Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Coburg: Prince Andreas Becomes a Grandfather!

HH Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha has become a grandfather!

Hereditary Princess Kelly gave birth earlier today to a baby daughter (Katharina Victoria Elizabeth Cheryl). The birth took place in Coburg!

Katharina is the first member of the Saxe-Coburg & Gotha dynasty to be born in Coburg since 1977. That "title" was held until this morning by her Uncle Prince Alexander, youngest son of Prince Andreas and Princess Carin.;art214,695384

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Book: The Nassaus of Luxembourg

We are weeks away from sending to print the second Eurohistory book of 2014!

The Nassaus of Luxembourg

This new dynastic biography focuses on Grand Duke Adolphe of Luxembourg, the former Duke Adolph of Nassau, and his descendants.

Divided in eight chapters, THE NASSAUS OF LUXEMBOURG covers the life of Grand Duke Adolphe, Grand Duke Guillaume IV, Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide, Grand Duchess Charlotte (including Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duke Henri), Princess Hilda of Schwarzenberg, Crown Princess Antonia of Bavaria, Princess Elisabeth of Thurn und Taxis and Princess Sophie of Saxony.

With the assistance of several descendants of Grand Duke Guillaume, the authors have managed to piece together an interesting narrative, while bringing to the English-reading public the history of one of Europe's most respected dynasties.

Hardbound and glossy-paged, this volume contains hundreds of photos of many of Duke Adolphe's descendants. Many of these images were donated by the family, a considerable number were taken by one of the authors, while the rest come from the Pollocks' private collection, as well as the Eurohistory Archive.

We anticipate that the book will begin mailing to clients by June 15, a month after it begins printing!

Crown Princess Antonia of Bavaria.

Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg.

Prince Adolph and Princess Hilda of Schwarzenberg. 

King Miguel and Queen Adelaide of Portugal.

The Duke and Duchess of Braganza.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

AUCTION: Trouble with Upcoming Royal Auction!

The upcoming auction of royal letters, photos and articles owned by Princess Marie'd Orléans (1865-1909), wife of Prince Valdemar of Denmark, is responsible for a major family discord among her heirs.

The items in the auction were being auctioned in the name of Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma. His children, however, were not consulted by their father. Furious at seeing these family heirlooms dispersed to the four corners of the world, Prince Michel's offspring have joined forces and taken their father to court in an effort to prevent the spoliation of family legacy.

More than half the items that were listed in the catalogue have been removed from the auction. Also, the hours during which the auction was to take place have been drastically reduced.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Belgium: A Review of Latest Biography of Queen Elisabeth

“Élisabeth de Belgique. Une Reine Entre Guerre et Paix,”  by Patrick Weber. (Payot, Paris). 205 pages, 10 illustrations. Text in French.

Queen Elisabeth of Belgium is perhaps best remembered as one of the icons of the First World War. Born a member of the unconventional Wittelsbach family, a niece of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, she was very much a free spirit.

In 1900 she married the future King Albert I of Belgium. Intelligent, with a strong will-power, she was very involved in charity work and the arts. As Queen, her work in the hospital at La Panne during the dark days of the First World War has become legendary, and many men owe their lives to her initiative.

After the war she and Albert travelled widely – to America, Brazil, Portugal, Egypt (where she visited the newly discovered tomb of Tutankhamen), India and the Congo. She founded medical and scientific institutions, took up yoga and sculpted. One of her chief interests was music, and the prestigious concours musical international Reine-Élisabeth, which she founded in 1951, still bears her name. 
The death of King Albert, followed by that of her daughter-in-law Queen Astrid, hit Elisabeth hard and she did all she could to support King Leopold. During the German occupation she was held under guard at Laeken, but allowed to make cultural and humanitarian visits and was able to help many Jews.  After the war she did all she could to safeguard the prestige of the monarchy during the so-called Royal Question and the accession of King Baudouin.

She continued to travel widely – to Poland, China and Russia, which earned her the nickname of the “Red Queen”. Her interest in life and her family never dimmed, right up until her death in 1965.
Patrick Weber, one of my favourite writers, first published this book in 1998. It is now updated as a timely reminder of a fascinating woman. Recommended.

Coryne Hall

Romanov: Documentary about ill-fated Tsar Nicholas II

This was first posted to Youtube last year. I don;t know who old it might be, but the footage is interesting nonetheless!

This image comes from a royal archive acquired by EUROHISTORY and Arturo Beéche. It is a private family photo, hence if you use without permission we will automatically know you have violated copyright!

Romanov: Review of THE FOUR SISTERS

A review for Eurohistory by Ms Coryne Hall of Ms. Helen Rappaport's much-touted biography of OTMA, which she claimed would give "her girls" an "individual voice"...

“Four Sisters. The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses”, by Helen Rappaport. (Macmillan)  492 pages, 40 illustrations.

Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia.  We all know their names. Known collectively as OTMA they flit through the pages of books in their white dresses and large picture hats but have never been given individual voices. Helen Rappaport has set out to rectify this.

The narrative starts with the family of Princess Alice of Hesse and the youth of Empress Alexandra, so it is as much a biography of Alexandra as about her daughters, who we really only meet on page 90 - Olga, thoughtful, charged with keeping Alexei in order; Tatiana, called ‘the governess’ by her family; Maria, clumsy but the prettiest of the girls; and the spirited Anastasia.  We are told the younger ones wore hand-me-down clothes because Alexandra was thrifty but later Ms Rappaport quotes accounts for Maria’s wardrobe in 1909-10 showing that some £14,500 was spent on her clothes that year. There is little really new and many things that could have been made more of (the holidays in Finland, their relationship with their grandmother the Dowager Empress) are rushed.

The Tsar’s daughters led rather secluded lives and, we are told, grew up ‘hungry for the sight of the world beyond’ the Alexander Palace. To understand why this was so it is of course necessary to understand the character of their mother and the effect that Tsarevich Alexei’s haemophilia had on the family – but there is rather too much about Alexandra and Alexei. 

It is ironic that the outbreak of the war which would lead eventually to the revolution and their deaths should be the catalyst that allowed Olga and Tatiana to see a little more of life outside the palace, although even this was nursing in the palace hospital. Their various crushes on young wounded officers make poignant reading, knowing as we do that they will never have chance to marry and settle down. 
Unfortunately, the world outside the Alexander Palace is to a large extent excluded to the reader as well, so we never really understand the reasons for the revolution, the Tsar’s abdication and the family’s imprisonment. We learn more about the children’s measles (Maria’s temperature rose to 40 degrees Centigrade  – 104 degrees Fahrenheit) than we do about all the other momentous events.  
Newly discovered letters from Anastasia to her friend Katya Zborovskyaya give a valuable insight into the sheer boredom of life in Tobolsk and there is a brief diary kept by the maid Anna Demidova but nothing about the fear Olga, Tatiana and Anastasia must have felt on the final journey on the boat to Tyumen, when they were forced to leave their cabin doors open at night, and nothing to suggest (as Gilliard hinted) that one or more of them may have been subjected to lewd advances by their coarse guards.

At Ekaterinburg the detailed narrative ends around the time of Maria’s birthday on 27 June 1918, meaning that the family’s final days are crowded into just 3 pages. Information included in Helen Rappaport’s previous book on the family (such as Maria’s compromising behaviour with one of the guards at Ekaterinburg) is missing from Four Sisters.  This is a great pity, as we are deprived of a full account of the sisters’ lives and their horrific deaths, and the book ends rather abruptly.

Unsurprisingly, the sisters come over as unsophisticated young women whose lives were dominated by sickness and suffering. 

This is a brave effort – but it left me disappointed.

Coryne Hall