Thursday, July 31, 2014

A girl for Jean and Philomena

It is a princess for the Duke and Duchess of Vendome.  The Duchess gave birth on July 30 at Poissy to Princess Louise-Marguerite Eléonore Marie.

This is the third child for the Duke and Duchess.  Prince Gaston was born on November 19, 2009 in Paris and Princess Antoinette was born on January 28, 2012 in Vienna.

The announcement was made by the baby's proud papa, Prince Jean, on his website.

Charles buys water pistol

July 31, 1958

The  Prince of Wales was in King's Lynn earlier today, where he bought a "water pistol on a surprise shopping tour," reports Reuters.  The 9-year-old heir to the British throne came into the coastal town with his younger sister, Princess Anne.  The Royal children and their parents have been staying at Queen Elizabeth's country home, Sandringham.

A report on the death of Nicholas II

July 31, 1918

More reports on the recent execution of Nicholas II are being published,  Today, an op-editorial in the New York Times notes that Nicholas "was so poor a figure of a Czar, fickle. self-satisfied, ignorant, weak, henpecked, usually a dupe, brought up to believe himself a sort of Grand Lama and god on earth."  The writer added that his "panegyrists have had to dwell on his domestic virtues," as he was "habitually led by the nose."

He was described as a "good son," and the "too obedient husband of a German wife."

Nicholas might have been a "happy father, a happy bourgeois, a happy snow shoveler," but was "cast for the wrong part."  He played it "awkwardly and stupidly," but one hopes that he made his "final exist" with grace and courage.

In a recent story published in the Berlin Lokal-Anzeiger, which published an account of his final hours told to the paper by an unnamed "high Russian personage."

According to this report, Nicholas was "roused" at 5:00 a.m., "made to dress, lugged to a room where he was told of the decision of the Soviet," that his execution will take place in two hours. He "hears the sentenced with perfect calmness."   He is returned to his bedroom where he collapses, perhaps from hunger, and "cannot stand up when the escort comes for him."

He fell down the stairs, so they have to "prop him against a post, log against log, to shoot him."

Nicholas' courage was questioned when he was the heir to the throne.  At his best, he was a "neurotic quarter-wit, on the road to madness."  But in his final hour, courage, the "elementary first virtue of Kings, should not have failed him."

His execution was murder.  We can "hope that Nicholas Romanoff died like a man."  Just like Louis XVI and Charles I.

Kaiser makes war speech

July 31, 1914

Germany is in a state of war, reports the New York Times.  An "imperial decree" was issued today "proclaiming the empire in a state of war."

The Kaiser will issue a proclamation ordering the "mobilization of the entire army and navy after he returns to Berlin from Potsdam.

The decision to go to war was forced by an act of "unpardonable disloyalty" by Russia.   Although Wilhelm II continued to communicate with Emperor Nicholas II, it came to Germany's knowledge that the Russian navy and army had already mobilization.

Germany could not ignore this action by Russia, despite attempts to "negotiate on the basis of Sir Edward Grey's proposal."

The Kaiser's second youngest son, Prince Oskar, was married today in what is being called "nuptials of war."  He married Countess Ina von Bassewitz, a former lady-in-waiting.

Engagement: Habsburg-Fairfax

Alexander Fairfax has popped the question to Archduchess Elmerice of Austria, and she said yes.  The couple were among the guests last weekend at the wedding of Prince Francois of Orléans and Theresa von Einsiedel, so one presumes that Alexander's proposal took place not long afterward.

Elmerice Karoline Sidonie Elisabeth von Habsburg-Lothingen is the fifth and youngest child of Archduke Christoph of Austria and Ebba von Mohrenschildt.  Elmerice, who will celebrate her 30th birthday on September 6, is the only daughter.  She has four older brothers: Dominik, Maximilian, Constantin and Ferdinand.

This branch of the family descends from Archduke Heinrich (1878-1969) whose marriage to Karolina Ludescher, was morganatic.   Until the mid-1990s, the morganatic Habsburgs had the surname Habsburg-Lothringen, but were upgraded to counts and countesses of Habsburg-Lothringen by Archduke Otto.  (This was allegedly done because his elder son, Archduke Karl, was dating Camilla von Habsburg-Lothringen, and as a countess, she would be seen as equal.  Since then the marriage rules have been loosened.  The only requirement now is for the bride to be Christian.  According to several reports, Karl has extended the archducal titles to all the former morganauts.)

Heinrich was the 6th son of Ferdinando IV, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and was the issue of Ferdinando's second marriage to Princess Alicia of Bourbon-Parma.

The bride-to-be is an independent art consultant based in London.

In January 2003,  Elmerice was made her debut at the International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. 

Alexander Thomas Digby Fairfax was born in 1986 and is the eldest child of the Hon. Hugh Fairfax and Victoria Neave.  Hugh is a younger brother of Nicholas, 14th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.  I live on land once owned by his ancestors.

A specialist in mobile marketing communications, Alexander Fairfax is also based in London.

New title for Prince Francois and Princess Theresa of Orléans

Prince Francois of Orléans was created Count of Dreux by his uncle, the Count of Paris, on the morning of his wedding to Theresa von Einsiedel.

Although no official announcement was made by the Count of Paris' office,  the news appeared in the new issue of Point de Vue, which has TEN pages of wedding coverage. 

The newlyweds will be styled TRH The Count and Countess of Dreux.

This second link has 75 photographs from the wedding.  Two interesting couples in the photographs.   Duchess Olga of Mecklenburg arm in arm with Prince Wilhelm Karl of Urach, the 23-year-old son, of Prince Karl Anselm and his former wife, Saskia Wüstof.
Prince Karl Anselm succeeded his uncle Prince Karl Gero, as Duke of Urach in 1981, as his father, Prince Eberhard, married to Princess Iniga of Thurn und Taxis, had died in 1969.  Following his marriage to a commoner,  Karl Anselm renounced his rights in favor of his younger brother, Wilhelm, who succeeded as Duke of Urach

The other photo shows Alexander Fairfax and Archduchess Elmerice of Austria, who have just announced their engagement.

Prince Wilhelm Karl and his younger brother, Prince Maximilan do not have dynastic rights.  Duchess Olga, who was born in 1988, is the eldest child of Duke Borwin of Mecklenburg and Alice Wagner.

Another gleaned tidbit from the wedding.  The bride's younger sister, Felicitas, is in a serious relationship with Alexander von Kempis, who was born November 14, 1992.  He is the son of Andreas Eberhard von Kempis and  New Mexican-born Beatrix von Thaden.  Andreas' mother, Countess Johanna von Mensdorff-Pouilly, is a descendant of Count Emanuel von Mensdorff-Pouilly and Princess Sophie of Saxe-Coburg and Saafeld.

A sure sign an announcement is coming?

Countess Olympia von und zu Arco-Zinneburg and Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon
photo by Ulrike Bartsch

There have been reports for several years now about a relationship between these two young people.

The US-educated and raised Countess Olympia is the third of six daughters of Count Riprand von und zu Arco-Zinneburg and Archduchess Maria Beatrix of Austria, daughter of Archduke Robert of Austria and Princess Margherita of Savoy.

Prince Jean-Christophe, head of the house of Napoléon, worked for many years in New York City's financial sector, is now based in London.

The couple have attended several royal weddings, including Archduke Imre of Austria's marriage to Kathleen Walker in Washington, D.C., in September 2012, but have always arrived and left separately.  On this occasion, last Saturday, they arrived arm in arm at the wedding of Prince Francois d'Orléans and Theresa von Einsiedel.

They were also photographed together at an event in New York City, where the Countess wore the same skirt that she wore to the wedding.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Franz Josef and heir are cheered

July 30, 1914

From a dispatch sent by the Vienna Correspondent of the Daily Mail and sent by special cable to the New York Times.

"Standing at the entrance to the Palace Thursday I witnesses the most solemn and touching spectacle of my life.

"Emperor Francis Joseph, who is aged 83, and his heir, the young Archduke Charles Francis Joseph, returned from Ischl to Vienna at noon today.  All Vienna welcomed them.  The crowd waved the national black and yellow flags and shouted till their throats were hoarse in enthusiasm for their monarch, who is going to war in his old age.

"The streets were lined with aged veterans bearing banners, while deputations from the city and other corporations stood awaiting the open carriage which swept up the open drive to the palace.

"The Emperor, although a little bent with his years, looked very well. The young Archduke at his side returned the greeting of the crowd, who remarked how closely he resembled his [great] uncle."

There were "great throngs" as the Emperor and his great-nephew returned to Schönnbrun Castle.  Cafes and restaurants are all deserted this evening as the "main streets are filled with singing and cheering processions."

Crowds also greeted the Emperor and the archduke as they left Ischl for Vienna earlier today. 

In Linz, the Emperor addressed officers of the local garrison who were waiting on the railway platform.

"I only have time to give you a few words of greeting in this grave hour.  These are that I trust in the good spirit, the endurance, and the valor of my army.  It was my wish to maintain peace."

Bulletin: Kaiser tells Russia to stop; Grand Duke of Hesse in Russia

July 30, 1914

In what many see as a "last extreme move on behalf of peace"  Kaiser Wilhelm II's  government "launched a peremptory demand" on Russia to explain the "menacing mobilization" on the German and Austrian borders, reports the New York Times.

There is little hope that Germany's demands will be met.  Germany has not stated that it will "declare war" if Russia does not cancel its "military preparations."  There is only a threat to retaliate with a "counter demonstration," but this would be seen as "tantamount to war."

This "momentous decision" was made late last night at the New Palace in Potsdam, at a council of war, led by Wilhelm II as the Supreme War Lord.  His brother, Admiral Prince Henry of Prussia, just returned from England, was also present, as was Crown Prince Wilhelm, who "in accordance with Prussian traditions, will lead one of the German Armies."

The Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine, who is the brother of Empress Alexandra, consort of Nicholas II, is in St. Petersburg.  He was sent to Russia by the Kaiser in a "last endeavor to arrange for peace."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monarchists want Grand Duke Nicholas on the throne

July 29, 1918

Russian monarchists recently met in Kiev, and they have "resolved to form centres throughout Russia for the re-establishment" of the monarchy "on the lines of that in power prior to March 1917, according to a New York Times dispatch from Amsterdam.

The aim is reunite the "Ukraine and Great Russia" with Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholavitch" as Emperor, according to reports from the Monarchist congress.

When confirmation of the death of the former emperor Nicholas II was made public in Kiev, many Russian officers wrapped crepe around their Crosses of St. George.  Only a short time before, officials were denying the reports of his execution in a "crowded thanksgiving service" in Kiev's cathedral. 

The congregation sang "God Protect the Czar."   During the celebration, the archpriest declared:  "The church stands outside politics, but it is befitting all true believing Russians to pray for Nicholas, the servant of God, who has suffered much."  He also spoke of the re-establishment of the monarch and the Romanov dynasty: "The temple which was destroyed shall rise again."

Fighting continues in Kiev's streets between monarchists and Bolsheviks.

Franz Josef communicates with Nicholas

July 29, 1914

The New York Times is reporting that a St. Petersburg newspaper, Novoe Vremya is stating that the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef has sent a "personal letter" to Nicholas II, which is likely to have "an important influence on the crisis."

The text of this letter has not been made public.

Flurry of telegrams between Nicholas and Wilhelm

July 30, 1914

Earlier this evening Kaiser Wilhelm II held a "naval council of war," which was attended by Admiral von Tirpitz, Minister of Marine; Prince Henry of Prussia, Admiral Commanding in Chief; Admiral von Pohl, Chief of the Admiralty Staff, and Vice Admiral von Mueller, Chief of the Imperial Naval Cabinet, according to the New York  Times.

This meeting was followed by a "council of the Cabinet," which lasted for several hours.

No information about what occurred at either meeting has been announced.

Crown Prince Wilhelm was in "conference" with the Kaiser earlier today, and their meeting "lasted three hours."

It was also learned tonight that there has been an "exchange of telegrams regarding the international situation" between Wilhelm II and Nicholas II.

The Russian Emperor dispatched a telegram to Wilhelm II, which "crossed a message" that Wilhelm had just sent to Nicholas. 

The details of the communication between the two sovereigns have not been disclosed, but the fact that they are in communication with each other has "created an unmistakably favorable impression."

There is anxiety in Germany about Russian troop movements.  On Berlin newspaper,  Lokal Anzeiger published the following:  "The pretended conciliatory aspect of the Russian policy is a grave contrast to the restless, comprehensive military dispositions of the Czar's army on the German frontier.  As long as these continue there can hardly be any question of the relaxation of the political tension.  It can only be hoped that the Czar will also give some tangible proof of his peaceable inclinations by ordering the immediate cessation of the conspicuous concentration of troops in the western regions of the empire."

A princely bump

@ Palais Princier de Monaco

Yup, there is a bump.  Not sure, though, who is more pregnant?  The Princess or Prince of Monaco.  He certainly has the sympathy pose down!   

The Palace has not confirmed when the Princess is due, although the due date is believed to be sometime at the end of the year (A Christmas baby?)

Monday, July 28, 2014


July 28, 1914

It is war in Europe.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the conflict "may or may not spread, but at best it threatens to be a grave and sanguinary affair."

Earlier today at Bad Ischl, Austrian Emperor Franz Josef signed a declaration of war against Serbia. He rejected Serbia's "conciliatory reply" to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, is "the cause of the war."   The crime was committed on "Austrian soil, and by very humble and insignificant persons."   

Austria, however, "believes and asserts" that Serbia is "mortally responsible" for the deaths of the couple.  The country has charged that Serbian officials and military officers instigated the assassination and provide the weapons that were used to kill the archduke and his wife.

Serbia has pleased innocent to Austria's charges.   But the country's "method of investigating the plot and its ramifications" have left little to be desired "in the eyes of impartial observers.

Many feel this situation will only get worse.  The Associated Press is reporting that a German official has declared that Germany will issue immediate mobilization orders if Russia declares war on Austria.  Russia has already stated its support of Serbia.

The wedding of Prince Francois and Princess Theresa of Orléans

Archduke Simeon and Archduchess Maria, who is a first cousin of the groom

Duke of Anjou

The Countess of Evreux and the Duke of Anjou and Princess Adelaide (mother and siblings of grooms)

The Countess of Evreux with two of her grandchildren

Prince Inigo of Urach

Count of Evreux, father of the groom

Princess Clotilde with her husband, Edouard Crepy & two of their children, Eleonore and Augustin

Duke and Duchess of Urach and their children (the duke is the bride's uncle)

Prince Gundakar and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein. Marie  is a first cousin of the groom. The newly weds met at a ball hosted by Prince and Princess Gundakar

Duke of Urach with his son and a nephew

Princess Helene, Countess of Limburg-Stirum   Aunt of groom

Duchess of Cadaval, wife of Prince Charles-Philippe, Duke of Anjou, brother of groom

It is suffice to say that I am thrilled to bits with this marriage.  As some of you know, I am at work on a book on the descendants of Grand Duke Adolphe of Luxembourg, which will be similar to Queen Victoria's Descendants.  A genealogy, a text with biographical information and photos.

The bride is a descendant of Adolphe through her mom, Countess Amelie of Urach, whose mother, Princess Iniga of Thurn und Taxis, was the daughter of Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg.

The civil wedding took place in morning at Sünching on Friday, July 25.  The bride and groom were accompanied only by close family members.  That evening a flamenco dance and reception was held at Schloss Niederaichbach. Prince Francois was born and raised in Spain.

After the religious wedding, the newlyweds and their guests returned to Schloss Niederaicbach for a luncheon, and a grand ball in the evening, where the dress code was cocktail dresses for the ladies and the tuxedos for the men.

Details about the wedding were provided to the press.  Princess Theresa wore a white silk gown designed by Brian Rennie for Basler.  The embroidery included a discreet fleur-dy-lys in honor of the French royal house.   The bride wore one of her mother's tiaras.

The Roman Catholic service was officiated by Father Jaroslav Lobkowicz.  

Two of Prince Francois' nephews, Gaspard Crepy and Diego Dailly, served as altar boys.  The witnesses were Viktoria von Einsiedel, Count Johann Friedrich von der Schulenberg, Franziska Praxl, Prince Henri de Merode, Sol  Medina y Orleans-Braganca and Count Alexander Strassoldo.

The young bridesmaids and pages were Magdalena von Eichborn, a niece of the bride, and Augustin Crepy, Eleonore Crepy, Almudena Dailly, Gaetano Dailly and HRH Princess Isabelle of Orleans, who are the nephews and nieces of the groom.

Augustin and Eleonore are the children of Florida-based Princess Clothilde and her husband, Edouard Crepy, a banker, and Almundena and Gaetano are the children of Princess Adelaide and her husband

Although I was surprised to not see the Count and Countess of Paris and the Duke and Duchess of Vendome at the wedding,  the groom's family was well-represented.  Two of his aunts,  Princess Isabelle, Countess of Schönburg-Buchheim, and Princess Helene, Countess of Limburg-Stirum, and their families were in attendance, as was Archduke Simeon and Archduchess Maria of Austria.  A princess of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies by birth, Maria is a paternal first cousin of the groom.

The Duke of Anjou and his daughter, Princess Isabelle
Other guests included Prince Gundakar and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein,  the Duke and Duchess of Urach and family,  Prince and Princes Inigo of Urach and their children,  Prince Jean-Christophe Napoleon and Countess Olympia of Arco-Zinneberg, Princess Maria Laura of Belgium, Grand Duke George of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini, Princess Gloria of Thurn und Taxis, Hereditary Prince Carl Philipp of Croy, Princess Anunciata of Liechtenstein and Princess Benigna Reuss and her husband, Don Oscar de Ascoz y Planes.

The newlyweds will live in Paris, where Prince Francois owns a landscaping company.

Prince Jean-Christophe Napoleon and Countess Olimpia have been an item for several years, but this is the first time I have seen them arrive together, arm in arm, at a royal wedding.  Could this mean an engagement announcement in the not-to-distant future?

These photos are by Ulrike Bartsch.  She is the copyright holder.   Do not copy, store, post, use electronically, share without the permission of Ulrike Bartsch.

the parents of the bride and groom

Countess Olympia Arco  and Princess Maria Laura of Belgium

Princess Helene of France and her family

Grand Duke George of Russia