30 January 2024

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 3, 2023

The third issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly in 2023 was published some time last fall and should of course have been commented on a long time ago. There are two reasons for this lag – the first is that I focused so much on various genealogy projects last fall that I didn't blog much at all. The other is that I misplaced my copy of RDQ before I got the chance to read it. It was rediscovered in a bag I normally don't use around Christmas time. And so far this month I have written so much about the events in Denmark besides commenting on other periodicals. I now realize that I haven't commented on issue no. 2 from last year either. No, I haven't lost that copy, but I think the train has passed for commenting on it. Anyway, no. 3 has been read and it's on time to write a few words. 

  • Marlene A. Eilers KoenigThe Wedding of Gusty and Louise, pp. 1–10.
  • Ted Rosvall: The Landgraves of Hessen-Homburg, pp. 11–20.
  • Susan Symons: The Princesses of Hessen-Homburg, pp. 23–30.
  • Elizabeth Jane Timms: Imperial Governess. Miss Throckmorton and Marie Valerie, pp. 31–41.
  • Ove Mogensen: Tombs, Grave and Monuments in Romania, pp. 42–48.
  • Ted Rosvall: A Double Jubilee in Sweden, pp. 49–55.
  • Ted Rosvall: Royal Bustards, p. 56.
  • Stephen Bunford: George III's illegitimate grandchildren, pp. 57–61.
  • Coryne Hall: Little-Known ROYALS. Princess Zorka of Montenegro, pp. 62–63.
  • The World Wide Web of Royalty, p. 64.
In other words plenty of articles worth reading. First one out is Marlene Koenig's article on the wedding of the then Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden to Lady Louise Mountbatten in 1923. Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf, eldest son of King Gustaf V and Queen Victoria, née Princess of Baden, had earlier been married to Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, who died in 1920, only 38 years old. Margaret was the eldest daughter of the Duke of Connaught and the Duchess of Connaught, nee Princess Luise Margarete of Prussia. Lady Louise Mountbatten was born in 1889 as Princess of Battenberg, the second daughter of Prince Louise of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Battenberg, née Princess of Hesse and by Rhine. As is well known, Prince Louis relinquished his his title Prince of Battenberg and style of Serene Highness in July 1917 and anglicised his family name to Mountbatten. In November 1917 Louis was created Marquess of Milford Haven. His eldest daughter Alice, mother of Prince Philip, was already married at the time, so only the three younger children stopped using their princely titles and assumed courtesy titles as children of a British Marquess. I make a point of this because it meant that Louise was not a princess in 1923, and the Swedish Act of Succession at the time said that a a Prince would lose his rights if he married «a private man's daughter», i.e. was not a royal or equal. Lady Louise would thus come into this category, but the matter was «solved» when the British prime minister at the time confirmed that she was a member of the British Royal Family and was included in the list of precedence at the court. Obviously the understanding ot the article in the Act of Succession was stretched a bit for the marriage to go ahead without consequences. But married they were, and upon Gustaf Adolf's succession in 1950 as King Gustaf VI Adolf, Crown Prince Louise became Queen of Sweden. She died in 1965, 75 years old.

Ted Rosvall then tells the story of the Landgraves of Hesse-Homburg (or Hesse-Homburg if you like), perhaps one of the less known houses of Hesse. The last Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg was Ferdinand (1783–1866), second youngest son of Landgrave Friedrich V (1748–1820) and Landgravine Karoline, née Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt (1746–1821). His elder brothers Friedrich, Ludwig, Philipp and Gustav had also been Landgraves, but none of them left a male heir to carry on the line. Besides the short presentation the article includes 35 illustrations of family members, palaces/castles and even a map.Thankfully Rosvall has also provided a «select family tree», which is useful when reading Susan Symon's article The Princesses of Hessen-Homburg. The said princesses were the five sisters of the above-mentioned landgraves who survived childhood. All in all Friedrich V and Karoline had 15 children (An Online Gotha lists 13 of them). Symons, whos known for her book series about German palaces and castles, gives a good outline of the princesses and their marriages and offspring.

Elizabeth Jane Timms's article Imperial Governess. Miss Throckmorton and Marie Valarie is based on among others the Throckmorton papers (correspondence etc.) kept in the Warwickshire County Record Office and the court archives in Vienna. Miss Mary Throckmorton (1832–1919) was a daughter of Sir Robert George Throckmorton, 8th Baronet and his wife, Elizabeth Acton, daughter of Sir John Francis Edward Acton, Baronet of Aldenham. Miss Throckmorton served as Governess to Archduchess Marie Valerie (1868–1924), youngest child of Emperor Franz Joseph (1830–1916) and Empress Elisabeth, née Duchess in Bavaria (1837–1898), from 1869 to 1874. In this first (of two) articles on the Imperial Governess we follow the lives of Marie Valerie and her former governess through the correspondence they kept. As I have written on so many occasions, I love these articles where you read about royalty through people who were employed at a court. The article is well written and well researched. And thankfully, as already mentioned, there is a second article on the relationship between the Archduchess and her former governess.

Ove Mogensen has traveled all over the world to visit and take photographs of tombs, graves and monuments of the many royal and princely houses and have written numerousn articles about these visits in RDQ. This time we learn about the graves of various members of the Romanian royal family in and outside Romania. This sort of articles is another – and good – way to learn more about royal history. And as always well illustrated

The editor of Royalty Digest Quarterly, Ted Rosvall, has contributed to several articles in this issue. In A Double Jubilee in Sweden, we learn both about the 500th anniversary of Gustav Vasa's succession to the Swedish throne and Carl XVI Gustaf's 50th anniversary as King of Sweden. The author also gives us a short presentation of the monarchs between 1523 and 2003. In his Royal Bustards series, Rosvall then tells the story of the Swedish singer Carl-Erik Olivebring (1919–2002), who might have been the illegitimate son of King Gustaf VI Adolf (also mentioned above). Her mother was a lady-in-waiting at the Royal Court in Stockholm, Judith Cecilia Serafia Andersson (1877–1924). The official records say that his father was a farmer named Lars Ersson, b. 1844. Other than the connection to the court, there is nothing that backs up the claim, other than that the singer had an «uncanny resemblance to some of the king's sons, especially Prince Sigvard and Prince Bertil». Oh well. 

Stephen Bunford follows up with a good discussion about and outline of King George III of Great Britain and Ireland's illegitimate grandchildren.

I have earlier questioned some of che choices for the series Little-Known ROYALS written by Coryne Hall, but of course it will depend how much knowledge you have about the present and former monarchies. Princess Zorka of Montenegro (1865–1890) was the eldest daughter and child of Prince Nikola, later King Nikola of Montenegro (1841–1860–1921) and Princess, latger Queen, Milena, née Vukotic (1847–1923). She married Prince Peter Karadjordjevic (1844–1921), who became King of Serbia in 1903, but by then Zorka had been dead for 13 years. I am not sure if she had been better known if she had lived longer and become Queen. One could say that the kingdom of Serbia is better known than the smaller neighbour kingdom of  Montenegro, but again it all depends on your knowledge. I think she fits the category, and anyway, Coryne Hall tells her story well.

The genealogical news included in the The World Wide Web of Royalty column are from events in July, August and September 2023, so they are a bit old now, but such records of events can be useful nevertheless. This time the readers are given news from the Imperial, royal and princely houses of Austria, Bavaria, Bourbon-Parme, Denmark (Rosenborg), France-Orléans, Schleswig-Holstgein and Württemberg.

If you are not already a subscriber to Royalty Digest Quarterly, please consider it! Information about the magazine can be found at its editor's website Royalbooks.se. See earlier presentations of RDQ here. See also its Facebook page.

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