Thursday, July 31, 2014

France: Birth of Princess Louise-Marguerite d'Orléans

The Duke and Duchess de Vendôme have become parents for the third time. The Duchess gave birth to a second daughter, and third child, on July 30.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Romania: Princess Irina Pleads Guilty

Interesting article in The New York Times regarding the plea deal entered by Princess Irina of Romania regarding the accusations of running an illegal cock fighting venue and profiting from it.

Her partner-in-crime was Mr. Walker, her second husband.

Monday, July 28, 2014

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY: Kaiservilla...Emperor Franz Josef declares war on Serbia!

One hundred years ago today, Emperor Franz Josef, who by then had sat on the throne for nearly sixty-years made the decision that would ultimately obliterate the continent of Europe as his contemporaries  knew it.

At the Kaiservilla, his Alpine retreat, Franz Josef signed the declaration of a state of war with Serbia, blaming Belgrade for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, gunned down (along with his wife)  a month earlier while on an official visit to Sarajevo.

EUROHISTORY's Issues XCIX and C will commemorate the events that led to war and the utter destruction of the three continental imperial structures: Russia, Austria-Hungary and the German Emkpire.

In the meantime, enjoy this article:


Archduke Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914)
Eldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig, a younger brother of Emperor Franz Josef, Franz Ferdinand's position in the line of succession was catapulted by the untimely death of his first cousin Crown Prince Rudolf. The ghastly deed took place at Mayerling, a Habsburg hunting lodge Rudolf frequented. Along with his body, lifeless due to a self-inflicted bullet wound to the head, was that of his mistress, Baroness Marie Vetsera, whom Rudolf had shot prior to ending his life.

Franz Ferdinand was not popular within the confines of the Imperial Court. His precarious health convinced many that he would never succeed the old Emperor Franz Josef. However, Franz Ferdinand recovered and his lung disease was cured. His unpopularity within the Hofburg only increased in 1900 when against all counsel he married for love. His bride was a Bohemian noblewoman, Countess Sophie Chotek von Chotkova und Wognin. Sophie, however, lacked the pedigree to marry into the Habsburg dynasty. An impasse ensued and the only viable solution was for Franz Ferdinand to renounce the rights of any children from his marriage to Countess Chotek.

They were a devoted couple, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie. She was highly responsible for turning him into a softer, more likable fellow. They had three surviving children, who were the first orphans of the Great War.

Gavrilo Princip (1894-1918)
A Bosnian Serb associated with a radical political movement demanding a greater land of Slavs (Yugoslavia), Princip was a wastrel, dilettante without much of a future. Had it not been for his political activities and thirst for Bosnian greatness he would have ended where he was destined, nothingness. However, the deaths of millions of human beings rest on the shoulders of this assassin.

 An Austrian cartoon showing the Dual Monarchy's plans toward Serbia.

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (1868-1918)
 One wonders: if he had known what devils his decisions would unleash, surely he would have chosen a different path. Nicholas, the All-mighty Tsar of Russia, was not as strong as he liked to believe himself to be. Once the machinery of war was set in motion, control over Russia escaped his weak hands and instead of a leader, Nicholas II became a spectator, a marionette controlled by the war faction.

Nicholas II's folly would eventually bring down the Russian Empire in March 1917. Placed under house arrest at the Alexander Palace, he, along with his family and loyal servants, was sent to Tobolsk, Siberia, before ending imprisoned at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. There on the night of July 17-18, 1918, Nicholas II, with his wife and children and their last loyal servants, was brutally gunned down and butchered by rogue and drunken Bolshevik guards under the orders of the blood-thirsty Yakov Sverdlov, one of Lenin's henchmen.

Emperor Franz Josef of Austria, Apostolic King of Hungary (1830-1916)
 He succeeded to the throne in 1848 and for nearly seven decades ruled Austria-Hungary with minimal success. There was not a single war that Franz Josef won during his reign. In 1859 he lost most of the Italian possessions. In 1866 he was defeated by Prussia and pushed out of Germany. His involvement in Balkan politics served to bring the dual monarchy untold enemies. The Great War, which he started on July 28, 1914, he did not live long enough to see end in Austrian debacle.

Too soon a monarch, Franz Josef lacked vision. He was a man of custom, a slave to it. His realm needed astute leadership, not just an imperial administrator.

Convinced that his nephew's assassination was the perfect excuse to extort further concessions from Serbia, while strengthening the Habsburg hold over Bosnia-Herzegovina, Franz Josef allowed the war part in Vienna to run rampant. In the end, it was his decision to sign the declaration of war what brought untold suffering to his realm, the same legacy he had done so much to preserve in an ever-changing political landscape.

Franz Josef was a fatalist. Luckily for him, death prevented the old Emperor from witnessing the destruction of his realm. He died in November 1916. Two years later Austria-Hungary was no more.

German Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941)
A throughly complex man, Wilhelm II bears great responsibility for allowing Vienna's war party to push Europe into the abyss of war.

A man with a penchant for saber-rattling and bombastic statements, when confronted with the decaying political situation responsible for the outbreak of war, he found himself unable to bring the machinery of war to a standstill, much less a stop. Once he gave control to his generals, Wilhelm II, much like Nicholas II, became their puppet.

Unlike his Russian and Austrian colleagues, Wilhelm II survived to witness the fall of the German Empire. He sought refuge in the Netherlands, where once under Dutch protection he avoided facing a war crimes tribunal.

Wilhelm II died in 1941.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

EUROHISTORY: The Nassaus of Luxembourg (New Book)

This morning the final design for the dust jacket of our newest book, THE NASSAUS OF LUXEMBOURG, was completed!

According to our printer, copies of this fascinating volume will ship to our office before the month's end!

Up next is the reprint of Ilana D. Miller's excellent THE FOUR GRACES, which will go to print a week from tomorrow...expected delivery during the first half of September.

Remaining books for 2014 include:

1. Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, the Elder, by Galina Korneva and Tatiana Cheboksarova.

2. Queen Maria Pia of Portugal, by Sabrina Pollock.

3. The Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, by Janet Ashton and Greg King.

4. Royal Gatherings II: 1914-1939, by Ilana D. Miller and Arturo E. Beéche.

One year...six new books, three reprints, 6 issues of EUROHISTORY!

EUROHISTORY: Issue XCIX (June 2014) Off to Print!

Dear Subscribers and Readers,

We this notice finds you well...we have been busy, extremely so, with various book projects and the latest issue of EUROHISTORY, which we dispatched to the printer just minutes ago!

Issues XCIX and C are special issues, as they coincidentally are being published as the Sarajevo assassination and the events that ignited the Great War are commemorated, mainly across Europe. With these events in mind, we asked our stellar team of authors to contribute articles related to the political and foreign relations effects of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the Duchess of Hohenberg.

In Issue XCIX, you will find the following articles:

1, Who's In the Photograph: The Funeral of King Edward VII, by Ilana D. Miller.

2. The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand: The End of a Great Love Story; the Beginning of World War I, by Frank Amoroso.

3. The July Crisis: Austria-Hungary's Road to War, by Justin Vovk.

4. One Russian Summer (Part I), by Greg King.

5. Kaiser Wilhelm II: Thirty-Seven Days: 28 June – 4 August 1914..."Do you think we had better cancel the race?" by Katrina Warne.

6. King George V: "No Reason to Become Involved," by Coryne Hall.

We expect to begin mailing the magazine by the end of this next week!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Saxe-Coburg & Gotha: A Tribute to Adrian Coburg

During one of the multiple conversations I have had with Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, who has been visiting us at home since a week ago, he mentioned a website dedicated to the memory of his brother Adrian.

Adrian, who ended his life in 2011, was a talented musician, a realm to which he dedicated a large part of his life. He wrote music, founded a music school and became a expert in Afro-Cuban music, with particular interest in drums.

Adrian's death came too soon, too shockingly soon. Behind he left a loving wife who misses him terribly, Gertrude, and two sons by his first marriage, Simon and Daniel. All reside in Switzerland.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

EUROHISTORY: Upcoming Issue XCIX (June 2014)

Dear Subscribers,

Issue XCVIII arrives here tomorrow. We have mailing envelopes ready and many of you, in the USA, will start getting the magazine Saturday. European subscribers should start receiving the magazine the following week.

In the meantime, Issue XCIX (June 2014) is now in production and we expect to mail it by our deadline in the second half of July.

In Issue XCIX, which is dedicated to the centennial of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the Duchess of Hohenberg, we have covered the reaction of various monarchs to news of the dastardly deed, while also paying special attention to Europe's mad dash to the abyss of the Great War.

Issue C, our centennial issue, will contain the remainder articles about the effects of the Sarajevo assassination, particularly dealing with: Italy, the Balkans, Austria, and the neutral countries. It will also include an article on the fate of the Hohenberg children, the forgotten victims of the Gavrilo Princip's cowardly act.

Five weeks separated the death of the Archduke and his wife from the start of hostilities between the Central Powers and the Allies. Five weeks during which Europe's chancelleries failed to avoid the ensuing conflict, a war that wiped out millions and brought down Tsar Nicholas II, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Emperor Karl I, as well as all the German ruling houses.

The Great War was a conflict fought "to end all wars." Military leaders mistakenly believed that the troops "would be home for Christmas." That was not the case, as we know. Instead, the shots fired in Sarajevo plunged the world into a global conflict, a veritable grinder responsible for claiming the lives of millions of people, not just during the conflict, but in the horrific aftermath that followed the end of hostilities in November 1918.

Among the contributors to this very important edition of our magazine are:

Greg King
Coryne Hall
Marlene Eilers Koenig
Ilana Miller
Katrina Warne
Janet Ashton
Justin Vovk
Frank Amoroso and
Arturo Beéche

We sincerely hope you enjoy our articles on Sarajevo and its immediate aftermath.

Here is the cover for Issue XCIX!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

SPAIN: King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia at the Vatican

Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis received the new King of Spain Felipe VI and his glamorous ex-newsreader wife Queen Letizia at the Vatican on Monday, on their first foreign trip since taking the throne.
Felipe, 46, who was sworn in two weeks ago, invited the Argentine pontiff to Spain during what the Vatican described as "cordial discussions" between the heads of state.
Francis left the offer unanswered, though he did tell Letizia he hoped "to see you again soon".
While the former Olympic yachtsman was dressed in a dark blue suit, his 41-year-old wife wore white -- a privilege reserved to Catholic queens, as protocol has it that all other women who are received by the pope wear black.
Asked by the 77-year-old pope how his first weeks as king were going, Felipe said they were "intense, but serene", according to a pool of journalists present at the start of the visit.
The king said he hoped Francis would be able to visit Spain for the fifth centenary of the birth of Saint Teresa on March 28 next year.
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