29 February 2024

Norway: A new update on King Harald's health situation

The Norwegian Royal Court has today issued yet another update on King Harald's health situation:

Update on His Majesty King Harald's health situation

His Majesty The King's personal physician reports that His Majesty is improving. King Harald is still undergoing treatment at the hospital.

As reported yesterday, His Majesty will remain at the hospital for a few more days, and he is being well taken care of there.

The aim is for His Majesty to be able to return to Norway by plane in a few days. The Norwegian Government is facilitating the transportation, and the Norwegian Armed Forces are responsible for the practical arrangements for his return to Norway.


In other words, the king seems to be doing better and the court is now, with the assistance of the government and the Norwegian Armed Forces, preparing to getting the king home to Norway. It is somewhat worrisome that he is not coming home on an ordinary flight, but given the situation it is understandable that the government will provide a more comfortable transportation for him. We can rest assured that the king is in good hands and just hope that he will get a speedy recovery.

Earlier articles concerning King Harald's hospitalisation in Malaysia:

28 February 2024

Norway: Update on King Harald's health situation

Following the news yesterday that King Harald had been admitted to hospital during his vacation in Malaysia, the Norwegian Royal Court issued a new statement today:

Update on His Majesty King Harald´s health situation

His Majesty The King's personal physician is in Langkawi and confirms that the King is improving from his infection. His Majesty is well taken care of at the hospital and is receiving good treatment.

His Majesty will remain at the hospital for a few more days. No decision has been made regarding his return home. The Norwegian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has offered practical assistance during the visit.

The official program for the rest of the Royal Family continues as planned.

The king's personal physician is Bjørn Bendz, b. 1964, who took over the position after Otto Smiseth in 2020. Bendz is a professor in medicine and in charge of the Heart, Lung and Vascular Clinic at Rikshospitalet (the National Hospital), which is a part of Oslo University Hospital.

The king is on vacation in Langkawi in Malaysia together with Queen Sonja. As the press statement says, no decision has been made regarding the king's return home, but as I mentioned yesterday the official program says that the Crown Prince will serve as Regent for another week and that the king has planned to preside over the Council of State on Friday 8 March. We just have to wait and see if changes to the program of official engagements will be made. 

Crown Prince Haakon said to the press today that he had talked with his parents, that his impression was that the king's health situation had improved and that he was in good hands. 

King Harald celebrated his 87th birthday last week, so it is natural that necessary precautions are taken when he has fallen ill. Some people has criticized the king for traveling, but even though he has had periods of sick leave in the last few years I don't think he would have traveled if his health had been at risk. He could easily have fallen ill while in Norway as well.

27 February 2024

United Kingdom: Thomas Kingston, husband of Lady Gabriella Kingston, found dead

Buckingham Palace issued tonight a statement on behalf of Lady Gabriella Kingston, Martin and Jill Kingston, Joanna Connolly and Emma Murray, informing of the death of Thomas Kingston.

It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the death of Thomas Kingston, our beloved husband, son and brother. Tom was an exceptional man who lit up the lives of all who knew him. His death has come as a great shock to the whole family and we ask you to respect our privacy as we mourn his passing.
According to BBC News, Mr. Kingston was found dead at an address in Gloucestershire on Sunday evening, 25 February 2024. "There were no suspicious circumstances and no one else was involved", BBC News writes.

Gabriella, b. 1981, is the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and thus a second cousin to King Charles. She married the financier Thomas Kingston, b. 1978, at St. George's Chapel, Windsor on 18 May 2019. The couple had no children. Thomas was the son of William Martin Kingston and Jill Mary Kingston, née Bache, and had two sisters, Joanna and Emma.

Updated on Wednesday 28 February 2024 at 07:40 ("on Sunday morning" corrected to "on Sunday evening").

Thanksgiving service for the life of King Constantine II of the Hellenes

A thanksgiving service for King Constantine II of the Hellenes, who died on 10 January 2023, 82 years old, took place today at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, United Kingdom. 

The service was officiated by the Dean of Windsor, Christopher Cocksworth, and Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain. The eulogy was delivered by King Constantine's friend Sir Nicholas Soames, who is a grandson of Sir Winston Churchill. His eulogy can be read here, while the order of service can be read here.

The service was attended by the late king's widow Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes, all her children as well as other members of the Greek royal family, and also by many representatives of royal Europe. Among the many present in the chapel were (the Greeks and the British royal and extended family listed first, then the others in alphabetic order):

  • Queen Anne-Marie
  • Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal
  • Princess Maria-Olympia
  • Prince Achileas-Andreas
  • Prince Odysseas-Kimon
  • Prince Aristides-Stavros
  • Princess Alexia and Carlos Morales Quintana *
  • Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana
  • Princess Theodora and Matthew Kumar
  • Prince Philippos and Princess Nina
  • Princess Irene
  • Princess Alexandra (daughter of Prince Michael)
  • Darius Mirzayantz * (son of the former)
United Kingdom
  • Queen Camilla
  • The Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York
  • Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
  • The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) and Sir Tim Laurence
  • Zara and Mike Tindall
  • Lady Sarah and Daniel Chatto, 
  • The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester 
  • The Duke of Kent
  • The Earl and Countess of St. Andrews
  • Lady Helen Taylor 
  • Prince and Princess Michael of Kent
  • Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy
  • James and Julia Ogilvy
  • Marina Ogilvy,
  • The Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven
  • The Countess Mountbatten of Burma 
  • Lady Alexandra and Thomas Hooper
  • India (Hicks) and David Flint Wood 
  • Amory Flint Wood (son of the former and a godchild of King Constantine).
The Prince of Wales was meant to attend, but had to cancel for "privacy reasons". According to the order of service he had been invited to do the second reading.

  • Archduchess Helen *
  • Margrave Bernhard and Margravine Stephanie
  • Prince Kyril
  • Princess Benedikte (sister-in-law of King Constantine)
  • Hereditary Prince Ernst August
  • Landgrave Donatus
  • Princess Saskia
  • Queen Noor
  • Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath
  • Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine
  • Prince Gustav and Princess Carina
  • Princess Alexandra, Countess of  Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille and Count Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille
  • Prince Alexander *
  • King Felipe
  • Queen Letizia
  • Queen Sophia (sister of King Constantine)
  • King Juan Carlos
  • Infanta Elena
  • Infanta Cristina
  • Juan Urdangarin y Borbón (son of the former)
  • Count Hans Veit *
  • Princess Tatiana Radziwill
For the record, the funeral service took place on 16 January 2023 in Athens, Greece, followed by burial at the royal cemetery at Tatoi.


Updated on Wednesday 28 February 2024 at 20:45 (a few names added (marked by an asterisk) as well as Nobiliana.de and Rebecca English in the list of sources).

Norway: King Harald hospitalized in Malaysia

The Norwegian Royal Court informed today that King Harald of Norway has fallen ill during his vacation in Malaysia and has been admitted to a local hospital to be treated for an infection. The king is receiving good care by both Malaysian and Norwegian medical staff. 

The Norwegian newspaper VG.no, whose source is the Malaysian newspaper Astrowani.com, writes that the hospital in question is Hospital Sultanah Malihai in Langkawi.

It is not known how long the vacation was meant to last, but according to the official program the king is expected to be back for duty on 8 March 2024 when he is to preside over the Council of State. In the meantime Crown Prince Haakon will continue to serve as Regent. According to the program the Crown Prince is referred to as Regent on 6 March, but not the day after, which could be interpreted as saying that the King is expected to return some time on 6 March 2024.

22 February 2024

Tjukke Slekta nr. 3, 2023

Siste utgave av Tjukke Slekta (nr. 3/2023) havnet i min postkasse mandag i forrige uke, og dermed er den 33. årgangen av medlemsbladet til Sør-Østerdal Slektshistorielag fullbrakt. Vi er et lite stykke ut i 2024, så bladet er litt forsinket, men jeg har ingen grunn til å klage. Foreningen og redaksjonen leverer som alltid. Det er nok av interessant lesestoff denne gangen også:
  • Fra redaksjonen, s. 3–4.
  • Tore Stenberg Falch: Om å trekke forfedre og formødre frem fra glemselen, s. 5.
  • Tore Stenberg Falch: Tippoldefar Nikolai - mer enn bare et navn og to årstall, s. 6–15.
  • Ronny Rismyhr Haugen: Hvem var Ola Taraldsen i Søstu Trønnes?, s. 16–23.
  • Ronny Rismyhr Haugen: Om Enersenstua på Søby og de som bodde der, s. 24–34.
  • Trond Bækkevold: Hvem var Bente Kjellsdatter?, s. 35–45.
  • Trond Bækkevold/Ronny Rismyhr Haugen: «Så slo jeg meg på fotografien» - fotografer i Sør-Østerdal, Hamar og Øvre Solør 1858–1925, del 9, s. 46–55.
    • Halvor Haslerud (av RRH og TB), s. 47–54.
    • Mina Westbye (av TB), s. 55.
Tidligere formann i Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening, Tore S. Falch, er en erfaren slektsforsker, men har publisert relativt få slektsartikler. Det er synd, for han har en god fortellerevne og skriver godt. Den første artikkelen er vel egentlig mer et slags forord til den neste. Han minner oss om at slektshistorie lett blir til mange navn og årstall, og at vi vet for lite om våre aner og livet de har levd. Men det er mulig å lete opp informasjon fra ulike kilder og tegne et grunnriss av det levde livet. Falch har gått sin tippoldefar Nikolai Jonsen (1849–1874) fra Deset i Åmot nærmere i sømmene og tegner et levende bilde av forfaren, dens aner og slektskrets for øvrig. Artikkelen er illustrert og har også stamtavler for Nikolai og kona Karoline Olsdatter (1847–1930).

Ronny Rismyhr Haugen forfattet en solid og omfattende artikkel i tre deler i Tjukke Slekta nr. 1, 2 og 3/2022, Om lensmann Tollev Tollevsen Hornset i Rendalen og farsætta hans fra Negard i Stor-Elvdal. I artikkelen om Ola Taraldsen i Søstu Trønnes i Stor-Elvdal tar Haugen opp en løs tråd fra den nevnte artikkelserien og gir også en kritisk gjennomgang av bygdebokens omtale av slektskretsen. Til slutt retter slektsforfatteren noen feil i artikkelserien fra 2022. Kanskje ikke de største feilene, men likevel synes jeg det er bra at det blir gjort.

Den neste artikkelen, som handler om  Ovidia Gundersdatter Søby (1872–1914) (Heradsbygda, Elverum) og hennes slektskrets, er både god og underholdende. Slektsoversikten er tettpakket med detaljer og det er mulig at det hadde gjort seg bedre med en mer skjematisk oversikt for lesbarhetens skyld, men for noen detaljer! Ovidias datter Inga Marie Gundersdatter (Inga Botolvsen) (1894–1968) var gift med Marius Botolvsen (1895–1943). Marius var uekte sønn av Barthold Henrik Todderud Ring (1881–1951), og den som leser årstallene nøye vil se at Barthold var en svært så ung far! Det kan for øvrig være en (veldig så) indirekte forbindelse mellom Ring-slekten og min Hoelseth-slekt, men jeg m å vel sjekke ut om det faktisk er snakk om samme Ring-slekt før jeg skriver noe mer ...

Tjukke Slektas andre redaktør, Trond Bækkevold, har også en egen artikkel, Hvem var Bente Kjellsdatter? Forfatteren skriver at han under arbeidet med Slektsbok for etterkommere etter Emil og Anne Marie Uthus (2011) kom over paret Johan Eriksen og Bente Kjellsdatter, der førstnevnte var en bror til en av Bækkevolds aner. Han kom ikke i mål i jakten på Bentes opphav før boken gikk i trykken. Noen år senere dukket det opp et spørsmål om ekteparet (Johan Eriksen (1796–1882) var fra Osen sogn i Trysil, ekteparet endte senere opp i Surnadal av alle steder) i et diskusjonsforum på Facebook. Facebook-tråden ble slettet, men heldigvis har Bækkevold maktet å nøste opp detaljene om slektskretsen og fremfor alt fant han ut av Bentes opphav. En av anerekkene hennes går for øvrig til sorenskriver Niels Rasmussen Muus (f. ca. 1595, d. 1663).

Niende del om fotografer i Sør-Østerdal, Hamar og Øvre Solør 1858–1925 tar for seg fotografene Halvor Haslerud (Årnes 1875–Oslo 1942) og Mina Olava Westbye (Trysil 1879–Voorheesville, New York, USA 1966). Sistnevnte virket kun som fotograf  i Norge 2–3 år før hun slo seg ned i USA for godt og giftet seg der, men dokumentasjonen er uansett viktig, selv om presentasjonen av henne er kort.

English summary: This article is about issue no. 3, 2023 of Tjukke Slekta, the newsletter of Sør-Østerdal Slektshistorielag (Sør-Østerdal Genealogical Society). The society covers the municipalities of Elverum, Engerdal, Rendalen, Stor-Elvdal, Trysil and Åmot.   

13 February 2024

Gjallarhorn nr. 73, desember 2023

Gjallarhorn nr. 73, desember 2023, kom i posten rett før jul 2023, og nå nærmer jeg meg endelig slutten av tidsskrifter mottatt i fjor og som jeg har planlagt å skrive en kommentar til. Gjallarhorn – tidsskriftet for amatørgenealoger i alle aldre, er felles medlemsblad for både Vestfold Slektshistorielag og Buskerud Slektshistorielag. Ettersom jeg har røtter i begge fylker passer det jo godt for meg med et felles tidsskrift. 

Hvis du lurer på hva som er avbildet på forsiden, så fortelles det på side 3 at bildet er av Lives gravsten, som lenge lå foran hovedinngangen til Efteløt kirke som dørhelle. Samme bilde er avbildet på side 40 i forbindelse med Torbjørn Steen-Karlsens artikkel Gunnes i Sandsvær, og den Live det er snakk om er Live Nilsdatter Skjerven, d. 1661, g1. Halvor Gunnes, g2. Laurits Nielsen Karth, d. 1664, sogneprest til Sandsvær 1642–1664. For øvrig ble gravstenen flyttet inn i kirken i 1905. For ordens skyld, Efteløt kirke fra ca. 1184 ligger i (Ytre) Sandsvær, nå en del av Kongsberg kommune.

  • Innkalling til årsmøte i Vestfold Slektshistorielag, s. 4.
  • Innkalling til årsmøte i Buskerud Slektshistorielag, s. 4.
  • Svein-Åge Wærhaug-Mathisen: Minneord Gerd Norma Berntsen 18.5.1936 - 19.10.2023, s. 5.
  • Torbjørn Steen-Karlsen: Isak Abrahamsen Nor(d)mand, s. 6–8.
  • Torbjørn Steen-Karlsen: Anund Østensson og Steinor Torsteinsdotter Kimestads etterslekt i Vestfold, s. 8–37.
  • Tor Gervin: Lensmannsgården Fagertun, Nøtterøys flotte bygdetun, s. 37–38.
  • Torbjørn Steen-Karlsen: Gunnes i Sandsvær, s. 39–45.
  • Ketil Firing Hanssen: Opphavet til Salomon Jonsen Nes, s. 46–48.
  • Amund Gulsvik: Gårds- og bygdehistorie i Lunder på Ringerike, s. 49.
  • Utnevnelse til æresmedlemmer i Buskerud Slektshistorielag, s. 50.
  • Referater fra medlemsmøter Buskerud slektshistorielag. Referat fra arrangementer som Buskerud Slektshistorielag har deltatt på, stått som arrangør av høsten 2023, s. 51.
  • Eli Ulriksen: Referater fra medlemsmøter Vestfold Slektshistorielag, s, 52-54.
  • Eli Ulriksen: Begravelse, jordfestelse, jordpåkastelse - litt om bruk av begrepene, s. 55.
Det er med andre ord et fullpakket blad med både genealogiske artikler, foreningsstoff og annet. Jeg fokuserer som vanlig på de genealogiske artiklene. Den produktive Torbjørn Steen-Karlsen bidrar med tre artikler i dette tidsskriftet. Sjømannen Isak Abrahamsen Nor(d(mand var født i Eiker ca. 1685 og døde i Tønsberg i 1706. I artikkelen får vi først en oversikt over barna i første ekteskap og deretter en oversikt over moren Cathrines Trebsdorf/Trebsdorph-slekt med dennes barn og barnebarn (minus Isaks, som allerede er opplistet innledningsvis) og deretter følger onkelen (?) Hans Ernst Trebsdorph og dennes barn og noen barnebarn og oldebarn. Med forbehold om at jeg har forstått alt riktig. Vi møter på slekts-/adressenavn som Coldevin (Coldevej), Waager, Melcher og Køhler.

Den største artikkelen denne gangen omhandler Kimestad i Vestfold. Gården ligger i dagens Horten kommune like vest for Bakkenteigen, der dagens Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge ligger. Steen-Karlsen forteller at han ved besøk i Riksarkivet i 1999 ble gjort oppmerksom på at det fantes mange dokumenter om Kimestad, og «Ved gjennomgang av denne diplomsamlingen begynte en slekt å tre fram fra det ukjente og det kan bevises at i hvert fall satt samme slekta på gården fra 1575 fram til 1700, og det var grener flere steder i Vestfold. Det er svært gledelig at det endelig er kommet en artikkel med utgangspunkt i dette materialet etter så mange år. Som forfatteren selv skriver så tar han for seg alle eierne og brukerne av Kimestad fra 1503 til etter 1700, presenterer hvem de var  og hvor de hørte hjemme, og hvordan slekten fra Gyltesø i Sande giftet seg inn. Han skriver videre: "Godsovergangene ved minst to, kanskje tre arveganger og etterkommere gjennom 1600-tallet og ut på 1700-tallet, der de kan knyttes til bestående bygdebokslitteratur. Og salget av Kimestad ut av slekta. Jeg vil bevise og sansynliggjøre [sic] at det finnes etterkommere flere steder i Vestfold. Likeså en mulig forbindelse bakover på gården Kvån Søndre som kan gå via Steinor Torsteinsdotter.» Som jeg ofte skriver i forbindelse med disse slektsartiklene - klarer man selv å komme tilbake til de personene som er omtalt i artikkelen, kan man få mye gratishjelp til å komme seg enda lenger bakover, kanskje helt tilbake til 1500-tallet. Artikkelen tar leseren blant annet til Tjølling, så det er jo ikke umulig at jeg kan koble meg på jeg også. Men da må jeg få gjort noe seriøst med forskningen på egne aner først.

Artikkelen Gunnes i Sandsvær tar utgangspunkt i Halvor Olsen Gunnes, nevnt 1575, skifte 27. februar 1634. Vi får en oversikt over barna i Halvors to ekteskap og etterkommere, til dels til et stykke ut på 1700-tallet. Det er en del interessante slektskoblinger her, blant annet til presteslekten Friis.

Ketil Firing Hanssens artikkel Opphavet til Salomon Jonsen Nes (1735–1822) er god på flere måter. Ikke bare bringer han ny viten om Salomon Jonsens bakgrunn i Gausdal, men han viser også hvordan han søker i Digitalarkivet og FamilySearch for å komme frem til resultatet. Svært metodisk og lærerikt. For ordens skyld, losoldermannen Salomon Jonsen satte spor etter seg i Borre, Slagen og Nøtterøy, han hadde 13 barn og har sikkert mer enn tusen etterkommere i dag. Ifølge Hanssen er han omtalt i flere tidligere utgaver av Gjallarhorn, senest i nr. 69, desember 2021.

Short English summary: This article is about the latest issue of Gjallarhorn, the newsletter of Vestfold Slektshistorielag and Buskerud Slektshistorielag (Vestfold Genealogical Society and Buskerud Genealogical Society).

7 February 2024

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 4, 2023

I have written on the envelope which included the latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly (no. 4, 2023) that it arrived on 9 January 2024. So this time I am not too late with my commentary article, as compared to RDQ no. 3, 2023. The list of planned blog articles about various genealogy and history periodicals has fortunately become shorter, and I have managed to update my blog quite often so far this year as compared to last fall. Life is less hectic now, so I am able to focus more on my blog activities than earlier. Another reason is that Slektshistoriewiki, the Norwegian genealogy wiki which I am the editor of, has been taken down since 1 January due to program updating, and that work, which I am not involved with, has taken more time than expected. But this also means that I have not been able to update and write new articles on the wiki for a while. I look forward to returning to my editor responibilities and other contributions to Slektshistoriewiki, but I enjoy updating the blog as well. I have also started on a genealogy book project this year, but it is something that I plan to work on and off for quite some time. I might not get the book out before 2027 or 2028 because there is so much work to be done on it, and I have to work on other projects as well, and of course my family and work have to come first.

Anyway, here are the contents of the latest issue of RDQ:
  • Charlotte Zeepvat: The Prince House of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. A Family Album, pp. 1-22.
  • Susan Symons. Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and her sister, pp. 23–29.
  • Datiu Salvia Ocaña: The Spanish Hohenlohe-Langenburgs, pp. 30–36.
  • Elizabeth Jane Timms: Imperial Governess: Miss Throckmorton and Marie Valerie [, Part] II, pp. 37–46.
  • Stephen Bunford: Claims and counter-claims. Those who would be kings/queens, or think they should, pp. 47–53.
  • Katrina Warne: A Surfeit of Sophias, pp. 54–58.
  • Bearn Bilker: Christian, Fürst zu Bentheim und Steinfurt 1923–2023, pp. 59–62
  • The World Wide Web of Royalty. Births, marriages, deaths and other events in the Royal Families of Europe, p. 64.
On page 63 you will find information on the planned Royal Weekend conference in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, which will take place on 11 October (evening) to 13 October  (afternoon) 2024. I very much plan to attend the conference and hope to see you all there! I have never been to that part of the Netherlands before, so it all looks interesting.

Charlotte Zeepvat, the former historical consultant to Royalty Digest Quarterly, has returned with a contribution titled The Princely House of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. A Family Album. As usual the readers get a short introduction to the dynasty, then follows a large number of illustrations (of palaces and members of the dynasty, 70 in all if I have counted correctly) and finally the readers can enjoy 5 pages with genealogy tables. The genealogy surveys become handy when reading the next two articles, which also cover members of the Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Susan Symons, who is known for her book series on German castles and palaces, has written a nice article about Princess Feodora of Leiningen (1807–1872), who in 1828 married Ernst I of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1794–1860). Feodora was elder the half-sister of the British Queen Victoria (1819–1901).

To be honest, I didn't know too much about the Spanish Hohenlohe-Langenburgs, so the article was very useful to me. The already mentioned genealogy tables helped when reading the article, because the author lists lots of names! There is no list of sources at the end of the article, which I hope was a one-time mistake.

I wrote about Elizabeth Jane Timms' articles on Imperial Governess last month. I really enjoyed the two-part article.

The list of people with a claim to the present and former thrones of Europe is long. I think Stephen Bunford has made a good effort of presenting them all. Visited are United Kingdom (the Stuarts), Portugal, France, Austria, Russia, Spain, Romania, Italy, Saxony, Monaco and Bourbon-Two Sicilies. I don't understand why the author writes that «Does a monarch have the right to change succession rules? This was done in Denmark (disinheriting Prince Knud and allowing female succession), [...]», though. The question was settled by constitutional changes supported by a majority of the Danes in a referendum. It was not King Frederik IX's unilateral decision. 

There have been many royals named Sophia over the years. Katrina Warne tells the story of  seven of them. I take the opportunity to quote from the article's introduction: «In May 2007 Point de Vue published a royal family tree highlighting numerous royals named Sophia or Sophie or a regional variation of the name. The publication was prompted by the birth of Infanta Sofia of Spain, the younger daughter of King Felipe VI. A couple of years later my niece Sophie was born and as I was very pleased that she had been given a royal name I looked at the family tree again. I noticed that in one line of descent that there was a surfeit of royals named Sophia and that it included some interesting personalities.» The line begins with the Electress Sophia of Hannover (1630–1714) and ends with Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg (1759–1828), who took the name Maria Feodorovna when she married Emperor Paul I of Russia in 1776.  The above-mentioned Infanta Sofia of Spain is of course one of many descendants of the couple. 

Prince Christian of Bentheim and Steinfurt celebrated his 100th birthday on 9 December 2023. He died 3 days later. The article by Bearn Bilker was written prior to his death, so information about his death has probably been added by the editor, Ted Rosvall. The new head of the House of Bentheim and Steinfurt is Prince Christian's nephew and adopted son Prince Carl Ferdinand, b. 1977.

The genealogy column The World- Wide Web of Royalty then brings news from Austria, Liechtenstein, Russia, Saxony-Coburg and Gotha, Schleswig-Holstein, Schwarzenberg, Serbia, Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Hohenlohe-Öhringen.

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

Serbia: Crown Prince Alexander's statement following the news about King Charles' health

King Charles' decision to be open about his cancer diagnosis has encouraged the Crown Prince of Serbia to speak about his own recent experience of prostate cancer (press release 6 February 2024):

Crown Prince Alexander's statement following the news about King Charles' health

Belgrade, 6 February 2024 – Following the worrying news about the health of His Majesty King Charles III of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, HRH Crown Prince Alexander issues the following statement:

“Deeply concerned by the condition which most unfortunately, affected my dear cousin and friend, HM King Charles III, and moved by his courage, despite the disease, sharing his personal health condition with his people, I am sending the following message of support, but also of understanding, and compassion. The love of all of us who know him, and of his people, we deeply care for him, will support His Majesty in persevering and winning this most important battle. The news that it is early stage gives high hope.

The unfortunate news about cancer is not something you wish to hear. And I can say it personally, as I very well know how you feel once you hear it. How frightening and terrifying it is also for the family, how all the feelings get mixed up, and how you cannot think about anything else. I can say it now because I only recently defeated cancer. I had avoided speaking about it, as it is a personal matter concerning only me and my family, but King Charles’ openness moved me and encouraged me to also speak up.

I am sharing this now, because this kind of tragic news can encourage people to react and take care of their health. The statistics already show that once heard about the previous condition His Majesty had with the prostate, the number of check-ups in the United Kingdom has highly risen. That is why people should hear my story, to see it is something that can happen to all of us. But when we are responsible, the outcome can be good.

In December last year, I found out that I have early-stage prostate cancer. The year before, I was on my regular check-up, the doctors performed an MRI exam and saw something suspicious. They did a biopsy, and everything was ok at that time. A year later, although I did not have any problems, an MRI scan again showed worrying images, but this time the biopsy results showed the word we are all afraid of. At that moment, I was terrified. But I was not alone. I am not speaking about family and friends who knew this and shared their support, which meant so much and cannot be described in words, but also all the other people who are fighting this disease. After that, I listened to the doctor’s orders strictly, did all the necessary pre-intervention tests, had surgery, did all the mandatory check-ups after the operation, and finally, got the most joyous words from my doctor – “All is clear now”.  

I am strictly planning to continue regular doctor controls in the future, I appeal to everyone to follow this example and do the same. Be responsible with yourself, listen to the doctor’s advice, and monitor your health, preserve it, and nurture it as the greatest wealth and gift you will ever receive. And to conclude, I am hoping with all my heart His Majesty the King, my dear friend and cousin, will also be triumphant.” 

5 February 2024

Norway: King Harald back in business

King Harald was last week on sick leave due to a respiratory infection. He had intended to attend Landskytterstevnet Innendørs, the Norwegian indoors rifle championship at Stjørdal yesterday, but had to cancel. Originally the sick leave was to end after Friday 2 February. During his sick leave, Crown Prince Haakon took over his father's duties as regent.

Tonight the king was back in business as he attended a meeting in Oslo Militære Samfund («Oslo Military Society»), where the Norwegian defence minister Bjørn Arild Gram held a speech on the current status and challenges in the defence sector.

UK: King Charles diagnosed with cancer

Buckingham Palace announced today that King Charles has been diagnosed with cancer.  He will have to postpone his public duties to receive treatment, but will continue to undertake «State business and official paperwork» as usual. The king remains positive about his treatment and look forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible. The cancer was discovered in connection with his recent treatment for a benign prostate enlargement. The type of cancer has not been released, but a spokesman has ruled out prostate cancer.

According to The Telegraph, the announcement was given after the king had personally informed members of his family, including his two sons and siblings, as well as the prime minister. The Duke of Sussex is expected to travel from California very soon to visit his father.