Friday, June 23, 2017

Who are those people in the Ascot carriages

During the five  days of Royal Ascot. The Queen and her guests board carriages on the Long Walk at Windsor. The carriages wend their way down the Long Walk/Dukes Lane to Ascot. A friend and I had tickets for one day of Duke Lane last year -- it rained so the carriages were closed. Bummer.

Other members of the Royal Family and friends are asked to join the Queen in the carriage procession.    Many times, some of the guests are largely unknown to the general public (or even the press), but royal historians are more in the know!

On the first day of Royal Ascot, in the first carriage.  the Queen was accompanied by HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh,  the Duke of York and Lord Vestey.

Lord Vestey, 76, is the Master of the Horse.   He was 13-years-old when  he succeeded his grandfather as the 3rd Baron Vestey.   The family estate is Stowell Park in Gloucestershire.  He is a great-grandson of Dame Nellie Melba  (Helen Porter Mitchell.)  the Australian opera singer.   Peach Melba and Melba toast are named for  her.

Second carriage:   TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall,  TRH  the Princess Beatrice and Eugenie of York

 Third carriage:  TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex

Fourth carriage:  Mr. and Mrs Peter Phillips and  Lord Fellowes and Lady Jane Fellowes.

Peter Phillips is the only son of HRH The Princess Royal.  Lord Fellowes, a life peer, is the former Private Secretary to HM The Queen.  His wife, Lady Jane is the second of three daughters of the late 8th Earl Spencer and the Hon. Frances Roche Burke.  Her younger sister, Lady Diana, married the Prince of Wales. Thus, she is a maternal aunt of the Duke of Cambridge.

Day Two:

First carriage:   HM The Queen.  TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and Lord Fellowes.   The Duke of Edinburgh, suffering from an infection, had been taken to the hospital after the first day of Royal Ascot.

Second carriage:   TRH the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.   TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.  The Duke and Prince Michael are the queen's first cousins.

Third carriage:  HRH Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy, James Swartz, and the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. James Tollemache.    Princess Alexandra is the Queen's first cousin, sister of Prince Michael of Kent.

Mr. Swartz is a consumer advocate for toys, and a yachtsman.
James Tollemache attended Eton with the Duke of Cambridge and is the younger son of the 4th Baron Tollemache.  He is married to Princess Florence von Preussen, daughter of HRH Prince Nicholas of Prussia and his former wife, Hon. Victoria Mancroft.

Florence, who is known as Flossie, is a descendant of Queen Victoria through her eldest child,  Princess Victoria, who married the future Friedrich III.  Flossie is a great-granddaughter of Vicky and Fritz's eldest Kaiser Wilhelm II.  Her father, Prince Friedrich, was the fourth son of Crown Prince Wilhelm,  the Kaiser's eldest son.  Friedrich married Lady Brigid Guinness, daughter of the Earl of Iveagh.   (Her sister, Lady Honor, married Chips Channon.)

Flossie was due to give birth to a second child in June.

Fourth carriage: Lord and Lady Vestey and Mr. and Mrs. Jake Warren.   Jake is the son of the Queen's racing manager, John Warren, who is married to Lady Caroline Herbert, daughter of the late 7th Earl of Carnarvon, who was one of the Queen's closest friends and her racing manager before Mr. Warren.

John Warren is a bloodstock agent, and runs the Highclere Stud, at Highclere Castle (aka Downtown Abbey), with his son, Jake, described as one of Prince Harry's best friends.  Jake is married to Zoe Stewart.

Day Three:

First carriage:  HM The Queen,  HRH The Duke of York.  Mr. John Warren and Mr. Edward Young.   Mr. Young is the Queen's Deputy Private Secretary

Second carriage:  HRH The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Tim Laurence and TRH Princess Beatrice and Eugenie of York.

Third carriage:  The Earl and Countess of Snowdon and Captain and Mrs. David Bowes-Lyon.   Lord Snowdon is the son of the late HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon and the 1st Earl of Snowdon.  He is the nephew of the Queen.

Fourth carriage:  Mr and Mrs. Charles Butter and the Hon Peter and Hon. Mrs Stanley.

 Charles Butter is a lifelong friend of Prince Andrew, but the family ties go back for several generations.  Charles' mother, Myra Wernher, is the youngest child of the late Countess Zia Torby and Sir Harold Wernher, BT.    Zia was one of three children of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia and his morganatic wife, Countess Sophie von Merenberg, who was the eldest daughter of Prince Nikolaus of Nassau and Natalya Alexandrovna Pushkina, daughter of the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

Countess Sophie of Merenberg married Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia, son of Grand Duke Michael Nicolaivich of Russia, son of Emperor Nicholas I,  and Princess Cacilie of Baden.   Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich's siblings included Grand Duchess Anastasia, wife of Grand Duke Franz Friedrich III of Mecklenburg (their children included Duchess Cecilie, wife of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, and Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, consort of King Christian X, grandparents of Queen Margrethe II).

Shortly after her marriage, Sophie's paternal uncle,  Grand Duke Adolphe of Luxembourg created her and children as Countesses and Count Torby.

They had three children:  Anastasia, known as Zia, Nadejeda (Nada) and Michael.   Several months after her marriage to Major-General Sir Harold Wernher, 3rd Bt, George V granted Zia the style and precedence of a daughter of an earl by Royal Warrant.  This followed the precedence established in 1906 when Countess Valda Gleichen married Percy Machell.  Countess Valda was a daughter of Prince Victor zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Lady Laura Seymour.  Prince Victor was a son of Queen Victoria's older half sister, Feodore.

Zia's sister, Nada, married the former Prince George of Battenberg, who was styled as Earl of Medina in July 1917 after his father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, was created Marquess of Milford Haven.  George's older sister, Alice, married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.  Alice had four daughters and a son, Prince Philip.

George succeeded as the 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven in 1921.

Lady Zia had her husband had three children: Alex, Georgina, known as Gina and Myra.  These three children were a part of a social circle that included Nada's two children, Tatiana and David,  Patricia and Pamela Mountbatten (children of George's younger brother, Lord Louis and his wife, the Hon. Edwina Ashley), Prince Philip and two young British princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret Rose.

Although Lord Milford Haven was Philip's guardian, the young prince spent more with Lady Zia and Sir Harold and their family.  Their son, Alex, who was killed in the second world war, was very much a mentor and older brother to Philip.

Lady Zia was a successful breeder and racehorse owner, and became a close friend of Princess Elizabeth.  Her husband owned several estates, including Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire, which Sir Harold's father, Sir Julius, purchased in 1903.  Sir Julius had made his fortune in the South African diamond mines.
(In 1891,  the Duke of Clarence, son of Prince of Wales, and grandson of Queen Victoria, proposed to Princess Mary of Teck at Luton Hoo.)

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip often spent their wedding anniversary at Luton Hoo.   The estate was inherited by Lady Zia's grandson, Nicholas Phillips in 1977.   After his untimely death in 1991, the estate was sold.  It is now the Luton Hotel, Golf and Spa.

Lady Zia had hoped that her daughters would make grand marriages.  Gina married Harold "Bunny Phillips," who had been the lover of Lady Louis Mountbatten.   Myra married Sir David Butter, a Scots landowner.    Charles is their youngest child.  He has four older sisters.

The grand marriages were made by several of Lady Zia's grandchildren.  Charles' sisters including the Countess of Dalhousie and Princess Alexander Galitzine.   His maternal first cousins include the Duchess of Abercorn and the Dowager Duchess of Westminster.   Charles is married to Agnieszksa Szeluk and they have two children, Julia and Henry.

Charles' Aunt Gina was one of the Queen's closest friends, and godmother of Prince Andrew.

The Hon. Peter Stanley is the younger brother of the Earl of Derby.  He manages the Hatchfield stud farm.   He is married to the Hon. Frances Caroline Burke Roche, a first cousin of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Day 4:

First carriage:  HM The Queen.  Captain David Bowes-Lyon, Mr, Erik Penser.  and Mr. Thomas van Straubenzee.

Captain David Bowes-Lyon is a second cousin once removed of the Queen.   Their common ancester is Claude, the 13th Earl of Strathmore.  The Queen is the granddaughter of the 14th Earl, and David is the great grandson of the 14th Earl's younger brother, the Hon. Francis Bowes-Lyon.   In 1976, David married Harriet Colville, daughter of Sir John Colville, private secretary to Princess Elizabeth (1947-1949.)   Harriet is a goddaughter of the Queen.  Since 1990, she has been a lady-in-waiting.

Erik Penser is a Swedish financier and racehorse owner who lives at Compton Beauchamp.  Thomas van Straubenzee is a life long friend of the Duke of Cambridge, and one of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge's godparents.  He was briefly married to Lady Melissa Percy, daughter of the 12th Duke of Northumberland.

Second carriage.  The Hon. Peter and Mrs. Stanley.  Mr. John and Lady Carolyn Warren

Third carriage   Mr. John Gosden,  Rachel Hood, and Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Wingfield Digby.   John Gosden is a racehorse trainer, with more than 2000 winners.  He is married to Rachel Hood, who is licensed to practice law in the USA and in the UK.  She is a thoroughbred racehorse owner.

Nicholas Wingfield Digby is the High Sheriff for Suffolk.  He is a veterinarian who works with racing stables, including Highclere.  He also served as Veterinary Surgeon to the Royal Studs.  He is married to Delia Mary Dewey, daughter of Sir Anthony Dewey, 3rd Baronet.

Fourth Carriage.  Wing Commander Sam Fletcher,  Mrs. David Bowes Lyon and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Butter.   Wing Commander Sam Fletcher is one of the Queen's equerry.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Prince Casimir of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn to marry American model

The Prince and Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn have announced the engagement of their son, Prince Casimir, to American model Alana Camille Bunte.

Miss Bunte was born on October 2, 1990 at Laguna Beach, California, the daughter of Brady Bunte and Angela Lopez.

She studied art and design at the University of the Arts and Central Saint Martin, both in London.

The couple met in London two years ago.  The wedding is expected to take place at Schloss Sayn in the coming year.

Prince Casimir, 41, is the second son and third child of the Prince and Princess.   He was named Johann Casimir Ludwig Karl Andreas Maria Rudolf, and was born at Koblenz  on May 4, 1976.   His first marriage in London on October 26, 2000 to Corinna  Larsen, was dissolved by  divorce in 2005.     Casimir has a son, Prince Alexander, by Corinna Larsen.

He received a degree in management and marking from Middlesex University in England, and has served as a visiting professor for International Tax and Services program at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California.

Prince Casimir is a managing partner in a firm that "invests, upgrades and manages farmland in emerging markets."


Belgrade, 22 June 2017 – A Holy Liturgy and Memorial Service were held at the Church of St. George in Oplenac today, on the occasion of the fifty sixth anniversary of death of Her Majesty Queen Maria. The Clergy of St. George Church officiated the services. On behalf of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander, Mr Predrag Markovic member of the Crown Council and Mr Dragan Reljic, the director of HM King Peter I Foundation laid flowers.

HM Queen Maria was the daughter of HM King Ferdinand of Romania and HM Queen Marie of Romania (a daughter of HRH Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, a son of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom). The Queen was born in Gotha, Thuringia, in Germany 6 January 1900 and died in London 22 June 1961. Her Majesty married HM King Alexander I of Yugoslavia in Belgrade 8 June 1922 and they had three sons Crown Prince Peter (later HM King Peter II, father of HRH Crown Prince Alexander), Prince Tomislav and Prince Andrej.

She was loved very much by the Serbian people. She was a role model of a devoted and caring wife and mother. She was very much engaged in humanitarian work. After the assassination of HM King Alexander I in Marseilles 9 October 1934 she continued to care for her sons and became the Queen Mother. She was very active with the Red Cross during World War II, and sent a lot of humanitarian help to Yugoslavia, but always signed herself with alias Maria K. Djordjevic.

She lived modestly on her estate in Kent, England after the World War II. General Charles de Gaulle decorated her with the Great Cross of the Legion of Honour in 1959. She passed away on 22 June 1961, and was buried at the Royal Cemetery in Frogmore in Windsor. Her remains were transferred to Serbia on 29 April 2013, and she was buried at the Royal Mausoleum in Oplenac during the State funeral 26 May 2013.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Princess of Wales visits Dundee in September 1983

@Marlene A. Eilers Koenig  (with a 110 camera)

The Princess of Wales visits the Keiller Candy factory in Dundee, Scotland, September 7, 1983.  

An interview with Prince Georg Friedrich

Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, head of the Imperial House of Prussia, and the great-grandchild of the last German Emperor, recently sat down with a reporter from the Stuttgarter Nachrichten.

"Prussia is not as evil as many think," said Prince Georg Friedrich. 

But unlike his ancestors, he has no political ambitions.  The interview took place at Hechingen, at Burg Hohenzollern, which Georg Friedrich owns jointly with the Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.

If the monarchy still existed in Germany, Georg Friedrich would be the Kaiser.  He sees himself as the representative of the House of Hohenzollern, and is a devoted father to his four children, including a set of twin sons.

Prince Georg Friedrich was asked: "When did you last change diapers?"

"Two and a half hours ago."   "My wife and I share this duty. I like to  take care of the little ones when I am at home, and go shopping."  

Prince Georg Friedrich and his wife, Princess Sophie of Isenburg, are able to live with their children out of the public eye.

"We live in Fischerhude, a village near Bremen, where I grew up. This is extremely rural area with a view of the Wümmewiesen. I spend a lot of  my time working in Berlin,  where I also take care of the administrative matters of my house."

Georg Friedrich visits Burg Hohenzollern every two weeks.  

"The castle business has grown considerably over the past ten years. Sometimes I come with the whole family - like this time. We celebrated the baptism of our youngest son Heinrich.  However, the castle is not as comfortable and luxurious as many people think. The residential tract has more of a hostel character."

The interview takes place on a small terrace at the castle.  It is a lovely day, Kaiserwetter, and coffee is being served.  In the background, the black and white flag of Prussia is flying, a sign that the owner is home.   But the prince goes unrecognized in tourist center.

"Do you remember your childhood days at Hohenzollern?"  

Yes, I have many memories,  We had sword fights in the weapons chamber and threw snowballs on the shuttle bus in the winter. My mother has often come with us. I unfortunately lost my father early. He was a lieutenant of the reserve, was seriously wounded in a maneuver with an armor, and died shortly thereafter. I was a year old. I often miss him. All the more I am now looking forward to being there for my children as a father."

Georg Friedrich admits that running Burg Hohenzollern is a challenge. "The facility is neither a dusty museum nor a Prussian Disneyland. We have 300 000 visitors a year, some guests from America, Asia and many parts of Europe. We are one of the few private museums on this scale that manages to get out of itself."

"You are the administrator of a permanent construction site. There's always somewhere crumbling?"

"That's true. We will continue to rebuild  over the next ten years. This is going to happen this year. Since many hundred tons of material have to be moved, all in consultation with the memorial office. We first work on the foundation walls, then the driveway is to follow. If possible, we will rehabilitate the same stone as the castle was built in the second half of the 19th century: yellow Angulatensandstein. But that is rare. We have found it in the princely forest near Grosselfingen. Whether there is enough, we do not know."

The castle has been used in several movies and television programs, including the thriller, Cure for Wellness," and The Worst Witch, which was shown on German TV earlier this year.  

According to Prince Georg Friedrich, the castle became a Hogwarts-type residence for young witches.  He said he got to watch the shooting  

of "Cure for Wellness," which he found "exciting." 
Prince Georg Friedrich was also asked about the Prussian royal house's strict marriage laws.   Marriages must be of equal rank.  The two older brothers of Georg Friedrich's father married commoners and lost their dynastic rights.

Georg Friedrich said he never felt exposed to the pressure of an equal marriage, as he had known his wife, Sophie for 35 years.
 "Our paths crossed often. At home we have a picture our ourselves as ages two and three years, playing in the swimming pool.  I am happy that we found ourselves seven years ago in Berlin."

His great-grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm II, believed that a marriage between a prince and a commoner is as impossible as the connection between a swan and a goose."

"Are such house laws not antiquated?"

"We've recently had a family dinner, where we talked about how to update the family laws, as other families have done. The main goal is to keep the family together."

"How are you connected with the European nobility? "  

"The kinship to the British royal house is very limited  Queen Victoria is my fourfold great-grandmother.  She died in the arms of her favorite grandson, Emperor Wilhelm II. Since the two world wars the British royal house has stepped back with regard to its roots and family connections to Germany.  This is understandable.  I am delighted to meet the Prince of Wales at different festivities."

Georg Friedrich was asked his position as head of the house was a burden or a privilege."

"At the age of eighteen, after the death of my grandfather, I became chief of the House of Hohenzollern. At first it was not easy. I had to work on many things and often justify them. I was confronted with people thinking that I was waiting for the return of the monarchy. At the same time, I always had the inner impulse to prove to myself and to others that I can build something of my own. I have studied business management and worked as an employee for many years. But the tasks within the family have grown, especially the administration calls on me."

"Do not you sometimes dream of being an emperor, honestly?

"No, I definitely do not. My family has no political responsibility in the country and I do not want to take over any. We have remained a cultural responsibility. We receive Hohenzollern Castle as a national cultural monument. In Berlin and Brandenburg, as a family, we are the largest private lender for the great Prussian foundations."

"How does it feel to know your great grandfather was one of the instigators of the first World War?"  

;I am reluctant about the war debt. There are still new findings. What makes me more stressful is the theme of the Third Reich. "They've prostituted us as a family," my grandfather always said. The National Socialists have claimed that they were in the immediate succession of the Hohenzollerns and continued Prussianism. This was an integral part of their propaganda, which, unfortunately, continues to be felt to this day.

Some members in their family supported the National Socialists.
There were both, we have an open approach to the subject. My great-great uncle, Prince August Wilhelm, called Auwi, had been involved in the Nazi regime and gave speeches for the NSDAP. My grandfather, Louis Ferdinand, and his father, the Crown Prince William, maintained a close connection with the political resistance from the outset, with the clear goal of restoring the monarchy in Germany."

Georg Friedrich Ferdinand Prince of Prussia was born in 1976 in Bremen. He went to the Gymnasium in Bremen and Oldenburg. He passed his exams at Glenalmond College in Aberdeen, Scotland.

In September 1994, his grandfather, Prince Louis Ferdinand,  died, and he succeeded as head of the house of Prussia.  In Freiberg,  he studied business administration. The Prince has been married to Princess Sophie of Isenburg since 2011. They have four children: four-year-old twins Carl and Louis, two-year-old Emma and Heinrich, who was born last November.

Countess Mountbatten's funeral date announced


Countess (Patricia). Wife of the late Lord Brabourne (John). Beloved sister, mother, grandmother and aunt. Died peacefully at home, Mersham, 13th June 2017. Funeral 27th June, 3 p.m., St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, London.  No memorial service. Donations to The Compassionate Friends  Flowers to CW Lyons, 01227 463508.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Death of William IV - Young Victoria succeeds

June 20, 1837

The Times is reporting the death of King William IV.  "It is with feelings of the most deep and poignant regret that we announce to the public that one of the most excellent , the most patriotic, and the most British Monarchy that ever sat on the imperial throne of these realms, is no more."

The "melancholy event" occurred between 2:30 and 2:45 a.m.  It is understood that the King was "sensible to the last moment of his existence, and expressed the most heartfelt satisfaction at the constant and unremitting attentions which received from different members of his family."

Queen Adelaide was with her husband when he died.

"We are not inclined to be the flatterers of rising greatness, but we are only performing an act of justice to that dignity whose sun is set, in declaring that the brightest gem in the diadem of our young Queen -- whom may God long preserve, for the welfare and happiness and good government of these realms"

The Archbishop of Canterbury left Windsor "immediately after the demise of his lamented Majesty" and arrived at Lambeth Palace at 6 a.m.

The new queen is King William's niece, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, the only child of the late Prince Edward, Duke of Kent.  She reached her majority on May 24.    She will be known as Queen Victoria.  May "her name be an augury of triumphant  fortune."

The young queen, who resides at Kensington Palace, was awakened early this morning, and learned of her uncle's death.  She will be proclaimed as Queen tomorrow.

The Duke of Cumberland, who has succeeded his late brother, as King of Hanover was the first to take the oath of allegiance to the Queen.  Although he is now the King of Hanover, he remains as heir presumptive to the British throne.

Friday, June 16, 2017

King Simeon II: a celebration of an extraordinary life

King Simeon - 80 years

When King Simeon of Bulgaria was born on June 16, 1937,  there were few who would have thought that this infant, a much wanted son,  would become king at age six,  in 1943 following the mysterious death of his father, King Boris III, who became ill after meeting Adolf Hitler.

Bulgaria's political instability increased during the second world war,  joining the Axis powers.  On September 5, 1944  the Soviet Union declared war on Bulgaria, and within three days,  the Red Army marched in Bulgaria with no real resistance.  Within a few days,  Prince Kyril, Simeon's uncle, who served as one of several regents for the young king, and two regents were deposed and arrested.  All three were executed in February 1945.

The young king, along with his mother, Queen Giovanna and his older sister, Princess Maria Luisa, remained at the Vrana Palace in Sofia as three new, pro-Soviet regents were named.  There is no doubt that the referendum on September 15, 1946 was rigged, as the Soviet army made sure that Bulgaria's citizens were aware of the country's new masters.

There was no doubt that the population (97%) would vote for a republic and the end of Bulgaria's monarchy.
Belgrade 2013 State Funeral  @Marlene A Eilers Koenig

The following day,  the royal family went into exile, first to Alexandria, Egypt, where Queen Giovanna's father, King Victor Emmanuel III was living, after going into exile earlier that year. A referendum in June 1946 ended the Italian monarchy, and Giovanna's brother, King Umberto and his family, were forced to leave their homeland.

The young king attended schools in Alexandria, Madrid and the Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Pennsylvania.  When he reached his majority at age 18,  Simeon II swore his allegiance to the Bulgarian people, as the Tsar of Bulgaria.
Belgrade 2010 @Marlene A,. Eilers Koenig

After returning from the United States,  he studied law and business administration, and worked in business for many years.

Simeon married Doña Margarita Gomez-Acebo y Cejuela on January 21, 1962.  The couple had five children:  Crown Prince Kardam (1962-2015), Prince Kirill (1964), Prince Kubrat (1965), Prince Konstantin-Assen (1967) and Princess Kalina (1972).  All five children have married Spaniards.  

The King and Queen have 11 grandchildren.
After the collapse of communism, the king visited Bulgaria for the first time since 1946.  It was in 2001 when the king returned to Bulgaria to form a new political party, the National Movement Simeon II, where he promised a positive change for Bulgaria after 800 days.   His party won a majority in the election in June 2001.   Simeon was named as Prime Minister.   Two of his accomplishments were to bring Bulgaria into NATO and the European Union.

His party did not do as well in the 2005 elections, and took part in a coalition government.   In 2009, the party won no seats, and Simeon resigned as the party's leader.  As Prime Minister, he swore an oath to uphold the Bulgarian republic, and he has never spoken publicly on a monarchical restoration.

King Simeon's heir is his grandson, Prince Boris, now 19 years old.  Although some sources have referred to Boris as Prince of Turnovo, a title his father bore,  this is incorrect.  King Simeon has not given the title to his grandson, and is unlikely do so in the future.  The reason for this is simple:  Boris' life is in Spain.  He was educated in Spain and in Austria, and his ties to Bulgaria are limited.

An heir in Bulgaria

June 16, 1937

Queen Giovanna of Bulgaria gave birth to the long awaited heir, a son at 5:45 a.m, reports the New York Times.

A 101 gun salute in Sofia announced the birth to the residents of the capital.

Telephone calls were made to provincial garrisons and soon "guns were booming throughout the land."

Queen Giovanna and her infant son are doing well.  The queen gave birth at the Clementine Hospital, which was founded by King Boris's grandmother,  Princess Clementine of Orléans, the mother of King Ferdinand of Bulgaria.

Large crowds gathered outside the palace and Sofia's mayor "led a procession of more than 100,000 persons through the palace grounds.:" The happy and proud father King Boris, appeared on the balcony, and, with a smile, thanked the crowd for the great ovation.

"I pray that my son and heir may be spared to rule over this country as a good thing."

The new Crown Prince will be named Simeon, after Bulgaria';s "great tenth century ruler, who reigned during a time when Bulgaria's power was at a zenith.

The birth of the Crown Prince is "particularly important" as succession to the throne is limited to males.   The king and queen's four and half year old daughter, Princess Marie Louise, cannot succeed to the throne.  The king has one younger brother, Prince Kiril, who is unmarried.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The new Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Norton Louis Philip Knatchbull, the 8th Baron Brabourne, will officially be styled as the 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma, after his mother's funeral and burial.

He was born at London on October 8, 1947, the eldest child of Lady Patricia Mountbatten (elder daughter of Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma) and John, the 7th Baron Brabourne.   He is married to Penelope Eastwood.

After the murder of his grandfather by the IRA in August 1979,  the Hon. Norton Knatchull became Lord Romsey, the secondary title for the Mountbatten earldom, which his mother succeeded to in her own right.   The earldom had a special remainder for Louis' two daughters and their male descendants.

Norton inherited the Broadlands estate from his grandfather, who had inherited it from his wife, the late Edwina Ashley, who died in 1960.  The estate is not entailed.

Lord Brabourne will most likely be styled as the Earl Mountbatten of Burma.  He will not cease to be be the Baron Brabourne, but the earldom is a higher peerage.  Both titles are in the peerage of the United Kingdom.

So what will happen to the Brabourne title.  Nothing.  Norton will remain as Baron Brabourne until his death, and both peerages, as well as the Knatchbull baronetcy, will pass to his only son, the Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull, 36.

The new earl may decide to have the Brabourne barony be his son's courtesy title, rather than Lord Romsey.   There is at least one precedent for this.

In 1959,  James George Alexander Bannerman Carnegie, who bore the courtesy title, Lord Carnegie, as heir to his father's earldom, the Earl of Southesk, succeeded his maternal aunt, Princess Arthur of Connaught, as the 3rd Duke of Fife.   He remained heir apparent to his father's earldom.

The Earl of Southesk died in 1992,  Shortly afterwards, the Duke of Fife announced that his son, Charles, then styled as the Earl of Macduff (secondary title for the Fife dukedom) would now be styled as Earl of Southesk.   The Duke remained the titular Earl of Southesk, but allowed his son to be styled as the earl (but not as the peer.)  This was due to the inheritance of the Southesk estates in Scotland.

Lord Southesk succeeded as the 4th Duke of Fife in 2015.  His eldest son, Charles, is now styled as the Earl of Southesk.

Thus it seems plausible that the new Earl will make a similar decision, and have Nicholas styled as Baron Brabourne, rather than Baron Romsey, as the courtesy title.

Nicholas is not married.  The order of succession for the Mountbatten earldom is:  the Hon. Michael-John Knatchbull (brother of Norton);  the Hon. Philip Knatchbull (brother of Norton);  Frederick Knatchbull; John Knatchbull (sons of Philip); the Hon. Timothy Knatchbull (brother of Norton); Milo Knatchbull; Ludovic Knatchbull (sons of Timothy) and Ashley Hicks, who is last in line.

There are other male heirs to the Brabourne barony after Ludovic Knatchbull.  These are the descendants of the Hon. Adrian Norton Knatchbull-Hugessen, the youngest son of the first Baron.

The new earl is a godson of the Duke of Edinburgh, and is one of the Duke of Cambridge's godparents.