12 December 2020

Pregnancy news in Sweden and the United Kingdom

The Swedish Royal Court announced on Friday 11 December 2020 that Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia are expecting their third child in late March or early April 2021:

Their Royal Highnesses Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia are delighted to announce that The Princess is expecting their third child.

"We are happy and excited, and are looking forward to welcoming our third child – a sibling for Prince Alexander and Prince Gabriel, and a new addition to our family," say Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia.

Princess Sofia is feeling well, and the birth is expected to take place at the end of March or the beginning of April 2021.

The future royal baby will be the 8th grandchild of King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden. He or she will at birth become no. 7 in the line of succession to the Swedish throne. Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia already have two boys – Prince Alexander, born in 2016, and Prince Gabriel, born in 2017.

In the extended British Royal Family there will also be an addition next year. Mike Tindall, husband of Zara Tindall, née Phillips, the daughter of Princess Anne (The Princess Royal) and Mark Phillips, has recently told that they are expecting their third child. The couple has two daughters – Mia, born in 2014, and Lena, born in 2018. The baby will become Princesse Anne's fifth grandchild and Queen Elizabeth's 9th great-grandchild. The baby will enter the world as no. 21 in the line of succession to the British throne.

28 November 2020

King and Queen of Norway return from Covid-19 quarantine

The Norwegian Royal Court informed on Thursday 26 November 2020 that the king and queen had been tested for Covid-19 and the results were negative. This meant that they could return to work on Friday. King Harald presided over the Council of State which was held at the Royal Palace at 11 a.m.

The king and queen and 14 employees at the Royal Palace were quarantined on 19 November after an employee has been diagnosed with Covid-19. Queen Sonja was in quarantine because she has been in close contact with the employee, while King Harald's home quarantine was self-imposed. Neither the king nor the queen had at the time shown any symptoms. 

The 14 employees also tested negative and have returned to work.

19 November 2020

King and Queen of Norway quarantined

The Norwegian Royal Court informed today that the king and queen and 14 employees at the Royal Palace are in quarantine after an employee has been diagnosed with Covid-19. Queen Sonja is in quarantine because she has been in close contact with the employee, while King Harald's home quarantine is self-imposed. Neither the king nor the queen has shown any symptoms so far.

The quarantine means that the king will preside over the Council of State by phone from his home at Bygdø Royal Farm on Friday 20 November at 11 a.m.. The telephone solution was also used in the spring of 2000 during the first wave of the pandemic.

Crown Prince Haakon will step in to grant the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, an audience at 10 a.m. on Friday. The quarantine also mean several changes to the king and queen's program in the next few days.

2 November 2020

3 November 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of King Peter II of Yugoslavia

The Office of Crown Prince Alexander, head of the Royal House of Serbia, has issued the following statement concerning the 50th anniversary of the death of King Peter II of Yugoslavia tomorrow, 3 November 2020:


A memorial service for His Majesty King Peter II (son of the great unifier His Majesty King Alexander I) is going to be officiated tomorrow Tuesday, 3 November 2020 by His Grace Bishop Jovan of Sumadija at the Church of Saint George in Oplenac.

According to protocol the first wreath will be laid by Mr. Dragomir Acovic, chairman of the Advisory bodies of the Crown on the behalf His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander head of the Serbian Royal Family (son of Hs Majesty King Peter II) on the tomb of the late King.

In New York His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America will officiate a memorial service for His Majesty King Peter II in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine who will light candles in memory of the Crown Prince’s father, HM King Peter II, at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava. His Majesty King Peter II was very close to the cathedral during his time in the United States.

King Peter II, b. 1923, died in exile in Denver, Colorado on 3 November 1970 and was succeeded as head of the royal family by his only son, Crown Prince Alexander, b. 1945.

31 October 2020

King Harald off the sick list from 1 November

The Norwegian Royal Court confirmed in a press statement yesterday that King Harald's sick leave will end on Sunday 1 November. The king had an operation to replace a heart valvet on 9 October 2020 and has been on sick leave since 25 September.

The «Official engagements» section at Kongehuset.no shows that King Harald will have his first public engagements on Thursday 5 November 2020 when he will grant the new ambassadors from Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Greece a formal audience. He will also preside over the Council of State on Friday 6 November.

22 October 2020

Royal birth in Albania

The Office of Crown Prince Leka, Head of the Royal House of Albania, announced today the birth of Princess Geraldine, firstborn child of the Crown Prince and his wife Crown Princess Elia, née Zaharia:
The Albanian Royal Family is delighted to announce the birth of Her Royal Highness Princess Geraldine, who was born to Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Leka of the Albanians and Crown Princess Elia, Thursday the 22nd of October. 
Crown Princess Elia was safely delivered at 09:30, the "Queen Geraldine Maternity Hospital" in Tirana. 
Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.
The newborn princess is named after her great-grandmother Queen Geraldine, née Countess Apponyi de Nagy-Appony (1915–2002), wife of King Zog of the Albanians (1895–1961). Crown Prince Leka (often referred to as Prince Leka or Leka Zogu), who became head of the Royal House of Albania in 2011 when his father Leka, nominal King of the Albanians, died. Crown Prince Leka married Elia Zaharia in 2016.

Because of Queen Geraldine's descendance from Johann Georg II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, her great-granddaughter with the same name is related to most royal and former royal families of Europe, including the Norwegian Royal Family. Princess Geraldine is a 10th cousin to King Harald V of Norway.

The little genealogical table is among others based on a genealogical table published in Europe's Royal Families by Maria Kroll and Jason Lindsey, published by Country Life Books in 1979.

12 October 2020

King Harald discharged from hospital

The Norwegian Royal Palace announced today that King Harald's condition is good and that he has been discharged from Rikshospitalet (The National Hospital, Oslo University Hospitgal), where he has stayed since last Thursday. He underwent an operation  on Friday 9 October 2020 in order to replace a heart valve. A photo of the king being driven home from the hospital can be found in several online newspapers today, including Aftenposten.no (NTB). The king is expected to resume his duties in November.

11 October 2020

King Harald is doing well after operation

Last Thursday the Royal Palace explained the reason for King Harald of Norway's problems with heavy breathing, which lead to a stay at Rikshospitalet (The National Hospital, which is a division of Oslo University Hospital) from Friday 25 September to Monday 28 September. The press statement said:

His Majesty The King to undergo surgery to replace a heart valve

His Majesty The King is being admitted to Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, to undergo surgery to replace a heart valve. The surgery is scheduled to take place on Friday, 9 October. 

In 2005, the King underwent open heart valve surgery. At that time, the aortic valve was replaced with an artificial biological heart valve. Artificial biological heart valves have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, and therefore it is not uncommon that the intervention must be repeated after some time.

The intervention this time will not be open heart surgery. The King will be awake and the procedure will be carried out under local anaesthesia via the groin.

The procedure will be carried out by the medical team led by the King’s physician, Bjørn Bendz, Head of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet. 

“His Majesty The King has had regular check-ups, and the tests we have been carrying out indicate that this procedure is necessary to improve the King’s breathing. This type of procedure is performed hundreds of times each year at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, and the Norwegian surgeons are extremely experienced,” says the King’s physician, Bjørn Bendz.

Crown Prince Haakon will continue to serve as Regent during the king's extgended sick leave.

After the operation on Friday 9 October, the Royal Palace issued the following statement:
His Majesty The King’s surgery was successful 
His Majesty The King underwent a heart valve replacement at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, today. The operation was a success and the King is in good condition.

The King was awake during the procedure, which was carried out under local anaesthesia via the groin.

The medical team involved was led by the King’s physician, Bjørn Bendz, and included section heads Lars Aaberge and Christian Eek of the Department of Cardiology at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet.

In 2005, His Majesty The King underwent heart valve surgery. At that time, the aortic valve was replaced with an artificial biological heart valve. Artificial biological heart valves have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, and therefore it is not uncommon that the intervention must be repeated after some time.

Recent tests carried out on the King indicated that it was necessary to replace the artificial biological heart valve from 2005 with a new one to improve the King’s breathing.
The Royal Palace promised that updates on the King’s condition would be provided regularly. The king is expected to resume his duties in November.

On Saturday 10 October the Royal Palace reported that the king's condition was good and that he already had made a short walk.

4 October 2020

King Harald's sick leave extended

The Norwegian Royal Court announced today that King Harald's sick leave has been extended as the medical examination continues. The court does not tell for how long the king is expected to be on sick leave.

King Harald was admitted to hospital on Friday 25 September for heavy breathing, but was discharged the following Monday. The original sick leave was to expire today, 4 October. The extension means that Crown Prince Haakon will continue to serve as Regent and will preside over the Council of State at the Royal Palace on Monday 5 October at 2.30 p.m. The Crown Prince Regent will also receive the Chief of the Royal Norwegian Navy in audience earlier the same day.

As of now, the official program says that the king will receive the minister of foreign affairs in audience on Thursday 8 October. We just have to wait and see if there will be any more changes in the program next week.

30 September 2020

New Emir of Kuwait, Longest reigns page updated

HH Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was sworn in as the new Emir of Kuwait today, 30 September 2020, following the death of his half-brother, Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the day before. Sabah had reigned since 2006.

I have therefore updated my Longest reigns page tonight. I might update the page soon, as I expect that the new Crown Prince will be designated in a not too distant future. I am not too happy with the way some of the sources are listed on the website, so I might do a make-over at the same time.

King Harald on sick leave, Crown Prince Haakon to open the Storting

Crown Prince Haakon, who serves as Crown Prince Regent while his father, King Harald, is on sick leave, will undertake the formal opening of the 165th session of the Storting – the Norwegian Parliament – on Friday 2 October 2020 at 1 p.m. His mother Queen Sonja will join him for the ceremony.

Many have already pointed out the historic occasion as this Friday it is exactly 30 years since last time a Crown Prince Regent undertook the formal opening and read the speech from the Throne. On 2 October 1990 the then Crown Prince opened the Storting as his father King Olav V had been on sick leave since May that year. And of course, Aftenposten on 3 October 1990 pointed out that the last time a Crown Prince Regent undertook such a task was in 1957 when Olav served as Regent . King Haakon VII died on 21 September later the same year. The Storting sessions were organised differently at the time, so the last time Crown Prince Olav undertook the opening as Regent was on Saturday 12 January 1957. 

King Harald was admitted to Rikshospitalet (The National Hospital) in Oslo early on Friday 25 September. This meant that Crown Prince Haakon as Regent presided over the Council of State at the Royal Palace at 11 a.m. the same day, and Queen Sonja traveled alone to Lillehammer to attend the completion of Tuengen allé 1 B – the queen's childhood home – at Maihaugen Open-Air Museum. The Royal Palace informed that the king had been admitted to hospital for heavy breathing, but added that Covid-19 was already ruled out, and that king underwent a medical examination. Later the same day the public was informed that the king's health was improving while the examination continued. He was to be on sick leave until 4 October. King Harald was discharged from hospital on Monday 28 September while the hospital continued to review the king's condition.

According to the official website, King Harald will have his first public engagement on Monday 5 October when he will grant the Chief of the Royal Norwegian Navy, Counter admiral Nils Andreas Stensønes, an audience. Crown Prince Haakon will also be in attendance.

Updated on 4 October 2020 at 20.00 (I had written Tuesday 5 October instead of Monday 5 October in the last paragraph).

Grave of Ari Behn, Our Saviour's Cemetery, Oslo, Norway

 © 2020 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth

The author Ari Behn, former husband of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, died on 25 December 2019, 47 years old. The funeral service took place at Oslo domkirke (Oslo Cathedral) on 3 January 2020

Due to the pandemic, the urn interment at Vår Frelsers gravlund (Our Saviour's Cemetery) in Oslo was postponed. The family finally decided to have a private interment ceremony on 30 September 2020, which would have been Ari Behn's 48th birthday.

On the headstone one can find his name, birth and death date and signature engraved, besides the text «Du er høyt elsket av alle» («You are much beloved by everyone»). 

5 September 2020

Norway: Prince Sverre Magnus' confirmation

The confirmation of Prince Sverre Magnus took place in Asker Church at 4 p.m. today. Vicar Karoline Astrup, curate Marita Elvemo Sivertsen, who delivered the sermon, and congregation educator Liv-Iren Westnes, performed the ceremony. The preses of the Church of Norway, Bishop Olav Fykse Tveit, was also present. 

This was the fourth and last confirmation ceremony this Saturday. Due to the pandemic the number of confirmants and guests was reduced, so Prince Sverre Magnus – called Magnus only among family and friends – was one of 10 youths being confirmed. King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Marius Borg Høiby, his partner Juliane Snekkestad, Princess Märtha Louise, Leah Isadora Behn (cousin), Marit Tjessem (grandmother), Per Høiby (uncle), Kristin Høiby (aunt), Julia Høiby (cousin), Espen Høiby (uncle), Bjørn Stensland and Marianne Gjellestad  (the latter two are friends of the Crown Prince couple) were present. 

Sponsors at the christening in 2006 were Queen Sonja, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Rosario Nadal (formerly Princess of Bulgaria, Princess of Preslav), Espen Høiby, Bjørn Andersen-Steinsland and Marianne Gjellestad. As mentioned earlier, due to the pandemic and the current travel restrictions, the foreign sponsors were not able to attend, as they would have to go into quarantine for ten days upon arrival in Norway. 

The ceremony was broadcast on Norwegian TV. It was a nice and traditional ceremony, despite the limitations, an the soloist, Beate Løvås Solem, made a great impression with her beautiful voice. Prince Sverre Magnus was marked by the gravity of the occasion, he had a very serious and consentrated look, but gave a great smile when he came out of the church.

After the ceremony Prince Sverre Magnus and his guests drove to the Skaugum estate nearby for a private dinner. The official website has published photos from the ceremony. Photos taken at Skaugum can be found here. According to the official website (see the latter link), Prince Sverre Magnus received several gifts from the official Norway. From the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament) the Prince received a canoe, oars and a flotation device. The government and Asker municipality gave works of art by Morten Andenæs and Magne Furuholmen (of Aha fame) respectively. The Supreme Court gave the prince a surfboard and a book about the Supreme Court, the Church of Norway gave a bible in the new translation from 2011, while the county governors gave a sleeping bag and a sleeping pad.

1 September 2020

Prince Philippos of Greece to marry Nina Flohr

The office of the former King of the Hellenes today announced the engagement between Prince Philippos of Greece and Nina Nastassja Flohr. According to Hello Magazine the announcement said:

Their Majesties King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie are delighted to announce the engagement of their youngest son HRH Prince Philippos to Nina Nastassja Flohr, daughter of Thomas Flohr and Katharina Flohr.

Nina and Philippos were engaged on the island of Ithaca in Greece earlier this summer.

The details of their wedding will be announced in due course.

The website of the Royal Greek Family has not yet published the statement. Prince Philippos, b. 1986, is the youngest son and child of King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie. He is currently working as a hedge fund analyst residing in New York, while Nina Flohr, b. 1987, the daughter of the Swiss businessman Thomas Fohr and his former wife Katharina Konečný, has worked as a creative director of his dad's private jet charter company VistaJet and is currently listed as a director of Dodeca Holding Ltd.

Due to the pandemic it is still unknown when the couple will tie the knot. Prince Philippos' sister Princess Theodora was in November 2018 engaged to Matthew Kumar, but the wedding has yet to take place due to the pandemic.

Sources: See links. Some information or links has also been gathered from the message board Nobiliana.de (Greece/Flohr, EAG 2020, 1 September 2020).

13 August 2020

Norway: Confirmation day set to 5 September 2020 for Prince Sverre Magnus

The Norwegian Royal Court announced today, 13 August 2020, that Prince Sverre Magnus, youngest child of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, will be confirmed in Asker Church on Saturday 5 September 2020.

A private dinner will take place at the Skaugum estate after the church ceremony. Obviously this will be a small-scale event compared to Princess Ingrid Alexandra's confirmation last year, which took place in the Palace Chapel, followed by an official lunch at the Royal Palace.

Like his sister, Prince Sverre Magnus has received his confirmation instruction in the Asker congregation. 

The christening of Prince Sverre Magnus took place in the Palace Chapel on 4 March 2006. He was carried to the christening font by his grandmother Queen Sonja. The other sponsors were Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Rosario Nadal (formerly Princess of Bulgaria, Princess of Preslav), Espen Høiby, Bjørn Andersen-Steinsland and Marianne Gjellestad. Due to the pandemic and the current travel restrictions it is less likely that the foreign sponsors will be able to attend, as they would have to go into quarantine for ten days upon arrival in Norway. 

7 July 2020

Princess Raiyah of Jordan and Ned Donovan married

Princess Raiyah bint Hussein of Jordan, youngest daughter of the late King Hussein II and Queen Noor, née Lisa Najeeb Halaby, married today, 7 July 2020, Faris Ned Donovan, son of the business man Patrick Donovan and the author and former actress and model Tessy Dahl.

According to Petra. Jordan News Agency, the small wedding ceremony took place in the United Kingdom, attended by Queen Noor, Jordan's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Omar Nahar, and members of the Donovan family. No further details about the location of the wedding ceremony are known at present, but I am sure they will be given later. Besides the photo in the Petra press statement, two more photos have been posted from Princess Raiyah's Twitter account. According to Princess Raiyah's tweet, the wedding was originally planned to take place in April 2020, but was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Princess Raiyah, b. 1986, is currently a PhD candidate in pre-modern Japanese literature at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), while Ned Donovan, b. 1994, is a freelance journalist. Ned's grandfather was the famous British author Roald Dahl 1916–1990), whose parents Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Dahl, née Hesselberg, originally came from Norway.

6 July 2020

Norway: Princess Ingrid Alexandra to attend Elvebakken High School

Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway had her last day of lower secondary education at Uranienborg School in Oslo a couple of weeks ago. Today it was announced that the princess in the fall will start her upper secondary education at Elvebakken videregående skole (high school) in the capital.

Elvebakken is the largest and most popular high school in Oslo with 1400 students and 150 teachers.

Princess Ingrid Alexandra started at Jansløkka primary school in Asker in 2010, before continuing her education at Oslo International School at Bekkestua in Bærum in 2014. In 2019 she switched to Uranienborg School close to the Royal Palace for her last year of junior high school (lower secondary school).

Princess Ingrid Alexandra's grandfather and father have also attended high school in the capital. King Harald attended Oslo Cathedral School, while Crown Prince Haakon went to Kristelig Gymnasium (KG).

3 July 2020

Vestre gravlund (Western Cemetery), Oslo, Norway, Part IV

I paid Vestre gravlund (Western Cemetery) in Oslo a short visit on Thursday 2 July in order to fulfill a Findagrave.com photo request. I had made a long list of graves to take photos of for my last visit in April this year, but discovered after my visit that I had missed one grave. So I did «my duty» today and will upload the photo at Findagrave.com soon. The photo is not included in this short article, though. Except for the photo request I had no plan for today's visit, so there are no particular reasons behind choice of grave photos. I took some more photos that are not included here.

Squirrels are everywhere to be seen in the cemetery, but I have never managed to take a decent photo of one until today, and this little fellow was even taking a snack on top of a headstone! Grave of Kirsten Rønning (1920–2001).

Sokoloff grave.

Shetelig grave. Originally the family name was spelt Schetelig.

Borchsenius family grave. I am distantly related to the family through Sofie Cappelen (1869–1939), whose name is no. 2 from the top.

The funeral service for René «Roma» Karoli (1963–2020), a leading member of the Norwegian Roma family Karoli, who died on 21 June, took place at Vestre gravlund kapell (Western Cemetery Chapel) earlier on 2 July, followed by burial in the Karoli family grave. When I passed the grave there were still mourning family members present, so the photo of the grave is of last year. The family had rolled out a long red carpet from the chapel to the grave. Buried in the grave are Polykarp Karoli (1916–2001), his wife Lola Karoli (1918–1996), their grandson (and one of René's sons) Daimens Kaikoni (1985–2017) and now also René. Their legal names, the names in the Public Register and in the cemetery register, were Pål Karlsen, Eva Karlsen and Pål Johansen respectively. I am not sure at present wether René was legally surnamed Karoli or Karlsen. Should add that the cemetery register says that Lola was born om 27 July 1918, while the headstone says 15 January 1929. Polykarp was according to the former source born on 26 December 1916, while the headstone says 24 December.

Photos: © 2019–2020 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

I have called this article «Vestre gravlund (Western Cemetery), Oslo, Norway, Part IV», but I have written more articles with photos from this cemetery, but under other subject titles, so the present article could have been named «Part VIII» ... Follow the link for more details.

Updated on 3 July 2020 at 00:15 (a couple of sentences regarding Polykarp's and Lola's birth dates were added), last time on 5 July 2020 (spelling of name corrected).

1 July 2020

Princess Märtha Louise's Hankø property sold

It was confirmed today that Princess Märtha Louise holiday home Bloksberg in Fredrikstad has been sold. The property was put on the market in August 2018, but it has obviously taken some time to find the right buyer at the right price. In 2018 the property was valued at NOK 35 millions.

The selling price has not been disclosed, but will be revealed when the title deed has been registered.

The then Crown Prince Olav bought the property in 1949, as Grunnboken (the Land Registry) reveals (not in 1947, as the Norwegian newspapers claim). Bloksberg was transferred to Princess Märtha Louise in December 2001.

25 June 2020

The Korean War and Rolv Møll of Norway

Today – 25 June 2020 – marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. In Oslo's main street Karl Johans gate the South Korean embassy is behind the exhibition of 24 banners thanking Norway for its contribution to the war, which mainly consisted of a field hospital called Norwegian Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (NORMASH) as part of the UN force. Norway also contributed with financial support, and established together with Denmark and Sweden the hospital National Medical Center.

The banner says «70th Anniversary of the Korean War Remembrance Solidarity Peace» and «Takk, Norge For Støtten under Koreakrigen 1950–53 Republikken Korea» («Thank you, Norway for the support during the Korean War 1950–53 The Republic of Korea»).

Karl Johans gate, Oslo.

Karl Johans gate, Oslo, with the University of Oslo's Law Faculty Library in the background, and further back the Royal Palace.

Photos: © 2020 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

The South Korean embassy is currently hosting a photo contest were people are encouraged to send in their best photos of themselves alongside the banners. The best photos in the categories «best quality picture», «most creative picture», «pictures in special attire», «happiest or funniest picture» or «picture showing cooperation between Korean and Norway» will win a prize from the embassy. I guess I would have to make a better effort than the ones above in order to win ...

623 Norwegian men and women served in NORMASH over seven contingents. Only 2 of them working for the hospital were killed – one was shot, the other killed in a car accident. In addition two two seamen died, one by illness while the ship «Belocean» was in harbour in Pusan, the other by drowning while the ship was in harbour in Japan. But several Norwegan-born men served in the US army. One of them was Rolv Møll, who was born in Holum, Mandal in 1926 and settled in Brooklyn, New York in May 1950. He married the Norwegian-American Rosy Reiersen (Ryerson) (1924–1976) in December 1951, four months after he had joined the US army: He was sent to Korea in April 1952, serving in the 35th Infantry Regiment (25th Infantry (Tropic Lighting) Division) and was killed on the North Korean frontline in July the same year, 26 years old. He was among others awarded the Purple Heart posthumously. I wrote a piece about Rolv in Slektshistoriewiki, the Norwegian genealogy wiki, back in 2017. So whenever I think about the Korean War, I think about Rolv, whose life was taken far too early while in the service of his adopted country.

Updated on Friday 26 June 2020 at 12.40 (typo corrected).

Royalty Digest Quarterly no 2, 2020

The latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly – no. 2, 2020 – has arrived, and as usual it provides plenty of quality reading. The cover is in green colour this time (what about yellow next, Mr. Editor!), and the photo is of King Alfonso XIII of Spain (1886–1941) together with his 6 surviving childen; Jaime, Maria Christina, Gonzalo, Alfonso, Beatriz and Juan. The latter was of course the father of King Juan Carlos and grandfather of the current king, Felipe VI.

Royal jewels is the topic of the first article of the present issue. The Leuchtenberg Jewels in Sweden is written by the Brazilian-born Claudia Thomé Witte, who appeared on Norwegian TV 12 days ago in a documentary on the royal jewels of Sweden. While royal jewels (tiaras etc.) are not exactly «my thing», there is no doubt that they represent important royal family history, and I admire experts like Ms. Witte who posess such a detailed knowledge. My daughter, who will turn 10 years old next month, took a great interest in the documentary, and even hushed me down when I dared to start talking. Who would have guessed that she would be interested in royal history ... It was a good article as well, although I miss a list of sources at the end.

Empress Elizabeth of Austria, Duchess in Bavaria (1837–1898), nicknamed «Sisi», still draws great interest, and there are no limits to how many different aspects of her life one can write about. In the article Imperial Bride in Vienna Elizabeth Jane Timm studies the wedding between Sisi and Emperor Franz Joseph in great deatail, including the whereabouts of her wedding dress.

The photo cover revals that the main article of this issue is the second part of The Royal House of Spain – A Family Album. A House Divided - the descendants of Carlos IV by Charlotte Zeepvat. The introduction takes the readers from King Fernando VII to King Felipe VI, and we are as usual treated by a large number of illustrations – 99 in all – the last is of King Felipe VI and his eldest daughter Leonor, Princess of Asturias. In addition there are four pages with genealogical tables.

The historian Datiu Salvia Ocaña, who resides in Barcelona, Spain, then completes the third and last part of his series The Six Stunning Infantas. The unexpexted fortune of the daughters of exiled King Miguel I of Portugal. The third part also includes notes, which also cover part I and II.

Who is the next one out in the series Little-Known Royals? Coryne Hall has this time written about Princess Maria of Italy (1914-2001), the youngest daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy and his wife Queen Elena, née Princess of Montenegro. Princess Maria married in 1939 Prince Luigi (Louis) of Bourbon-Parma (1899–1967), the 22nd (!) child of Duke Roberto I and his 2nd wife Duchess Maria Antonia, née Princess of Portugal. They had four children. None of them made «dynastic marriages» and their children don't appear to have any titles according to An Online Gotha, but here I could be wrong. I am not talking about legal titles, of course, only titles by «a genealogical-historical definition».

And finally the column The World Wide Web of Royalty, bringing genealogical news from the European Imperial, Royal and Princely families. This time we get news from Bourbon-Parme, Greece (Brandram), Hesse, Luxembourg, Russia (Kulikovskaya), Stolberg-Roßla, Sweden (Nilert), Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Waldeck and Pyrmont.

Information about Royalty Digest Quarterly can be found at its editor's website Royalbooks.se. See earlier presentations of RDQ here. See also its Facebook page.

10 June 2020

Avledninger og bonus i slektsforskningen

I slektsforskningen jobber man som regel etter et bestemt mål. Man skal finne all nødvendig dokumentasjon som kan identifisere en bestemt ane eller slektning, eller man skal finne frem til de nødvendige kildene for en større krets av personer for å sette sammen en slektsoversikt i forbindelse med en bok eller artikkel. Mens man forsker, kommer man gjerne over andre interessante personer og opplysninger og så ender man opp med å titte nærmere på noe helt annet enn det man hadde planlagt i utgangspunktet. Ja, det er lett å la seg avlede. Man kan eksempelvis finne slektsforbindelser man overhodet ikke hadde forestilt seg. Om ikke «alt henger sammen med alt», så finner man ofte spennende koblinger. Andre ganger dukker opplysninger som kan være viktige for et av de mange prosjektene man holder på med, men som man ikke ventet å finne i den kilden man jobbet med. Og det er jo rett og slett det jeg vil kalle en bonus. Og ikke ufortjent med tanke på all den tiden man faktisk bruker på slektsforskningen.

I påskehelgen var familien og jeg på en liten spasertur i Frogn der vi kunne se over til Oscarsborg festning på den andre siden av fjorden. Da kom jeg til å tenke på Magnus Sødem (1897–1985), som var gift med Astrid Viseth (1905–1997), som var yngste søster til min oldemor Anne Sofie Viseth, gift Ramstad (1886–1969). Sødem ble våren 1940 kommandert til Oscarsborg, der han som sjef for hovedbatteriet spilte en sentral rolle da den tyske krysseren «Blücher» ble senket. Turen til Frogn inspirerte meg derfor til å forske på og skrive en biografi om Sødem på Slektshistoriewiki. Det ville jo uansett komme til nytte hvis jeg skulle gjøre noe mer ut av Viseth-slekten en gang i fremtiden. Den første versjonen ble publisert 13. april 2020, og siden har jeg jobbet med å gi flere detaljer om Sødems rolle 9. april 1940 og finpusse litt på slektsdelen. Jeg har besøkt og tatt bilder av graven til Magnus og Astrid Sødem på Nøtterøy kirkegård og av graven til den første kona til Magnus – Dina Margrethe – og deres felles datter Else Margaret på Ullern kirkegård i Sør-Odal. Bildene ble lagt inn artikkelen denne uken.

I går så jeg litt nærmere på morsslekten til Magnus for å avklare hvorfor moren Inga Ovidia Pedersdatter (1871–1946) var oppført med «pikenavnet» Stubberud i forbindelse med ekteskapet med Peder Mortensen Sødem (1864–1933) i 1896. Det var ikke så vanskelig å finne ut av, ettersom Ingas mor Helene Trulsdatter, f. 1843, var født og oppvokst på bruket Stubberud i Sande i Vestfold. I folketellingen 1875 bodde Helene og Inga Ovidia sammen med Helenes foreldre på Åby søndre i Sande (men Stubberud var nok den korrekte adressen), mens faren Peder Olsen oppholdt seg i Amerika. Så selv om Inga Ovidia var født på Lysakereie i Nedre Eiker, var det Stubberud hun hadde et forhold til og som hun brukte som navn. Det står en del om familien i bygdeboken for Sande på s. 290 og fremover. Der man man også lese om de nære slektsforbindelsene til folkene på gården Bonden, deriblant «mellom Bonden». Noen av disse Bonden-folka havnet i Sandefjord og Sandar, og en av etterkommerne var en god venn av min farfar, Arne Hoelseth (1916–2007). En annen etterkommer er i vennekretsen til min kone og meg, og er altså i slekt med Sødem. Selv om jeg visste at Bonden-slekten var fra Sande opprinnelig var ikke dette en slektsforbindelse jeg hadde tenkt på.

Leser man mer om Stubberud-slekten, finner man også at Inga Ovidia hadde en kusine ved navn Olava Diderikke Stubberud (1876–1962), og hun har jeg faktisk vært borti før, ettersom hun i 1909 fikk sønnen Henry Odvar med Henry Conrad Rosenbaum (1878–1949). Dog med et visst forbehold, da fødselsregistreringen til Henry Odvar ennå ikke er funnet. Men det kan ikke ha vært noen annen kandidat med tanke på navn m.m. Henry Conrads tre sønner født i ekteskapet med Harriet (1881–1965) tok i januar 1939 slektsnavnet Rogg, og jeg omtalte navnebevillingen og slektskretsen i artiklene «Brødrene Rosenbaum som tok slektsnavnet Rogg» og «Mer om Rosenbaum og Rogg» i hhv. Genealogen nr. 1 og 2, 2017. Olava Diderikke ble nærmere bestemt omtalt på side 54 i nr. 1 og s. 49–50 i nr. 2.

Og hvor kommer så bonusen inn? Jo, i 2017 forsøkte jeg altså å finne Henry Odvars dåp ved å gjennomgå alle dåpsprotokollene for Kristiania i 1909 og 1910. Jeg fant ham aldri, men i stedet dukket min oldefar Oscar Marthin Hoelseth (1884–1954) opp som far til en gutt født utenfor ekteskap i 1910. Dette var 4 år før Oscar giftet seg med oldemor Astrid Mathea Strand (1893–1973). «Sjokket» skyldtes selvsagt ikke det utenomekteskapelige forholdet, men selve funnet. Ingen i familien min hadde hørt noe om denne gutten før! Han brukte morens pikenavn som etternavn, noe som forklarer at han ikke har dukket opp i søk på Hoelseth-navnet. Ettersom han var født i 1910 noen år før utenomekteskapelige barn fikk arverett, dukket han heller ikke opp i skiftet etter Oscar. Jeg har selvsagt brukt mye tid på å forske på gutten – som altså var min grandonkel – og etterslekten hans. Dette vil jeg selvsagt gi mer detaljer om når jeg en eller annen gang får skrevet en artikkel om Hoelseth-slekten. Men ville jeg noen gang ha gjort dette funnet hvis det ikke hadde vært for min interesse for slektsnavn og navnebevillinger i særdeleshet? Man skal ha litt flaks i slektsforskningen! Og som sagt, når man legger ned så mye tid og krefter på å forske på egne og andres slekter så fortjener man en bonus en gang i blant!

6 June 2020

Genealogen nr. 1, 2020

Jeg fant siste utgave av Genealogen – nr. 1, 2020 – i postkassen min da jeg kom hjem fra en langhelgstur for et par uker siden. Jeg la inn henvisninger til diverse artikler i Slektshistoriewiki kort etter, men først nå er jeg ferdig med å lese medlemsbladet i sin helhet. Tradisjonen tro gir jeg en kort presentasjon av innholdet på bloggen min og gir samtidig noen få kommentarer.

Først må jeg si at det var et velvalgt bilde på forsiden. Selveste Anita Skorgan og Jahn Teigen under den norske finalen i Melodi Grand Prix i 1986. Artistene medvirket i pausen det året med et utdrag av rockeoperaen «Boheme 86». Forsidebildet røper også at en av artiklene omhandler Jahn Teigens slektsbakgrunn.

Så over til innholdsfortegnelsen!
  • Janne Tylvad: Sorenskriver Gert Heibergs danske hustru Sophie Christensdtr Holbek, s. 4–12.
  • Ivar Leveraas: En gullsmedfamilie i Trondhjem Søren Joensen og hans sønner og svigersønner, s. 13–23.
  • Are S. Gustavsen: Jahn Teigen (1949–2020), familien i Tønsberg og øvrig slektsbakgrunn – en uautorisert artikkel, s. 24–36
  • Finn Roaas: Hvordan var forholdene på farfars arbeidsplass? Del 1, s. 37–49
Deretter følger foreningsstoff – Generalogen er tross alt medlemsbladet til Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening, så det hører selvsagt med:
  • Slektsforskerkonferansen 2021, med program og presentasjon av foredragsholdere, s. 50–53
  • Årsberetning for Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening 2019, med årsregnskap og revisjonsberetning, s. 54–58
Etter foreningsstoffet følger så Lars Løbergs anmeldelser av Øystein Mortens bok Jakten på Olav Tryggvason og Roar Vingelsgaards Uforglemmelige søster – ei minnebok (om søstrene Haavi i Trysil som havnet på hver sin side av Atlanteren). Avslutningsvis finner vi nettredaktør David Widerberg Howdens presentasjon av nettsiden genealogi.no, med informasjon om antall nyhetssaker i 2019 og sidene med flest treff. Antallet nyhetsartikler – 20 – i løpet av et år, burde nok vært større. Nettredaktøren har fokusert på utviklingen av selve nettsiden, deriblant overgangen til https og republiseringer pga. overgang fra flash til html5 og overføringer fra old.genealogi.no. Det hadde nok vært en fordel om nettredaksjonen ble utvidet, og det er blant annet noe som tas opp i artikkelen «Frivillige ønskes til NSF!» Foreningen ønsker frivillige til roller som biblioteksverter, tilretteleggere av materiale, publiseringshjelp (nettsiden), markedsføring og korrekturlesere og bidragsytere til våre tidsskrifter. Jeg var også en del av nettredaksjonen frem til siste store omlegging av nettsiden og kunne sikkert bidratt, men det er kanskje best å fokusere arbeidet med Slektshistoriewiki.

Genealogen nr. 1, 2020 er det første heftet på over 10 år som jeg ikke har vært befattet med, bortsett fra forhåndslesingen av Janne Tylvads artikkel, verken med egne artikler eller korrektur. For å ta det siste først, så står jeg oppført som korrekturleser også i dette heftet, men det er altså ikke riktig. Den enkle og kortfattede årsaken til dette er at jeg aldri ble spurt, men det har nok sammenheng med at jeg i en annen sammenheng tidligere i våres meddelte redaktøren at det ble mindre tid til wikiarbeid etc. så lenge jobben var i kriseberedskap under pandemien. Som redaksjonskonsulent og fungerende redaktør i Norsk Lovtidend måtte jeg jobbe tidlig og sent, ofte også i helger, for å få kunngjort alle de korona-relaterte lovene og forskriftene, og det ble vanskelig å planlegge andre sysler, fordi jeg plutselig måtte legge alt annet til siden for ta meg av en kunngjøring og fordi alt overtidsarbeidet ga meg lite overskudd til fritidssysler. Situasjonen på jobben har heldigvis blitt noe bedre etter påske, og jeg regner med at jeg kan stille som korrekturleser igjen hvis det er behov for min hjelp. Men som jeg også har sagt tidligere så håper jeg på flere korrekturlesere, da det er lurt med flere øyne. Man legger gjerne merke til forskjellige ting. Jeg har lang erfaring som korrekturleser både i Lovtidend-redaksjonen og for Genealogen og Norsk Slektshistorisk Tidsskrift, men man får jo aldri med seg alt. Inntrykket av herværende utgave er at det nok er noe smårusk her og der som jeg ville ha grepet fatt i, men det er på ingen måte feil som ødelegger for leseopplevelsen.

Når det gjelder andre bidrag til Genealogen, så luftet jeg en artikkelidé overfor redaktøren under Genea-LAN i januar, men ideen ble aldri konkretisert, og når man nå vet hvordan denne våren ble, så var det nok like greit at jeg ikke satte i gang med et nytt prosjekt. Nå skal jeg jo heller ikke ha noe klippekort på bidrag i Genealogen. Jeg håper å få noe på trykk igjen når jeg har kommet lenger i et av mine mange pågående prosjekter. Det var for øvrig to debutanter i dette nummeret, og det er positivt!

Den ene debutanten, Janne Tylvad, har som tittelen antyder skrevet om sorenskriver Gert Heibergs danske hustru Sophie Christensdatter Holbek og med dette korrigert G.F. Heibergs påstand i Slægten 
Heiberg fra 1907 om at Gert Heibergs hustru var en Sophie Christensdatter Rønne. Denne feilen har spredt seg som et slektsvirus idet altfor mange har tatt påstanden for god fisk og kopiert den inn i sine egne slektsoversikter på nettet. Så spørs det da om slektsforskere vil fange opp korreksjonen, eller om slektsviruset vil spre seg videre. Utgangspunktet for artikkelen var for øvrig et innlegg i Digitalarkivets brukerforum, og jeg var rask med å anbefale Tylvad om å behandle funnene hennes i form av en artikkel for Genealogen.

Første gang jeg var på en popkonsert var i 1983, og da var det selveste Jahn Teigen som stod på scenen på Kariåsen i min hjemby Sandefjord. Jeg har fulgt hans karriere siden slutten av 70-tallet og spiller fortsatt låtene hans. Som mangeårig Teigen-fan overrasker det vel ingen at jeg opplever slektsartikkelen om Teigen som selveste «rosinen i pølsa» i denne utgaven. På forbilledligvis tar Gustavsen for seg Teigens aner og nærmeste slektskrets og diskuterer motstridende kilder og spesielt fraværet av verifiserbare primærkilde i enkelte oversikter på Geni og MyHeritage. Tre slektstavler/-oversikter får vi også, og artikkelen er rikt illustrert. Det eneste jeg stiller spørsmålstegn ved er påstanden om at det sammen med Jahn Teigens datter er «disse fire søskenbarna de eneste bærere av slektsnavnet Teigen som er etterkommere etter skomakermester og bankbud Haakon Hjalmar Hansen fra Teigen under Horgen i Slagen [...].» Når man sammenholder avissøk i Nettbiblioteket (NB.no) med 1881.no ser det da ut til at de to døtrene til Jahn Teigens bror Viggos yngste sønn begge bruker Teigen-navnet. Med alle mulige forbehold siden ikke alle kildene er «blodferske» og at det er fare for en sammenblanding fordi det er medlemmer av ulike Teigen-slekter med samme navn.. Gustavsen nevner ellers ikke så langt jeg kan se at Jahn opprinnelig het Jan – det er da en relevant opplysning? – og at Jahn er et kunstnernavn. Om stavingen Jahn ble folkeregistert etter hvert vet jeg ikke. «En uautorisert artikkel» står det i artikkeloverskriften. Artikkelen er altså skrevet uten den nærmeste familiens velsignelse. Men det har vel artikkelen felles med de fleste andre slektsartiklene i Genealogen, og synes kanskje noe overflødig? Jeg håper uansett at det kan gjøres mer forskning på Teigens slekt og at mer dokumentasjon kommer på plass. 

Slektsforskerkonferansen 2021, som ble utsatt på grunn av koronapandemien, virker spennende, og jeg burde vel melde meg på for konferansedelen avholdt lørdag og søndag 30.–31. januar.* Det er et bra tiltak styret har satt i gang! Det eneste forbeholdet er at jeg egentlig hadde tenkt å reise til USA den helgen i forkant av RootsTech i Salt Lake City 3. til 6. februar 2021. Nå vet jeg ikke om denne konferansen faktisk vil gå av stabelen som planlagt. Jeg droppet å reise på årets RootsTech fordi det var så kort tid etter RootsTech i London i oktober 2019, og fordi jeg hadde planlagt en større reise til Canada og Mexico sommeren 2020, og to transatlantiske turer samme år ble litt voldsomt. Det er godt mulig at det blir tur til Canada og Mexico i sommeen 2021 i stedet, og da er det kanskje mer fornuftig økonomisk sett å dra på norsk slektsforskerkonferanse i januar 2021 og ta turen til Salt Lake City vinteren 2022 i stedet?

Foreningsstoffet bærer for øvrig bud om endringer i NSFs ledelse. Valgkomiteen har nemlig innstilt Grete Singstad Paulsen som ny formann etter Rune Nedrud, som har sittet i sjefsstolen siden 2009. Styremedlemmene velges for to år av gangen, og Nedrud er derfor innstilt til å erstatte det siste året av Paulsens periode som styremedlem. Det er sunt med et lederskifte etter så mange år, men det blir jo fortsatt kontinuitet i styret hvis valgkomiteens innstilling blir bifalt av årsmøtet. For øvrig litt morsomt at det står «leder» i innstillingen og ikke det vedtektsfestede «formann». To ganger de siste årene har det vært forsøkt å endre tittelen fra «formann» til «leder», men forslagene har ikke fått tilstrekkelig støtte. Med andre ord blir Paulsen etter alt å dømme foreningens første kvinnelige formann, ikke leder. Noe annet som morer meg en smule er at jeg i årsberetningen nok en gang er blitt benevnt redaktør av Slektshistoriewiki og ikke administrator, som jeg jo faktisk er. Det er en (liten) feil som har vært gjentatt i mange årsberetninger på rad nå, og tatt opp på årsmøtet nesten like mange ganger. Ingen stor sak, men styret har altså ikke gjort noe vedtak om at Slektshistoriewiki skal ledes av en redaktør. Så i praksis er det foreningens formann som fungerer som redaktør, selv om jeg har hatt hovedansvaret for det meste i wikien i mange år. Om det er behov for en redaktør er et annet spørsmål. Viktigere er at wikien får flere aktivie bidragsytere. Jeg ser gjerne at det blir flere aktive administratorer også slik at det blir mer fremdrift i utviklingen av diverse prosjekter, hjelpesider etc. 

For øvrig er det svært positivt at økonomien er på rett vei der fjorårets underskudd på 203 0000 er snudd til et overskudd på 95 000, en resultatforbedring på nesten 300 000. Styret har gjort en utmerket jobb her, og resultatet viser vel at det var en riktig beslutning å flytte foreningens lokaler med kontor og bibliotek fra Oslo sentrum til Røykås i Lørenskog rett ved bygrensen. Lørdagstreffene har da også hatt flere besøkende enn de hadde i Oslo. For øvrig avholdes årsmøtet i NSF vanligvis i mai, men på grunn av pandemien ble det utsatt til tirsdag 18. august. Jeg håper så mange medlemmer som mulig tar veien til Lørenskog den dagen!

Short English summary: The article covers the latest issue of Genealogen, the bi-annual newsletter of the Norwegian Genealogical Society. I present the contents and comments on some of the articles and on events in the society.

* Rettelse (Correction): I Genealogen var datoene for Slektsforskerkonferansen 2021 oppgitt å være 30.–31. januar, det er nå rettet til 6.–7. februar 2021.

Updated last time on Monday 15 June 2020 at 10 p.m. (correction added).

10 May 2020

HRH Prince Charles Jean Philippe Joseph Marie Guillaume of Luxembourg

The Grand Ducal Court announced this morning the birth of Prince Charles, the firstborn child of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie:

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess are delighted to announce the birth of their son at the Maternité Grande-Duchesse Charlotte in Luxembourg on Sunday May 10 2020 at 5:13.

He will be called Charles Jean Philippe Joseph Marie Guillaume.

The child weighs 3,190 kg and is 50 cm.

The Crown Princess and her child are both doing well.

The Crown Prince and the Crown Princess look forward to introducing him to the people of Luxembourg.
The pregnancy was announced on 6 December 2019. Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume married the then Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy in 2012. Prince Charles is no. 2 in the line of succession to the Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg.

30 April 2020

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 1, 2020

I received the latest issue of the Royalty Digest Quarterly about 6 weeks ago. I had intended both to read it and write about it some time in March, but so many things have happened in the meantime. First of all, the corona pandemic has lead to long hours at work. As the acting editor of the Norwegian Leagal Gazette, I have naturally been very much involved in the publishing of all the laws and regulations related to the pandemic. I usually do most of my reading on the subway on my way to the office and home again, but taking the subway in these times is not the best idea, so I have taken the car instead (I have done work from home as well, but it is more practical to work in the office). Most of my sparetime the last weeks have been spent with my family. And when I have got some time on my own I have worked on various genealogy projects instead of blogging.

But here we go again! It's on time! In his Editor's Corner Ted Rosvall gives some historical examples of «royal bolting» following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex' decision to step back as senior members of the British royal family. I agree with Rosvall's views on the subject: «Far be it from this magazine to pass judgement over the couple's singular decision other than to give them a reprimand over how it was done, surprising the Queen and the Crown with a fait accompli via social media, rather than discussing the matter calmly and sensibly before advertising it to the whole world». As I commented myself back in January: «It seems to have become an established fact that the Sussexes didn't respect the Queen's request that they waited with making their decision public. It certainly showed poor judgment and disrespect to the Queen and other members of the family if that was the case. There might have been good reasons for making the decision public prematurely, but I can well understand the criticism on this point.»

The illustration on the cover is of King Felipe V of Spain and his family. The magazine's historical consultant, Charlotte Zeepvat, has again returned with A Family Album where the focus is on The Royal House of Spain, with the subtitle 1: From Habsburg to Borbón. Besides the introduction the readers can enjoy as many as 99 illustrations and 5 pages with genealogical tables.

The first article of this issue, however, is written by another returning contributor, Lucas Szkopinski, who has brought us back in history to The Iturbides – a forgotten dynasty. It is not so often you read about the Iturbides these days, and it has been a while since last time I read about them. It is a great article with many nice illustrations. The booklet I have about the dynasty – The Imperial House of Mexico. The House of Iturbide by Charles Mikos de Tarrodhaza, Teodora Amerlinck y Zirion and David Williamson – is packed with text, but has few illustrations. I note that the booklet is used as a source for the article, but the author has used other sources as well. The only objection I have this time is that I feel the article was too short on Augustín Iturbide's climb to the top. Granted that he was from a noble family and a had made a career in the army, but how did he end up becoming involvd in the Plan of Iguala etc.? Concerning the illustrations, among them photos of the Iturbide family vault in Philadelphia, it is still one of my regrets that I didn't visit the cemetery during my visit to Philadelphia in 1999. I knew about the family grave, and I think I even passed the cemetery, but I missed the connection during my visit. I have to go to Philadelphia again! And Mexico too! My third visit was planned for this summer, but obviously I will have to stay in Norway instead.

As I have written many times before, I always like reading articles about royal connections (court and staff members, friends etc.) and not only about the royals themselves. Elizabeth Jane Timms has written an interesting piece about the German-born Mrs. Louisa Louis (1771–1838), once a member of the household of Princess Xharlotte, daughter of the Prince Regent and later King George IV, but who also became close to Queen Victoria.

The next one out is The Six Stunning Infantas – Part II. The unexpexted fortune of the daughters of exiled King Miguel I of Portugal by Datiu Salvia Ocaña. The second part covers the Infantas María José and Adelgundes, and I suppose the last two daughters will be covered in the third and last part of this article. I learn so much new from reading this article series and look forward to the last chapter, in which the notes will also be included.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt made friends with many royals, including Crown Princess Märtha of Norway. Edward W. Hanson has, however, chosen another subject, the president's meetings and correspondence with Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg in the article "Dear Lottie". The Grand Ducal Famkily of Luxembourg and President Roosevelt.

Michael L. Nash then gives a nice portrait of The Duke of Sussex and his wives - Prince Augustus Frederick, one of eight sons of King George III and Queen Charlotte.

I have from time to time discussed how «little-known» the royals treated in the article series Little-Known Royals really are. It will of course depend much on how knowledgable the readers are. The average subscriber to Royalty Digest Quarterly certainly know a thing or two about royal history. But I would say that Princess Eudoxia of Bulgaria fits the bill. She certainly is not among the best-known royals, to turn it around! Coryne Hall has given the readers more insight in the subject. I wonder, however, if one had mastered the Bulgarian language and had got access to Bulgarian archives – and German archives following her exile – if one would have found enough material to write a book about her? Are any Bulgarian historians these days interested in the history of the former royal family? Yes, there are books on the subject in English, French and surely also German, but I am doubt that most of the authors of foreign-language biographies etc. on the subject have had access to Bulgarian primary sources and the ability to read Bulgarian.

And finally, but not least, The World Wide Web of Royalty, which brings genealogical news of the Imperial, Royal and Princely houses of Europe. This time we get news from and about Hesse, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

If you are not a subscriber yet, get your act together! You will not regret it! 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.

12 March 2020

Norway: King and Queen in home quarantine

The Norwegian Royal Court issued today the following statement:
The King and Queen are in home quarantine

His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen are in home quarantine as from today. This is in accordance with the Government’s new measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

Neither the King nor the Queen have any symptoms.

His Majesty The King will preside over the Council of State via video conferencing tomorrow, and His Royal Highness The Crown Prince will be in attendance at the Palace.
The Norwegian Directorate of Health had earlier in the day passed new rules demanding that everyone arriving in Norway from areas outside the Nordic countries had to enter 14 days of home quarentine. The rules were given retroactive effect, which forced the king and queen as well as other members of the court and also the Foreign Minister and the Trade Minister into home quarentine because of the state visit to Jordan last week.

The court also cancelled all official events – with the exception of events strictly connected to the king's constitutional role, for instance presiding over the Council of State – until Easter. See Newsinenglish.no for more details.

3 March 2020

Østre gravlund (Eastern Cemetery), Oslo, Norway (Tombstone Tuesday)

This winter in Oslo has been unusually mild. When I went to visit Østre gravlund (Eastern Cemetery) in Oslo on Saturday 22 February, there hadn't been any snow since December. Usually I wait until April or May before I bother to visit a cemetery in order to take grave photos for my blog, writing projects or for Findagrave.com. This particular Saturday was really nice, and I took the opportunity to visit two cemeteries and one private grave. As I so often say, I will come back with an article or two later on! Don't you think this part of the cemetery looks nice? I think the plants are called rush or reed in English. This section seemed to have many empty lots, in other words the leases have expired and will eventually be re-used.

My purpose for visiting Østre gravlund that particular Saturday was to help out a Norwegian-American whose relative had been married to a woman who had been buried at Østre. I knew from the cemetery register online that the lease (feste in Norwegian) had expired. From experience I know that sometimes it takes a while before the headstone is removed, so maybe the headstone was still there, waiting to be photographed? Because I didn't know the day before if the weather would permit a cemtery visit, I didn't contact the cemtery office in advance to ask for information on when the grave had expired. I didn't find the headstone in the section in question, and it later turned out that the lease had expired as far back as in 2001. But it was a good excuse to visit the cemetery anyway.

Østre is the nearest cemetery to where I live (around 4 kilometres). It serves the parishes of Grønland, Kampen, Paulus, Sofienberg and Vålerenga. Østre used to be farm land belonging to Helsfyr gård (farm). Kristiania Municipality bought the farm in 1892 and the cemetery was consecrated three years later. The cemetery has been expanded several times and has today an area of 140 decares. In 1912 10,5 decares were transferred to the Jewish congregation and was formed as a separate cemetery called Helsfyr gravlund (Helsfyr Cemetery).

Of course I have visited Østre gravound numerous times – last year I went there twice to fulfil photo requests for Findagrave.com – but with one exception I haven't blogged about the cemetery. Two cousins of my grandmother were buried there. A few «famous people» (not too many, though) are buried there as well. I promise to post more photos later on. The following grave photos were taken without any particular purpose. Either I just happened to like the headstone or I noticed that the lease was about to expire.

Grave of lokomotivfører (engine driver) Hagbarth Thorkildsen (1865–1930) and his wife Karen née Kristiansen (1872–1923). The cemetery register reveals that there are more people buried in the lot.

 Biseth family grave.

 Braathen grave.


 Sogn family grave.


Photos: © 2020 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

Postscript 4 March 2020: I should have mentioned that one of the Norwegian genealogical socities, Slekt og Data, runs a grave photo database which among others includes the above-mentioned Thorkildsen grave (link; you may have to double-click). In other words, even if the headstone is being removed (the lease expired in 2019), there will be photos both here and there to memkorize the grave). I could also have added that just one week after the cemetery visit we had a great snow fall here in Oslo and yesterday evening we even got more.

Updated on 4 March 2020 at 20:40 (postscript added), last time on 5 March 2020 at 18:55 (spelling).

5 February 2020

Vita Brevis: Mayor Pete’s cousins

Photo: © 2019 Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.

The US elections are all over us again. All the votes from the Iowa Democratic caucus this Monday have not been counted yet – as I write these lines about 75 % have been counted for – but it appears that the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg (pronounced Boot-edge-edge, would you believe it) has won in terms of number of State Delegate Equivalents. I have my doubts about him winning the Democratic nomination in the end, and at present I am not very optimistic about the chances of a Democrat winning the presidential elections in November 2020, but would love to be proven wrong.

Regardless of the outcome of the presidential elections, the genealogy of Buttigieg, whose father was born in Malta, is very interesting. Even if Christopher C. Child's Vita Brevis blog article «Mayor Pete's cousins» is a bit old – it was published in June 2019 – it is still both relevant and worth reading. I very much look forward to reading Child's articles on the genealogy of the other Democratic candidates. The Vita Brevis blog is, by the way, published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

23 January 2020

Norway: King Harald «back in business»

The Norwegian Royal Court could earlier today reveal that King Harald, who has been on sick leave for two weeks and who was discharged from hospital 8 days ago, now has «returned to duty».

The subpage «Official engagements» at Kongehuset.no reveals that King Harald at 11 a.m. on Friday 24 January 2020 will preside over the Council of State. HRH The Crown Prince, who earlier today attended the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Jerusalem, will also be present at the Council of State.

On Friday the king is also scheduled to grant the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, His Excellency Mr Abdullah Khalfan Matar S. Al Romaithi, a farewell audience at 10 a.m.

It seems that King Harald will travel abroad this weekend, or at least he will be away on Monday 27 January, as the website reveals that Crown Prince Haakon in the role as Regent will grant the President of Mongolia, His Excellency Mr Battulga Khaltmaa, an audience that day. The king will, however, be back on duty again on Tuesday 28 January to host a luncheon for members of the diplomatic corps. Crown Prince Haakon will also be present.

Most likely a cabinet reshuffle will take place on Friday following the Progress Party's decision earlier this week to leave the coalition government. The three remaining coalition parties – the Conservatives, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democratic Party – will continue as a minority government. In the Council of State the outgoing government ministers will be formally dismissed while new members of government will be appointed. Usually the prime minister will be granted an audience prior to the Council of State in order to inform the king about the changes. The «Official engagement» subpage doesn't say anything about it at present, but the information might be added as soon as the prime minister definitely has got everything sorted out.

19 January 2020

Håby Church and Cemetery, Munkedal, Sweden

I made a stop at Håby Church and Cemetery in Munkedal in Västra Götaland county in Sweden on my way home from Svenska Släktforskardagarna (the Swedish Genealogy Convention) in Borås in August 2019. I have passed the church several times before, but it is not always easy to make stops/detours like this, especially when you have other people in the car who might not share your interest in cemeteries and genealogy or think that is more important to reach the planned destination as soon as possible. But this time I was driving on my own and could do whatever I wanted! I still got back in time to spend some quality time with my daughter before she had to go to bed.

Håby Church (kyrka) is situated in the Foss parish in the diocese of Göteborg (Gothenburg). The present church building was finished in 1731, but there has been a church at the same spot since the 12th century. Some changes have been made under renovation work, among others in 1939. You can find more details on Wikipedia (Swedish version), which includes a photo of the interior (the altar).

Grave of riksdagsman (Member of Parliament) Johannes Andersson of Knarrevik (1821–1898). The Wikipedia article (in Swedish) has a portrait of him.

Smith family grave.

Grave of Hans J. Bryngelsson (1837–1919) and his nearest family.

Family grave of Olof Engelbrektsson and in front 3 Hallin graves.

All 12 photos: © 2019 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

It was a sunny day when I made the stop. A bit too sunny, perhaps, because it made it impossible to take photos of all angles of the church. It was well worth stopping by, though.