Wednesday, August 28, 2013

UK: Queen Victoria

An article from the EXPRESS written by Matthew Dennison regarding his latest book!

She applied rules to other people, her own family included, which she cheerfully broke herself.
And if this behaviour frequently made her infuriating to her loved ones, her ministers and her servants she herself never understood the cause of their irritation.

She was consistently inconsistent.

Early in her marriage she complained to her favourite uncle Leopold I of Belgium that she had no desire to have a big family. She went on to have nine children.

She deplored the immorality of the aristocracy but turned a blind eye to her own cousin marrying his mistress despite the mistress being an actress who had already given birth to four illegitimate children by three fathers.

When her eldest son, the funloving Bertie, Prince of Wales (who later became Edward VII), embarked on a series of affairs, she criticised him roundly for his bad behaviour which she blamed on his laziness. Yet she was determined to exclude him from royal work: she refused to allow him to see state papers and denied him a key to the red boxes. It was Victoria, therefore, who forced upon him a life of aimlessness.
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Aristocracy: The Duchess of Medinaceli

The Telegraph has now published an Obituary for the Duchess of Medinaceli!

Monday, August 26, 2013

UK: Baby Prince George of Cambridge

In his first interview since his son’s birth on July 22, Prince William said he and his wife were enjoying being parents but were looking forward to being able to sleep through the night again.
He added that Prince George was “doing very well” and reminded him of himself and his brother, Prince Harry, when they were children.

UK: Love is in the Marriage Redux?

Friends claim that the couple are so close that they will eventually formalise their reunion.
“Mark my words, they will remarry,” said one friend. “It is only a matter of time.”
Another said: “It wouldn’t surprise me at all. They are a wonderful couple together and, better still, pretty amazing parents.”
The couple have remained close since they divorced in 1996 and both live at Royal Lodge, the former country home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, in Berkshire.
They joined Beatrice, 25, and her sister, Princess Eugenie, 23, for the weekend at Balmoral, the Queen’s Scottish retreat, earlier this month.
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©Tim Graham/Getty Images

Monday, August 19, 2013

Aristocracy: The Duchess of Medinaceli (1917-2013)

Doña Victoria Eugenia Fernández de Córdoba y Fernández de Henestrosa, 18th Duchess of Medinaceli, passed away at home, Seville's historic Casa de Pilatos, yesterday, August 18.

Her funeral took place in the Medinaceli ducal crypt, Toledo, this afternoon.

She is survived by only one of her four children, don Ignacio Medina y Fernández de Córdoba, Duke of Segorbe, second husband of Princess Maria da Gloria d'Orléans-Braganza.

Her eldest daughter, the Countess of Ofalia, was once married to Prince Max of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, predeceased her mother. The new Duke of Medinaceli, 19th holder of Spain's most renowned duchy, will be Prince Marco of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the late countess' eldest son.,_18th_Duchess_of_Medinaceli

Monday, August 12, 2013

+Prince Johan Friso of Orange-Nassau (1968-2013)

The state information service RVD has announced that prince Friso, in a coma since a skiing accident in February 2012, has died.

Friso died as a result of 'complications' after receiving serious brain damage in the skiing accident in Lech, Austria, in February 2012, the RVD said. He died on Monday morning at the Huis den Bosch palace, where he has been cared for since July.

The prince had been treated in the specialist Wellington hospital in London since his accident but was brought back to the Netherlands because 'no further treatment was necessary'. Since last November he was said to have shown signs of 'minimal consciousness'.

Friso, the second son of former queen Beatrix, married Mabel Wisse Smit in 2004 and the couple have two daughters.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

UK: Birth Certificate of Prince George of Cambridge

It is an interesting historical document no doubt...interestingly, the Duke of Cambridge lists his wife's profession as "Princess of the United Kingdom."

One was under the impression, by Buckingham Palace's own admission, that Catherine was HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, without the princely title?

UK: Paternity Leave Exhausted, Proud Dad Returns to Work

Friday, August 2, 2013

Ratibor und Corvey: Unique Ancestor of the Duke of Ratibor und Corvey

I purchased this beautiful photo at an auction in Berlin two weeks ago. It was a hard fought battle, but luckily I succeeded and now this amazingly rare, signed photo is part of the Eurohistory Archive!

But who is the lady in question, my readers may wonder?

She is Princess Sophie von Metternich (1857-1941), eldest daughter of Fürst Richard von Metternich (the Austrian Chancellor's eldest surviving son...who was Austrian ambassador to France during the reign of Napoleon III) and of his wife, and niece, the former Countess Pauline Sándor von Szlanicza (1836-1921), one of the most famous luminaries at the court of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie. Pauline was the daughter of Princess Leontine von Metternich (1811-1861) and of her husband Count Moritz Sándor von Szlanicza, who died in 1878.

Sophie, the eldest of three daughters, married Fürst Franz Albrecht zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Oetingen-Spielberg (1847-1916). Sophie was the mother of three children: Franz (1879-1895), Moritz (1885-1911) and Princess Elisabeth (1886-1976), who in 1910 married Viktor III (1879-1945), Duke of Ratibor, Fürst von Corvey. 

It was Sophie's sister, Princess Klementine who adopted Franz Albrecht, Sophie's grandson. Since the adoption, which took place in the late 1920s, Franz Albrecht and his descendants have used the last name "Metternich-Sándor."

The Ratibor und Corvey family owned vast estates in Central Europe. These estates included the duchy of Ratibor in Upper Silesia. The title of Duke of Ratibor was acquired by Landgraf Victor Amadeus of Hesse-Rotenburg in 1821. King Frederick William IV of Prussiain 1840, granted it to the landgrave's nephew Prince Viktor of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, in turn for his renunciation of the Hohenlohe inheritance in favor of his younger brother Chlodwig, who later became German Imperial Chancellor during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II. 

From Landgraf Victor Amadeus, the last of his line, Prince Viktor of Hohenlohe-Schillngsfürst (1818-1893), who became the Duke of Ratibor and Prince of Corvey, besides Ratibor, inherited the impressive estate of Corvey in Westphalia. In Austria, the family owns one of the country's most beautiful estates, Schloß Grafenegg (, site of a renowned summer music festival.

Although the family's once vast estates in Silesia and Bohemia were lost after the end of the Second World War, there was still quite a bit left. The remaining estates inherited by Franz Albrecht, only surviving so of Princess Elisabeth and Duke Viktor III.

Franz Albrecht Metternich-Sándor, Duke of Ratibor, Fürst of Corvey, was born in Rauden (the duchy of Ratibor) in 1920. In 1962 he married Altgräfin Isabella zu Salm-Reifferscheidt-Krautheim und Dyck (b. 1939). The ceremony took place in Dyck, Germany. Married for nearly five decades, Franz Albrecht and Isabella were the parents of five sons: Viktor (b. 1964), married to Alexandra von Wohlgemuth (by whom he has 2 sons and 2 daughters), Tassilo (b. 1965), who is married to Countess Clarissa zu Törring-Jettenbach (by whom he has 2 sons and 1 daughter – Clarissa is a granddaughter of Princess Elisabeth of Greece and thus a Romanov and Schleswig-Holstein descendant), Stephan (b. 1968), who married Kathleen Robbins (by whom he has 1 daughter), Benedikt (b. 1971), who married Anna-Christine von Oswald (by whom he has 2 sons and 1 daughter), and Philipp (b. 1976), who married Countess Assunta Calice (by whom he has 1 son). In total, the five sons have regaled their parents with twelve grandchildren, nine of them boys.

Duke Franz Albrecht passed away in June 2009. His obituary was included inside Eurohistory Issue LXXI (Volume 12.5 – October 2009).

His son Viktor IV is the current Duke of Ratibor, Fürst of Corvey.

The late Franz Albrecht, Duke of Ratibor, Fürst of Corvey.

Eurohistory Issue LXXI – Volume 12.5, October 2009

UK: A New Baby, A New Country Home

The Queen is said to have paid the current tenant of Anmer Hall in Norfolk a “generous” settlement to vacate the 10-bedroomed Georgian property.
It was earmarked as the Duke and Duchess’s country retreat last year and aides have been granted planning permission for major developments to upgrade the home.
Anmer Hall was home to the Duke and Duchess of Kent between 1972 and 1990 and had been leased until March 2017 to James Everett, who owns Norfolk Oak, a kitchen and timber company, which is run from its stables.
A blog posting on the company’s website confirmed that he was already in the process of relocating to make way for the new royal tenants.
“Unlike many businesses, Norfolk Oak has the pleasure of moving from one historic place to another. Anmer Hall, which is soon to be faced with royalty once more, to historic, rustic RAF West Raynham,” it said.