29 December 2019

Ari Behn (1972–2019)

 Ari Behn in Stockholm, June 2013. Photo: © 2013 Frankie Fouganthin, Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license). 

The author and artist Ari Mikael Behn, former husband of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, died in his home in Lommedalen, Bærum on 25 December 2019. On behalf of Behn's family his manager Geir Håkonsund released the following statement in the evening on Christmas Day:
It is with great sorrow in our hearts that we, the very closest next of kin to Ari Behn, have to announce that he today has taken his own life. We ask for respect for our privacy in the future.
The Norwegian Royal Court released the following statements by the King and Queen and by the Crown Prince and Crown Princess later the same evening (in English):
The death of Ari Behn

In connection with the death of Ari Behn, His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen have issued the following statement:

It is with great sorrow that the Queen and I have learned of the death of Ari Behn. Ari was an important part of our family for many years, and we will bring many warm, good memories  of him forward with us. We are grateful that we had the chance to know him. We grieve for our grandchildren, who have lost their beloved father, and extend our deepest sympathy to his parents and siblings, who have lost a dear son and brother. We ask that respect be shown for the privacy of Ari’s closest family in this difficult time.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon and Her Royal Highness Crown Prince Mette-Marit issued the following statement:

Ari was a good friend, a much-loved member of the family and a fabulous uncle with whom we shared many of life’s precious moments. It is with great sadness we have learned of his passing. We were all extremely fond of Ari. Our thoughts at this time are with Maud, Leah, Emma, Princess Märtha Louise and Ari’s closest family.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg said among others that «I would like to express my sincere sympathy with Ari Behn's family and bereaved in connection with his tragic death. My thoughts go to everyone who was fond of him». Condolences have also been expressed by the Swedish and Danish royal courts as well as by many of Ari's friends.

The funeral service will take place in Oslo domkirke (Oslo Cathedral) on Friday 3 January 2020 at 1 p.m. The service, which will be open to everyone who wishes to attend, will be officiated by the Bishop of Oslo, Kari Veiteberg.

Ari Mikael Behn, who changed his surname from Bjørshol to Behn in 1996, was born in Århus, Denmark on 30 September 1972 as the eldest son of Olav Bjørshol and Marianne Solberg (who later took the surname Behn). He had two younger siblings. After having lived in among others England and Lavangen, Northern Norway, the family settled in Moss when Ari was 6 years old. Ari attended the Waldorf School (Steinerskolen) in Moss and later took a bachelor’s degree in history and religion from the University of Oslo.

Behn made his break-through as an author in 1999 with his collection of short stories called «Trist som faen» («Sad as hell»), which has sold more than 100 000 copies. He later among others wrote 4 novels and published 2 more collections of short stories as well as a play. While he received great reviews for his first collection, the reviews of his later works were more mixed. In the last years he achived great success with his art.

Ari Behn married Princess Märtha Louise, elder child of King Harald V and Queen Sonja, in the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim in 2002. They had 3 children – Maud Angelica (2003), Leah Isadora (2005) and Emma Tallulah (2008). In August 2016 the couple's separation was made public and they got divorced one year later.

Many people have laid flowers and lit candles at the Karl Johan statue in the Palace Square in Oslo following the death of Ari Behn. Photo: © 2019 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

Photo: © 2019 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

I always thought that Ari Behn and Princess Märtha Louise were wonderful together as a couple, and I was really sad when they left eachother. Behn was a colourful man who brought more life to the royal family. I never met Ari Behn. But everyone I know who met him had only good things to say about him – he was always friendly, warm and generous and included everyone. It is sad to know that he struggled and it is terrible that he felt he couldn't go on anylonger. The many expressions of praise after his death shows that he was loved and will be missed by many, not only by his closest family and friends.

He was often ridiculed because of his big words and «Bohemian style» and was called «dandy» and a bit «self-centred» and other less flattering descriptions. If people could only be more generous to eachother and accept people for the way they are and appreciate their different personalities. I guess I had my reservations about him in the beginning, but over the years I respected him more and more. He might have put up a facade sometimes, but in general he was true to himself and his ideals.

The tabloids and many royalty-watchers have described him as a controversial person. He certainly created headlines over the years – his political statements and his comments on a former royal staff member's working conditions come among others to mind – but I have always felt that his «controversial behaviour» has been exaggerated. Granted, I have myself been quoted in the press as saying – with the institution of the royal house in mind – that he sometimes created «a bit too much noise». In general I think the headlines have just been mild ripples on the water, as I have also said earlier. The king and queen welcomed Ari into their arms and have always said how fond they were of him. Naturally they gave him freedom to form his career independent of the royal family. Everyone who knows something about the royal house also know that Ari never spoke on behalf of the institution, only on behalf of himself. Obviously the king and queen and the royal family have been more generous than royalists and the royal-watching community, who tend to be more Catholic than the pope.

Ari Behn left behind his 3 children, his girl-friend Ebba, his parents, two younger siblings, other family members, his former wife Princess Märtha Louise and her family and many, many friends.

11 December 2019

Kong Haakon VII og dronning Mauds etterkommere (The Descendants of King Haakon VII and Queen Maud)


Foto: ©1910 Ernest Rude/Oslo Museum.

I forrige måned – 26. november nærmere bestemt – var det 150 år siden dronning Maud av Norge, født prinsesse Maud av Wales, ble født. I den anledning har jeg i høstnummeret av Genealogen – nr. 2, 2019 – bidratt med artikkelen Kong Haakon VII og dronning Mauds etterkommere.

Jeg har i mange år forsket på og skrevet om kongelige temaer, men det er faktisk første gangen jeg selv har publisert en rent genealogisk artikkel om den norske kongefamilien. Området er dog langt fra ukjent for meg, for jeg har flere ganger hjulpet andre slektsforskere/slektsbokforfattere med diverse opplysninger om den norske kongefamilien og de inngifte familiene. Men stort sett har det vært snakk om spredte opplysninger, ikke hele kongefamilien samlet, så jeg har aldri systematisk gått igjennom hver genealogisk opplysning for Haakon og Mauds etterkommere og inngifte medlemmer. Nå har jeg laget en arbeidsfil med detaljerte kildeopplysninger – både primære og sekundære – og så vil jeg med arbeidsfilen som grunnlag utarbeide en publikasjonsfil hver gang det blir aktuelt. For jeg har planer om å oppdatere og publisere en ny slektsoversikt i forbindelse med et større kongelig-genealogisk prosjekt en gang i fremtiden. Derfor har jeg allerede oppdatert arbeidsfilen flere ganger etter at artikkelen i Genealogen ble levert, og har nylig fått flere nye opplysninger som snart vil bli lagt inn.

Den viktigste delen av artikkelen er selvsagt etterslektsoversikten. Men artikkelen inneholder også en innledning om hovedpersonene – Haakon VII og Maud – blant annet har jeg skrevet litt om deres fødsler og dåp. Videre har jeg to avsnitt om kilder, både primærkilder og de viktigste sekundærkildene. Jeg har dessuten redegjort for hvordan jeg har valgt å presentere etterslektsoversikten. Naturlig nok har jeg også en takkeliste tilegnet de som på ulik vis direkte eller indirekte har bidratt med opplysninger til artikkelen. En person i takkelisten har ikke bidratt til denne artikkelen spesifikt, men vedkommende ga meg i 2001 opplysninger som jeg ga videre til en annen forfatter, men da noen av disse detaljene ikke ble brukt den gangen, og derfor fant sin naturlige plass i min artikkel, så syntes jeg det var selvsagt å inkludere vedkommende.

Jeg understreker i presentasjonen at etterslektsoversikten langt fra er et resultat av nybrottsarbeid. Jeg har tatt utgangspunkt i slektsbøkene til Marlene Koenig og Ted Rosvall, men jeg har etter beste evne gjennomgått kirkebøker, lysingsprotokoller, dagspresse etc. for å ettergå opplysningene, og har dermed kunnet komme med noen rettelser og tilføyelser. Jeg har også fått med detaljer om fødsler i 2018 og 2019, så noe noe «nytt» har jeg også kunnet bidra med. Så har jeg av forskjellige årsaker ikke kommet helt i mål med alle detaljene jeg har forsøkt å finne innen deadline. En årsak er at jeg kom litt for sent i gang med prosjektet. Jeg foreslo artikkelen for redaktøren allerede i begynnelsen av juni, men likevel kom jeg ikke i gang før i august. I mellomtiden har det vært både travle tider på jobb og utenlandsferie har vært avviklet. I tillegg besøkte jeg for første gang Det kongelige mausoleum i sommer, og det ble det to artikler av på Slektshistoriewiki – Det kongelige mausoleum og Krypten, Akershus slottskirke. Kongelige temaer, om ikke annet.

Selv om antallet personer det er snakk om foreløbig er forholdsvis liten, tar det tid å forske og systematisere alle opplysningene. Kvaliteten må være den samme uansett hvor stor eller liten oppgaven er. Jeg sendte mer eller mindre parallelt ut henvendelser til diverse institusjoner (Skatteetaten, Arkivverket, Slottet) og privatpersoner, og fikk svar av mange, men langt fra alle. Noen svar fra Skatteetaten, som bestyrer Folkeregisteret, kom først i desember, etter at bladet hadde gått i trykken. Disse opplysningene var ikke «avgjørende», men viktige nok. Som tidligere nevnt vil de komme til nytte ved en senere anledning. Så må man ellers respektere at ikke alle ønsker å svare. Selv om man kunne tro at også ikke-kongelige etterkommere vil ha interesse av både prosjektet og at opplysningene om dem blir korrekte, så må man ha forståelse for at de av ulike grunner ikke svarer. I så måte er det ikke noe annerledes med dette prosjektet enn med andre jeg har vært involvert i. I 2009 publiserte jeg eksempelvis slektsheftet Slekten Robertsen fra Lillehavn i Lindesnes i forkant av et slektsstevne for min kones farmors slekt, og det var langt fra alle som svarte. Noen av hullene fikk jeg riktignok dekket gjennom andre kilder, men ikke alle hull ble tettet, og de utgjør vel brorparten av «minusene» i slektsheftet. Artikkelen om kong Haakon VII og dronning Mauds etterkommere har ikke tilsvarende mangler, men et og annet fødested skulle gjerne ha vært på plass. I noen tilfeller har jeg jo en anelse om hva svaret vil være, men jeg legger ikke inn slike opplysninger uten kildedekning.

I artikkelen har jeg også skrevet om hva slags detaljer man ev. tar med i en slektsoversikt utover de rent genealogiske. Noen tar også med yrke, utmerkelser, adresse, dødsårsak, gravsted osv. Jeg har valgt å ta med navn på de inngiftes foreldre og hvor de kommer fra, blant annet for å vise hvilken «geografisk spennvidde» etterkommerne og de inngifte representerer, og fordi det kan være til hjelp for de som først og fremst forsker på de inngiftes slekter. Jeg har ellers valgt å standardisere detaljene slik at de som er født inn i familien står oppført med navn og ev. tittel de hadde ved fødselen og med endringer som ikke er ekteskapsrelaterte beskrevet i brødteksten, mens inngifte får oppført navnet de hade ved inngått ekteskap og med fotnote for ev. endringer mellom fødsel og giftermål. Et eksempel her er Johan Martin Ferner, som 4 måneder gammel fikk slektsnavnet Ferner ved bevilling. Ferner-navnet var jo farens fornavn (Ferner Jacobsen).

Jeg har også forsøkt å gjengi stedsnavn og navn på fødselsinstitusjoner slik de lød på hendelsestidspunktet, men her kan jeg ikke garantere at alle opplysningene er korrekte. I noen tilfeller har jeg bare stedsnavn og ikke fødselsinstitusjoner overhodet. Det er mangler de fleste kan leve med, skulle en tro, men de kan jo komme med i en senere oppdatering.

Jeg har også påpekt det faktum at de fleste kongelige genealogiene ikke inkluderer samboerskap hvis det ikke er født barn inn i forholdet. Samboerskap kan jo være utfordrende å tidfeste, med glidende overganger fra første gangen tannbørsten er på plass til ny adresse er folkeregistrert. Det er utfordrende nok å få med seg alle samboerskapene, da ikke alle har nådd offentligheten. Jeg har dog valgt å ta med opplysninger der etterkommerne har hatt samboere i en årrekke og selvsagt må regnes som en del av familien. De har også vært invitert til kongelige evenementer og vært kjent gjennom media også i andre sammenhenger.

En litteraturliste er lagt til etter etterslektsoversikten. I noteapparatet har jeg blant annet av plasshensyn ikke tatt med alle henvisninger til primær- eller sekundærkilder, korrespondanse etc., men stort sett nøyd meg med noter der jeg har følt behov for å forklare nærmere. Øvrige kilder til de enkelte opplysninger kan fås på forespørsel.

Et tlfelle hvor jeg har gitt mer detaljerte opplysninger gjelder stedet hvor dronning Maud døde i 1938, 18 Bentinck Street i London. Jeg gjengir for ordens skyld noten i sin helhet:
I Morgenbladet 21. november 1938 nr. 320, dagen etter at Maud døde, stod det: «Dronningen avgikk ved døden på The London Clinic, 20 Devonshire Place, W 1, London, den klinikk hvor hun var operert. Dødsfallet kom så plutselig at kongen ikke nådde frem til sykeleiet.» Samme adresse oppgis i andre aviser samme dag, som Adresseavisen med flere, jf. også Møller, Arvid. Dronning Maud. Et portrett, Oslo: Cappelen, 1992, s. 232. Men i Lokalhistoriewikis artikkel om dronningen står det at hun døde på en klinikk i 18 Bentinck Street, en gate som også ligger i Marylebone. Lokalhistoriewikis kilde er Bomann-Larsen, Tor. Æresordet. Haakon & Maud. V, Oslo: Cappelen Damm, 2011, s. 212 og 214ff. Bomann-Larsen på sin side henviser til «KSO/HD» (Det Kongelige Slott/Haakon VIIs dagbøker), jf. notene, s. 583. Videre står det på forsiden i Dagbladet 23. november 1938 og i Aftenposten samme dag, s. 2, et bilde av klinikken med henvisning til adressen «Bentinck Street 18». Tor Bomann-Larsen bekrefter, med henvisning til legepapirene, deriblant dødsattesten, i en e-post 17. november 2017 at dronning Maud ble operert og døde i klinikken i 18 Bentinck Street. Navnet på klinikken er dog ukjent. I dag ligger det en klinikk med navnet Fortius Clinic på samme adresse.
De fleste av opplysningene er også gitt i Glücksburg-artikkelen i Slektshistoriewiki. Årsaken til at jeg har gjort såpass mye ut av dette er at jeg – med utgangspunkt i førstnevnte Morgenblad-oppslag – har kommet i skade for å viderebringe opplysninger som har vist seg å ikke stemme. Disse opplysningene har i minst ett tilfelle endt opp i en trykt publikasjon. Jeg kunne ha unnskyldt meg med at jeg faktisk hadde en kilde, og at jeg på daværende tidspunkt ikke hadde dronning Mauds dødssted som forskningsoppgave, men egentlig hadde andre ærend og derfor tok med meg de opplysningene jeg tilfeldigvis kom over. Men jeg vet at dette ikke holder. Man skal alltid lete etter flere – og helst uavhengige kilder – og i dette tilfellet tok det ikke lang tid etter dødsfallet før avisene viste til korrekt adresse. Det gjaldt bare å søke gjennom flere aviser over et større tidsrom. Det er mange år siden feilen ble begått, og jeg vil tro at jeg er en bedre slektsforsker nå enn den gang, men det må likevel beskrives som et av mine mindre stolte øyeblikk som slektsforsker.

I en slektsartikkel med så mange detaljer er det for øvrig ikke lett å ikke begå feil, samme hvor mye man prøver for å unngå dem. Det skal ikke mer enn et tastetrykk til for at en dato blir feilskrevet. Jeg vil derfor som alltid sette pris på korreksjoner, tilføyelser og andre innspill slik at neste oppdatering forhåpentligvis blir enda bedre.

English summary: This blog article in Norwegian is a presentation of my article Kong Haakon VII og dronning Mauds etterkommere («The Descendants of King Haakon VII and Queen Maud»), which was published in the latest issue (no. 2, 2019) of Genealogen, the bi-annual periodical of The Norwegian Genealogical Society, in connection with the 150th anniversary of Queen Maud's birth of 26 November.

Towards the end of my blog article I mention that I have been unfortunate enough to pass on details about Queen Maud's death place which turned out to be wrong. I have alleged that she died at The London Clinic in 20 Devonshire Place, while she in fact died in a private clinic in 18 Bentinck Street. Not too far from eachother, but still ... The incorrect details have been printed in at least one genealogical work. I could as an excuse stress that the information was based on a trustworthy source, and that I at the time was not searching for Queen Maud's place of death – it was just something I came over when I was working on something else – but I know it is not good enough. One should always look for more – and preferably independent – sources, and in this instance it didn't take too long after the death before the newspapers got the correct address. I should have searched through more newspapers for a longer period. This is all a long time ago, and I like to think that I have become a better genealogist since then, but it has to be said that this can only be described as one of my less proud moments as a genealogist.

Updated last time on Thursday 12 December 2019 at 10.40 (missing word in one sentence inserted).

Genealogen nr. 2, 2019


Siste utgave av Genealogen (nr. 2, 2019), medlemsbladet til Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening, kom endelig i posten i går. Vanligvis kommer høstnummeret ut i månedsskiftet oktober/november, men denne gangen ble det noe forsinket, blant annet på grunn av utfordringer med stofftilgang. Men den som venter på noe godt ...

Høstnummeret kan by på flere interessante artikler. Min egen artikkel kan jeg selvsagt ikke bedømme selv, men jeg tenker å presentere den i en egen bloggartikkel senere. Uansett, her er innholdsfortegnelsen:
  • Ibsen-forskning og genealogi av Leif B. Kristensen
  • Kong Haakon VII og dronning Mauds etterkommere av Dag Trygsland Hoelseth
  • Kapellan Bersvend Joensen Hexem og hans ukjente hustru av Inge A. Ramberg
  • Matrosen fra Bergen. En beretning om Jacob De Lange 1799–1811 av Ingrid B. Nielsen, Jette Bøgvad og Torger Børresen
  • Universitetet i Rostock 600 år (1419–2019) av Are S. Gustavsen
  • Jakten på Durek David Verretts norske aner av Elin Galtung Lihaug
  • RootsTech London 24.–26. oktober 2019 av Gyrid Jørgensen og Grete Singstad Paulsen
  • Mysteriet Josefine av David Widerberg Howden
  • Renovering av slektstreet av Rune Nedrud
  • Slektsforskning med DNA – på norsk med norske eksempler av Are S. Gustavsen (bokanmeldelse av Peter Sjölunds bok Slektsforskning med DNA, oversatt og tilrettelagt av Rune Nedrud og David Widerberg Howden).
I tillegg kan man som vanlig finne medlemssider. Foreningen ønsker blant annet flere frivillige til ulike oppgaver. Leserne får også med seg en aktivitetskalender for perioden november til februar. På grunn av forsinkelsen er det dog bare arrangementene i januar og februar som fortsatt er aktuelle. Men alle disse arrangementene tidligere i høst har jo vært godt markedsført på hjemmeside og Facebook. Foreningen informerer ellers at det tradisjonelle høstmøtet i foreningen ikke lenger vil bli avholdt, blant annet fordi NSF nå har så mange foredrag i løpet av året, i tillegg til blant annet Genea-LAN, kurs m.m., slik at man anser at foreningen har nok av tilbud til medlemmene. På de siste par sidene har også protokollen fra årsmøtet i mai 2019 funnet sin plass.

Ibsen-artikkelen har sin bakgrunn i debatten som fulgte utgivelsen av Sverre Mørkhagens biografi Ibsen ... den mærkelige Mand (Gyldendal 2019), der han ga nytt liv til den gamle påstanden om at Henrik Ibsen som 15-åring hadde satt barn på en 2 år yngre jente. Se også Digitalarkivets brukerforum om dette.

I artikkelen Mysteriet Josefine redegjør David Widerberg Howden om sin slektsforskning og DNA-analyser i forbindelse med TV2-programmet «Åsted Norge» tidligere i høst. Han vil fortelle mer om dette i et foredrag i NSFs regi i februar. Se ellers TV2s pressemelding om programmet samt MyHeritage blog.

Ellers er det positivt at det ikke bare er gjengangere blant artikkelforfatterne denne gangen. Både Leif B. Kristensen, David Widerberg Howden og såvidt jeg vet også Inge A. Ramberg samt trekløveret bak Matrosen fra Bergen-artikkelen debuterer med bidrag til Genealogen.

Rojale temaer er faktisk sjelden vare i NSFs medlemsblad. Denne gangen er det to artikler – foruten mitt bidrag så har Elin Galtung Lihaug skrevet om de norske anene til sjamanen Durek Verrett. Han er langt fra rojal, men er godt kjent som kjæresten til prinsesse Märtha Louise. Mye av jakten på de norske anene foregikk for øvrig i Digitalarkivets brukerforum. Lihaug har også holdt foredrag om samme emne i NSFs regi tidligere i høst.

Jeg er vanligvis korrekturleser for medlemsbladet, hvilket betyr at det er lite nytt for meg når bladet endelig kommer i postkassen. Men denne gangen har jeg kun lest igjennom min egen artikkel samt forhåndslest artiklene til Lihaug, Nedrud Jørgensen og Paulsen. Mye reising i oktober er hovedårsaken til at jeg ikke fikk bidra så mye denne gangen. Jeg overser jo skrivefeil etc. jeg også – ingen er ufeilbarlige – men jeg ser jo at enkelte deler kunne ha vært gjennom en korrekturrunde eller to til. Jeg har tidligere bedt om at redaktøren skaffer til veie minst én korrekturleser til, og håper at noen lar seg kalle. At forfatterpresentasjonen i min egen artikkel har falt ut kan jeg kanskje skylde på meg selv for siden jeg ikke la merke til det under den siste gjennomlesingen ...

Men småfeilene forstyrrer etter min mening ikke leseopplevelsen. Alt i alt synes jeg det er mye godt lesestoff denne gangen, og jeg håper øvrige lesere synes det samme. Og kanskje er det flere som kunne tenke seg å bidra med en artikkel eller to i fremtidige utgaver?

Short summary in English: The aticle presents the contents of the latest issue of Genealogen, the bi-annual periodical of The Norwegian Genealogical Society.

Updated last time on Wednesday 11 December 2019 at 23.10 (link added).

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.

Contents:
  • 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 IV 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 IV, 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.

Updated on Saturday 18 January 2020 at 19.25 (correcting the numeral from V to IV in the reference to Bearn Bilker's series The November 1918 Abdications).

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.

OFFICE OF THE MARSHAL OF THE REALM

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 has 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, last time on Sunday 1 December 2019 at 13.30 (grammatical error 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
Organisations
  • 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)
Family
  • 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.

https://vitabrevis.americanancestors.org/2019/05/ancestry-archie-mountbatten-windsor/

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:

https://vitabrevis.americanancestors.org/2018/12/challenging-modern-records/

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:

https://www.americanancestors.org/specials/ancestry-of-the-royal-baby

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?