyken der hun døde in 1857, 95 år gammel. Av ukjent grunn hadde de fleste fotnotetegnene falt ut av teksten. Leserne kunne lese alle de 38 fotnotene på side 18 bakerst i artikkelen, men kunne ikke se hvor de hørte hjemme i selve brødteksten. Dette var en kjedelig feil som flere av oss, undertegnede inkludert, burde ha oppdaget. Jeg var nok for opptatt av å se etter andre typer feil, men jeg har da oppdaget fotnotefeil tidligere også, så dette var noe jeg burde ha fått med meg. Så vidt jeg vet vil redaktøren sette artikkelen på nytt og gjøre den tilgjengelig på nettsiden Genealogi.no. I forbindelse med nekrologen til Tom Larsen ser jeg for øvrig at navnet på fotografen, Marte Inger Stubberud, hadde falt ut. Det beklager vi.

In English: The article presents the contents of the latest issue of Genealogen, a periodical published by The Norwegian Genealogical Society, as well as some details about my own contributions, including my article on a cognatic branch of the Bøgh family. 

22 May 2019

Vita Brevis: The ancestry of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor

More from the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) today. When I earlier tonight wrote about Gary Boyd Roberts' article «On the Ancestry of the New Royal Baby», I was not aware that another article about Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, this time including his ancestry table, had been published at the NEHGS run blog Vita Brevis today. The blog article is written by NEHGS' editor-in-chief Scott C. Steward, but the genealogy is a collaboration with Christopher C. Child.


By the way, late last year Christopher C. Child wrote another Duchess of Susex-related blog article, «Challenging modern records», which is also worth reading:


NEHGS: On the Ancestry of the New Royal Baby

Genealogist, author and Senior Research Scholar Emeritus at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Gary Boyd Roberts, has recently written a short article titled «On the Ancestry of the New Royal Baby» about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor's ancestry and especially on his US American connections. It is well worth reading:


19 May 2019

Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg married to Count Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille

It turns out that there were two (semi-)royal weddings yesterday in which descendants of Queen Victoria were involved. Lady Gabriella «Ella» Windsor and Thomas Kingston were married in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

A more private and «secret» wedding («secret» because the wedding was not publically known before the event) took place at Skt. Jørgen kirke (St. George's Church) in Svendborg, Fyn, Denmark between Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, b. Copenhagen 1970, elder daughter of the late Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Princess Benedikte of Denmark, and Count Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig Bille, b. Svendborg 1965, son of the late Count Claus Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille and Countess (Comtesse) Merete Ahlefeldt-Laurvig.

Princess Alexandra was from 1998 to 2017 married to Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth. They had two children together.

Count Michael was from 1992 to 2005 married to Margrethe Kirketerp-Møller and from 2006 to 2016 married to Caroline Søeborg Ohlsen. He has four children, two in each marriage (cf. Danmarks Adels Aarbog).

(Thanks to Martin C. for posting the link to Fyens.dk (see above) at the Scandinavian Royals Message Board yesterday.)

18 May 2019

UK: Lady Gabriella Windsor marries Thomas Kingston

Lady Gabriella Windsor, daughter of Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Michael of Kent, formerly Marie-Christine, Baroness von Reibnitz, and thus a first cousin once removed to Queen Elizabeth II, married today, 18 May 2019, Thomas Kingston, son of William M. Kingston and Jill M. Kingston, née Bache, in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The ceremony was officiated by the dean of Windsor, David Conner.

Among the guests at the wedding, besides of the nearest family of the bride and groom, were Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Sussex, the Princess Royal (Princess Anne), Sir Timothy Laurence, the Earl of Wessex, Princess Alexandra, lady Ogilvy, the Duke of York, Sarah, Duchess of York, Princess Beatrice and her boyfriend, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the former occupied with the FA Cup Final later the same day, and the Duchess of Sussex were absent.

The engagement of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston was announced on 19 September 2018.

UK: Copy of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor's birth certificate published

A copy (or rather type-up version) of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor's birth certificate was yesterday obtained by the British Press Association and spread to the media. The copy can among others be viewed here.

Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, the firstborn child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, was born on 6 May 2019.  His name was made public 2 days later.

The birth certificate confirms that Archie was born at The Portland Hospital in Westminster, London, as The Daily Mail had already claimed to know. Other than that, the certicate doesn't tell more than we already knew. That the Duchess of Sussex has the rank (in the certificate listed as «Occupation») as Princess of the United Kingdom is known to anyone with the slightest knowledge of the British Royal Family. Thankfully Archie's mother is styled as Duchess of Sussex and not «Princess Henry».

Anyway, the historians and genealogists can now rest satisfied that the question of Archie's birth place has been confirmed.

8 May 2019

UK: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced today the name of their son, who was born 2 days ago:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are pleased to announce they have named their first born child:

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor

This afternoon Their Royal Highnesses introduced Her Majesty The Queen to her eighth great-grandchild at Windsor Castle. The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duchess’ mother were also present for this special occasion.
Shortly after, at 4.45 p.m. local time, Buckingham Palace confirmed:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are delighted to announce that they have named their son Archie Harrison.

The baby will be known as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
The choice of names stresses the fact that the baby is so far down in the line of succession (no. 7) that the parents didn't feel any need for a traditional name, but could chose names entirely of their own preference. Archie is usually a shortened form of Archibald, which is Germanic of origin and means «genuine» or «precious» and «bold». Harrison obviously means «son of Harry». Of course most boys with the given name Harrison don't have a father named Harry, but for the ducal son the choice is most fitting, even if Harry is only the Duke's nickname.

According to The Telegraph, Archie was the 18th most popular name for boys in England and Wales in 2017 (see more details at the website of the Office for National Statistics). The Telegraph also writes that «In Scotland, Archie was the 17th most popular name for boys in 2018, according to the National Records of Scotland.»

When searching for the name Archie or Archibald at An Online Gotha, I only get one hit: Hon. Lionel Frederick Archibald Fitzclarence (1857–1863), a great-grandson of King William IV (1765–1837). Maybe one can find the name among the Duke of Sussex's non-royal ancestors, but I think we can safely assume that the Sussexes didn't check Prince Henry's family genealogy in order to find a name they liked.

Yesterday I wrote that «I would be surprised if the baby boy will be not be known as Earl of Dumbarton.» The press statement says, however, if not explicitly, that Prince Henry's subsidiary title Earl of Dumbarton will not be used. He is of course entitled to the courtesy title, and one can of course argue that Archie became Earl of Dumbarton the very second he was born. But «Master» Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor it is, and he will probably continue to be untitled even after his grandfather has succeeded to the throne and even if this will be in conflict with the Letters Patent of 1917. The LP will have to be modified some time anyway.

And of course, some time in the future the young master will become the 2nd Duke of Sussex (second creation, 2018), unless the Letters Patent of 2018 has been changed in the meantime. One can of course wonder why Prince Henry («Harry») accepted the ducal title in the first place, but no ducal title would have meant that Meghan would have been styled HRH Princess Henry of Wales, which for many people doesn't look so good in this day and age.

Archie's surname Mountbatten-Windsor was of course as expected and in accordance with the declaration of 8 February 1960:
[...] Now therefore I declare My Will and Pleasure that, while I and My Children shall continue to be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, My descendants other than descendants enjoying the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness and the titular dignity of Prince or Princess and female descendants who marry and their descendants shall bear the name of Mountbatten-Windsor.
A photo call took place at Windsor Castle earlier in the days. The photos can be viewed in the Telegraph article linked to above or at the website of BBC News.

7 May 2019

UK: Follow-up to the birth of Baby Sussex – place of birth etc.

I thought I should write a short follow-up to yesterday's article, in which I commented on the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby boy. I mentioned among others that the birth announcement didn't explicitly state where the birth took place and added that «is quite possible that the Duchess delivered the baby at home at Frogmore Cottage as the media has speculated about for quite some time». However, The Daily Mail claimed yesterday evening that the allegedly planned home birth was called off and that the Duchess of Sussex was transported to a private hospital in London, possibly The Portland Hospital, on Sunday night and where she gave birth early on Monday morning. No named source was stated and both Buckingham Palace and the hospital have denied to comment. As the Duchess allegedly was one week overdue, the decision to send her to a hospital is more than likely, but for now we will not know for sure.

The timing of the press releases yesterday – several hours after the birth had taken place – can easily be explained by the ducal couple's wish for privacy. They wanted to travel to the hospital and then return home again unnoticed. Their wish is of course easy to understand, considering what the British media is capable of. A car chase from Windsor to Great Portland Street in London would certainly not be a dream scenario for the parents to be. The ducal couple got it the way it wanted. However, it would have made more sense – and it would have been more professional – if the information department had dropped the first statement about the duchess being in labour.

Returning to the question about the place of birth – the operational note of 11 April said that «Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private.» I interpreted the note as saying that the couple wished to keep the birth plans private prior to the birth, but not after, but obviously I was wrong. As many have pointed out, the notice of the birth which was displayed outside Buckingham Palace yesterday didn't include the names of the medical personnel assisting the birth, as has been the tradition in the past. Had the names been included, the place of birth would of course have been revealed.

The place of birth is of course of historic and genealogical interest. Richard Palmer, royal correspondent of The Daily Express, tweeted yesterday evening that «Palace officials are still refusing to say where Meghan gave birth amid conflicting reports that it was at Frogmore Cottage or in a private hospital. But they acknowledge they will have to reveal the place of birth on the birth certificate within 42 days.»

As the tweet says, the information department knows that the birth certificate will be public knowledge in due time. One reason for keeping the place of birth a secret for the time being could be to protect the privacy of the medical personnel and the doula (i.e. the possible doula for what was allegedly planned to be a home birth). In 40 days the media's interest might have dropped a bit. There is of course nothing wrong with a discussion about home birth versus the use of a maternity hospital, but the media pressure is of course something the royal family, the court and medical team wanted to avoid.

As already pointed out, the birth certificate will be made public some time next month. The historians and genealogists just have to wait in patience.

A photo call will take place either Wednesday or Thursday. We will then learn to know the names of the Sussex baby and how he is to be styled. Now, as already pointed out, traditionally the eldest son of a duke will by courtesy use the second (lesser grade) title, so I would be surprised if the baby boy will be not be known as Earl of Dumbarton. Some observers have suggested, however, that it is possible he will «only» be known as Lord X Mountbatten-Windsor (or something else). I guess other scenaries shouldn't be ruled out completely, but as of now I believe that Buckingham Palace will stick to tradition.

Updated on Wednesday 8 May 2019 at 20:45 (the sentence concerning the possible use of a doula in the third last paragraph was made more precise) and at 21:40 (orthographic mistake corrected).

6 May 2019

UK: Duke and Duchess of Sussex have become parents to a boy

Finally – finally! – Buckingham Palace announced today – 6 May 2019 – that the Duchess of Sussex had given birth to a boy, born at 05.26 a.m.:
The Duchess of Sussex has been delivered of a son

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 0526hrs.

The baby weighs 7lbs 3oz.

The Duke of Sussex was present for the birth.

The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer have been informed and are delighted with the news.

The Duchess's mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage.
The press statement was first wired to the media and was immediately published some time before 2.30 local time before it was released on the Royal Family's social media accounts as well. Half an hour earlier or so it was announced that the Duchess was in labour. The statement said: «The Duchess of Sussex went into labour in the early hours of this morning. The Duke of Sussex was by Her Royal Highnesses’ side. An announcement will be made soon.» The wording of the statement suggested that the birth had already taken place, something the follow-up statement revealed. Of course, Buckingham Palace had in its «operational note» of 11 April stated that one could expect two press releases – one when the Duchess went into labour and then the second one after the birth had taken place and «once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family». Releasing the first statement several hours after the birth had taken place only made the press department look silly. It could very well be that the ducal couple kept the press department in the dark for some time before it was allowed to prepare the statement. In this regard one can understand the complaints made by the press. Richard Palmer of the Daily Express tweeted for instance: «Not that it will matter to most people but for journalists, the palace’s handling of that announcement was an absolute shambles. It would help if the press office spent more time worrying about keeping journalists informed and less time on Instagram and overseas organisations.» Then again, thinking of how the British media was sulking after the ducal couple made its birth plans known I guess thay didn't deserve any better. Anyway, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was allowed to celebrate the arrival of their son for quite some time just like they had wanted it. We got the happy news soon enough anyway.

It was certainly a wise move by the Duke to give a few comments on camera outside Frogmore Cottage later on. As earlier promised, a photo call would take place in a couple of days and the Duke seemed to suggest that the names of the newborn baby would be made known at the same time. They were still thinking of names, the Duke claimed.

A notice of the birth was also displayed outside Buckingham Palace. The text read: «The Queen and the Royal Family are delighted at the news that her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex was safely delivered of a son at 0526am today. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well. 06 May, 2019.»

I would like to make a few points. First, it was not explicitly stated where the birth took place. I find it a bit odd that this relevant information was not released, but it is quite possible that the Duchess delivered the baby at home at Frogmore Cottage as the media has speculated about for quite some time.

The baby boy, who is no. 7 in the line of succession to the British throne, has – as I commented on last month – not received the title of prince, but will by courtesy be styled Earl of Dumbarton, which is the Duke of Sussex's second (lesser grade) title. The birth also means that the first 20 in the line of succession now are all descendants of the Queen.

I will not enter a guessing game about the names. Some observers expext that the new parents will chose a traditional name for the one to be used daily. Others have pointed out that the child is so far from the throne that the ducal couple would feel less burdened by tradition. I suppose there will be a good mixture of names the couple likes and names from both side of the family. So maybe Alvin or Frederick or Isaac would be combined with a name or two from the British royal family?

1 May 2019

Luxembourg: List of royals confirmed to attend Grand Duke Jean's funeral

The Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg published yesterday «La liste des Familles royales régnantes confirmée». i.e. a list of members of reigning royal families who have confirmed their presence at the funeral of Grand Duke Jean in the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg on 4 May 2019. Grand Duke Jean, who reigned from 1964 to 2000, died on 21 April 2019, 98 years old.

  • The King and Queen (King Philippe and Queen Mathilde)
  • King Albert II and Queen Paola
  • Prince Lorenz and Princess Astrid
  • Prince Laurent
  • Princess Léa
  • Princess Elisabeth
  • The Queen (Queen Margrethe II)
  • Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath
  • Prince Rashid (*)
  • Princess Badia
  • The Hereditary Prince and Princess (Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie)
  • Prince Albert II
The Netherlands
  • Princess Beatrix
  • The King and Queen (King Harald V and Queen Sonja)
  • Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner
  • King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia
  • The King and Queen (King Carl Gustaf XVI and Queen Silvia)
United Kingdom
  • The Princess Royal (Princess Anne)
  • The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (Richard and Birgitte)
I am sure there will be many members of former reigning families in attendance as well. I hope to come back with more details over the weekend.

(*) Postscript 15 May 2019 at 21.25: Prince Rashid was on the original list, but didn't attend. For a more complete list of royals and others attending the funeral, please see Netty Royal or  Luxarazzi.

Updated on Wednesday 15 May 2019 at 21.25 (postscript added, typo corrected).

King of Thailand marries for the fourth time

The Royal Gazette of Thailand informed today, 1 May 2019, that King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun has «married General Suthida in accordance with laws and traditions» and that she is now to be known as Queen Suthida. The newspapers – Bangkok Post and The Nation – refers to the formerly Suhida Tidjai, born 3 June 1978, as «General Suthida Vajiralongkorn na Ayudhya».

Queen Suditha used to be a flight attendant for Thai Airways before she was appointed commander of the then Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn’s household guard in August 2014. On 1 December 2016 she was appointed Commander of the Special Operations Unit of the King’s Guard and promoted to the rank of General. On 13 October 2017 she was named a Dame Grand Cross (First Class) of The Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao with the title Than Phu Ying.

The king was first married to Soamsawali Kitiyakara from 1977 to 1991, secondly to Yuvadhida Polpraserth from 1994 to 1996 and thirdly to Srirasmi Suwadee from 2001 to 2014. He has 7 children – 5 sons and 2 daughters – but has yet to announce his heir in accordance with the Palace Law of Succession Section 5, cf. the Constitution of Thailand Section 20.

The coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) takes place on 4 May 2019. Vajiralongkorn succeeded to the throne on 1 December 2016, upon proclamation following the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), on 13 October 2016.

30 April 2019

New Emperor of Japan, Longest reigns (current monarchs) page updated

The Imperial Seal of Japan. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Emperor Akihito of Japan declared his abdication in a historic ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo at 5 p.m. local time on 30 April 2019.

I have not yet found a translation of the special abdication act which was passed on 8 June 2017 by the National Diet of Japan and which allowed Akihito to abdicate. But according to BBC News, «Akihito technically remained emperor until midnight (15:00 GMT on Tuesday)», which makes sense.

Crown Prince Naruhito ascended the throne from midnight 1 May 2019 local time and thus became the 126th Emperor of Japan. The Koreiden-Shinden-ni-Hokoku-no-gi, which is the «rite of reporting the accession to the throne» is sceduled to take place at the Imperial Sanctuaries (Koreiden and Shinden) later on 1 May 2019. A enthronement ceremony will follow in the fall of 2019.

As it is already 1 May 2019 in Japan, I decided to update my Longest reigns (current monarchs) page already this evening.

Links to websites and documents with relevant information:

23 April 2019

Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg (1921–2019)

Grand Duke Jean at the wedding of his grandson Prince Louis in 2006. Photo: Schnékert/Wikimedia Commons.

Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, who served as head of state of Luxembourg from 1964 to 2000, died early in the morning of 23 April 2019, the Grand Ducal Court has announced.

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of my beloved father, His Royal Highness Grand Duke Jean, who has passed away in peace, surrounded by the affection of his family.
Grand Duke Jean died a week after he was hospitalised for a lung infection. The exact time of death, 00.25, was given in a declaration by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, later on 23 April. A national mourning will last until the day of the funeral, 4 May 2019. The death was also formally announced in Mémorial, the Legal Gazette of Luxembourg.

Jean Benoît Guillaume Robert Antoine Louis Marie Adolphe Marc d'Aviano, Prince of Luxembourg (as well as Prince of Bourbon-Parma and of Nassau), was born at Schloß Berg in Luxembourg on 5 January 1921 as the eldest son and child of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg (1896–1985) and Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma (1893–1970). His siblings were Elisabeth (1922–2011), Marie Adelaide (1924–2007), Marie Gabriele (b. 1925), Charles (1927–1977) and Alix (1929–2019).

Following school in Luxembourg and England, Prince Jean received the title Hereditary Grand Duke by decree of 4 January 1939 in connection with his 18th birthday the day after. When Luxembourg was invaded by German troops in 1940, Jean and his family fled to France, later to Portugal before finally being transported to the United States. He studied law and political science at the Quebec University in Canada before joining the British forces in 1942. He took part in the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944 and came home to Luxembourg in September 1944. He later took part in several battles before the Germans surrendeded in May 1945. In April 1945 he welcomed his mother Grand Duchess Charlotte home to Luxembourg.

Raised to become Grand Duke and head of state of Luxembourg, Jean served as a member of the State Council for 10 years from 1951 before becoming  Lieutenant-Représentant («Lieutenant Representative», i.e. Regent) in 1961. Jean became Grand Duke upon his mother's abdication on 12 November 1964 and served until he himself abdicated on 7 October 2000 on behalf of his eldest son Henri.

Grand Duke Jean, 1967. Photo: Ron Kroon/Wikimedia Commons.

The then Hereditary Grand Duke Jean married on 9 April 1953 Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium (1927–2005), daughter of King Leopold III of the Belgians (1901–1934–1951–1983) and Queen Astrid, née Princess of Sweden (1905–1935). They had 5 children – Marie Astrid, b. 1954, Henri, b. 1955, Jean and Margaretha, b. 1957, and Guillaume, b. 1963 – and 22 grandchildren. (Someone else has to give the total number of great-grandchildren!)

As Grand Duke Jean's great-grandfather Grand Duke Adolf (1839–1905), formerly Duke of Nassau, was an elder brother of Princess Sophie (Sofia) (1836–1912), who in 1857 married Prince Oscar of Sweden, later King Oscar II, Jean was a third cousin of King Harald V of Norway. At the same time Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte was a first cousin of King Harald as their mothers Astrid and Märtha née Princess of Sweden were sisters. From this follows that Grand Duke Henri and the future King of Norway, Haakon, are 2nd cousins.

Then people of Luxembourg is mournng their beloved former head of state and war hero. He held the same position in Luxembourg as Queen Elizabeth II does in the United Kingdom – even if he had retired, he «had always been there» for generations of people. Loyally he spent his whole life in service of his country. «Der stille Monarch», «the quiet Monarch», as Luxemburger Wort writes today. «Er war ein großes Stück Luxemburg» («He was a large piece of Luxembourg»), as one citizen expressed earlier today. «He was one of us», has also been said. Someone the people could identify themselves with. Both royal and distant and close at the same time.

An epoch has reached its end.

Obituary in Telegraph.co.uk  23 April 2019: Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, benevolent ruler who served in Normandy landings, took part in the liberation of the Grand Duchy and had close ties to Britain – obituary

15 April 2019

UK: «Private birth plans»

We are getting closer to yet another royal birth in the United Kingdom – today it is exactly 6 months since the pregnancy was announed – and last Thursday Buckingham Palace released an «operational note» to the media facilities «ahead of the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby»:
«The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very grateful for the goodwill they have received from people throughout the United Kingdom and around the world as they prepare to welcome their baby. Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private. The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.»
This means first of all that we will not know if the Duchess will give birth in a hospital or at home at Frogmore before the birth has taken place. Secondly, there will not be a photo call outside the Lindo Wing at the St. Mary's Hospital in London like after the births of the children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

However, in the same operational note the media was also told that «Within a few days of the birth, the Duke and Duchess will take part in a photo call within the grounds of Windsor Castle». And furtheremore, the media has been informed that «A large fixed position for broadcasters and reporters will be facilitated on the Long Walk in Windsor. This will only become open for access once it has been announced that The Duchess is in labour. The facility will be operational from 6am until 11pm and for up to 72 hours after The Duchess has given birth».

So much for keeping the birth «secret». Of course the media – and far too many royalty watchers and «experts» – have worked themselves into a frenzy with screaming headlines about «break of protocol» and whatever. The Norwegian tabloid VG produced one of the most silly headlines ever: «Prins Harry og hertuginne Meghan vil holde fødselen hemmelig» («Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan is going to keep the birth a secret»). But then went on by saying that «Prinseparet vil vente med å kunngjøre at babyen er kommet til de selv har rukket å feire begivenheten privat», which more or less taken from the last sentence of the first quote above.

If only people could calm down for a minute or two ... or three. As the editor of the blog Peearage News, Michael Rhodes, has put it, «The idea that the Sussexes are breaking ‘protocol’ and ‘royal tradition’ by having a private royal birth is wrong. The hospital photo shoot is a modern move. The birth of the Queen’s children were private affairs. Edward wasn’t seen in public until he was 3 months old.» Rhodes later went on by writing that «If some people understood the difference in the words ‘private’ and ‘secret’ then the Duke & Duchess of Sussex would not be suffering from the barrage of criticism thrown at them by irrate Twitterers....and Press».  I couldn't have said it better myself.

I think the parents to be have made a wise decision. We will get the happy news soon enough anyway.

Many people have asked about possible royal titles for the Sussex baby. As no press release concerning a Letters Patent has been given yet, I think we can safely assume that the Sussex baby will not become a Prince or Princess. This means that the baby, if a girl, will be styled Lady X Mountbatten-Windsor, while a boy by courtesy will be styled Earl of Dumbarton, which is the Duke of Sussex's second (lesser grade) title.

For the record, when I commented on the title issue back in October, I didn't make any predictions on what the Queen would decide. I only wrote what I personally thought would be the best solution. The number of «working royals» are bound to drop for natural reasons in the years to come, so in that regard it would be wise to give a royal title to the Sussex baby as well. Many have argued that the Letters Patent published in January 2013 signalled that only the children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be Prince or Princess. In other words, the LP would have been worded differently if all possible grandchildren of the Prince of Wales were to receive a royal title.

That is a reasonable argument. However, there is nothing that could have stopped the Queen from changing her mind some time in the future if she saw it necessary. At the time Prince Harry had not settled down anyway. There are good arguments for limiting the number of Princes and Princesses, but there are in my opinion equally good reasons for including the Sussex baby.

As it stands today, the future Sussex baby, whether it be Earl of Dumbarton or Lady X Mountbatten-Windsor, will in accordance with the terms of the Letters Patent of 30 November 1917 become Prince or Princess when the Prince of Wales succeeds to the throne. But it is not unreasonable to expect that the Letters Patent in due time will be modified to reduce the number of potential princes and princesses, or that the monarch in some form or another will «let it be known» that the Sussex baby will continue using «the birth title» under the new reign even without a changed LP. We will obviously know sooner or later.

Updated on Monday 6 May 2017 at 22.00 (orthographic mistake corrected).

8 April 2019

Luxembourg: Louis and Tessy divorced

The Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg announced on 5 April 2019 that the divorce between Prince Louis and Princess Tessy became final the day before, 4 April 2019.

The divorce was covered by the local press, among others Wort.lu, following the statement and has also been written about in other blogs, like Marlene Koenig's (go also here) and Luxarazzi (see also a follow-up). But «for the record» I mention it also in my own blog.

Prince Louis married Tessy Antony in 2006. The decision to get a divorce was made public in January 2017, and a decree nisi was granted om 17 February 2017. Since then the former couple has been in a conflict over the financial settlement, which now is solved.

According to the press statement referred to above, Tessy has as a result of the divorce ceased to be a Princess of Luxembourg with the style Royal Highness, and she will not represent the Grand Ducal family anylonger. It's been a while, anyway. For the sake of the children, Prince Gabriel and Prince Noah of Nassau (born 2006 and 2007 respectively), Tessy will be allowed to use the hyphenated surname Antony-de Nassau taking effect from September 2019. I am not sure why she has to wait so long, but it might be because Luxembourg law concerning name changes works that way. She is referred to as «Mrs. Tessy Antony» in the statement, but if it takes so long to get a new surname in Luxembourg, how is it possible to lose the surname de Nassau so quickly? She seems to believe that she is a Princess until September, although this is in conflict with the said press statement and house law. The name of her Instagram account is «Tessy from Luxembourg», by the way, while she at present calls herself «Tessy Antony, Princess de Luxembourg» on Twitter. I hope there will be more information on the issue in due time.

Updated on 8 April 2019 at 23:53 (reference to Tessy's Twitter account added).

29 March 2019

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2019

It is Hanover time! Or should I say Cumberland time? The latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly – no. 1, 2019 – has a cover photo of Ernst August of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick and his sister Alexandra, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin with their partners and children. The photo was taken in 1917.

The cover photo hints at the fact that Hanover is the topic for this issue's Family Album by Charlotte Zeepvat. One observant reader commented recently in the Royalty Digest Quarterly's Facebook group that the very first issue of the magazine (no. 1, 2006) covered a Hanover album as well. Editor Ted Rosvall replied that «Yes, but that was long before we found the format and concept of the family albums. It only ahd [sic!] a few pages and very limited illustrations. This time we have done it properly.» Later in the same discussion another observant reader points out the same, and Rosvall refers to the 2006 album as «only an embryo, a tryout, to the Family Albums we have since produced». He continues: «Since Ms Zeepvat and I thought we did not handle that dynasty properly, we decided that it would be a good idea to redo it, this time with all the Brunswick background in the 17th and 18th centuries. The dynasties next to come are FRANCE (Bourbon/Orléans/Bonaparte), Two Sicilies, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Reuss-Schleiz, Spain and Sweden.»

And the redo is properly done indeed, with the traditional introduction to the family besides a large collection of photos of the members of the royal house and the palaces – 84 in all – as well as 6 pages with genealogical tables. Cleverly enough, the editor has also included the article The Cumberland Princesses by Marlene A. Eilers-Koenig.

In his Editor's Corner Ted Rosvall dwells on abdications in royal Europe prior to WW1 and lists examples from among others France, Spain and Austria. He could of course have mentioned abdications closer to his home country, such as King Christian Frederik's abdication of the Norwegian throne in 1814 and King Oscar II's of the same in 1905. The reason for Rosvall's list is to point to the second part of Bearn Bilker's The November 1918 Abdications, which is included in the present issue. I really enjoyed the first part published in no. 4, 2018, and Bilker delivers once again! This time we can read about the abdications in Saxe-Weimar, Hesse and by Rhine, Württemberg, Saxony, Mecklenburg and Waldeck-Pyrmont. Concerning the royal house of Saxony, Bilker correctly points out that the royal house is now extinct while one morganatic branch still remains. Oddly enough the editor has  included a photo of «Prince Alexander of Sachsen-Gessaphe» (Alexander de Afif), who claimed the headship following the death of his uncle, Maria Emanuel, Margrave of Meißen, in 2012. But otherwise de Afif is not mentioned at all. It is a trifle, though, but it might have been more fitting to include a photo of either Maria Emanuel or Albert.

In the last issue of 2018, Stefan Haderer was the author of the article A Fairytale Palace on Corfu. I: The Achilleion and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. This time Haderer returns with the second part, The Achilleion and German Emperor Wilhelm II. It is once again worth reading, and the information that the Achilleion and its park today is a museum certainly tempts my desire to visit Corfu one day.

Bearn Bilker has also made a second contribution this time – a review of  John van der Kiste's book Daughter of Prussia. Louise, Grand Duchess of Baden and her family (A&F Publications, South Brent Devon, UK, 2017, ISBN 978-1546960379). As of today the Kindle edition only costs USD 5,61, the paperback edition USD 10,09.

The editor has found space for two of his own (smaller) articles this time: Royal Monograms, based on and old album containing a large collection of among others royal and noble monograms and which he found in a second hand book store many years ago, and Little-Known Royals. Prince Erik of Sweden.

Finally the readers are treated with The World Wide Web of Royalty, the column covering genealogical news of the Imperial, royal, princely and/or mediatized houses of Europe, this time Austria, Castell-Rüdenhausen, France, Fürstenberg. Hohenzollern, Luxembourg and Spain (or France again, depending on your view on Luis Alfonso, Duke of Anjou's claims).

In other words, plenty of good articles to read this time as well!

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. 

Updated on Thursday 4 April 2019 at 21.20 (reference to Cumberland article corrected, see comments section).