Royal News: Sunday 29 March 2015

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Bahrain

Denmark

Jordan

Monaco

Multiple Monarchies

Saudi Arabia

United Kingdom

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Princess Marie “May” of Hesse and by Rhine

photo: Wikipedia

Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine

Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine (Marie Viktoria Feodore Leopoldine) was the youngest of seven children of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom and Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse and by Rhine. Known as ‘May’, she was born on May 24, 1874 at the Neues Palace, in Darmstadt.

May was described as “enchanting” by her mother, and was closest to her sister Alix, the next youngest child. The two were inseparable, sharing a nursery and often being dressed identically.

Princess Marie (center front) with her siblings, 1878. photo: Wikipedia

At the beginning of November 1878, diphtheria began to make its rounds in the Grand Ducal Family. Princess Marie fell ill on November 12th, and sadly was the only one of the children not to recover. She died in the morning of November 16, 1878. She is buried in the Neues Mausoleum at Rosenhöhe Park, Darmstadt, aside her parents and brother Friedrich.

May’s death devastated her brother Ernst Ludwig. It was their mother Alice’s efforts to console him, with a hug and kiss, which led to her contracting the illness and passing away less than a month later.

Learn more about royalty, past and present here and share your thoughts on our forums.

Royal Birthdays & Wedding Anniversaries: March 29 – April 4

Prince Hamzah of Jordan; Photo Credit – www.petra.gov.jo

35th birthday of Prince Hamzah of Jordan, son of King Hussein of Jordan and his fourth wife Queen Noor, in Amman, Jordan on March 29, 1980
Wikipedia: Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein of Jordan

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3rd birthday of Isla Elizabeth Phillips, daughter of Peter Phillips, granddaughter of Anne, Princess Royal and great granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II; born at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in Gloucester, England on March 29, 2012
Wikipedia: Isla Phillips

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Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn; Photo Credit: Wikipedia

60th birthday of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand; born in Bangkok, Thailand on April 2, 1955
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

March 29: Today in Royal History

King Gustavus III of Sweden; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

March 29, 1792 – Death of King Gustavus III of Sweden, after being shot at a masked ball on March 16, 1792, at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden; buried at Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm, Sweden
Wikipedia: King Gustavus III of Sweden

March 29, 1956 – Death of Infante Alfonso of Spain
Alfonso was the younger brother of King Juan Carlos of Spain. He died at the age of 14 after an accidental shooting.
Unofficial Royalty: Infante Alfonso of Spain

March 29, 1980 – Birth of Prince Hamzah of Jordan, son of King Hussein of Jordan and his fourth wife Queen Noor, in Amman, Jordan
Wikipedia: Prince Hamzah bin Hussein

March 29, 2012 – Birth of Isla Elizabeth Phillips, daughter of Peter Phillips, granddaughter of Anne, Princess Royal and great granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Wikipedia: Isla Elizabeth Phillips

Royal News: Saturday 28 March 2015

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Denmark

Monaco

Netherlands

Norway

Serbia

Spain

Thailand

United Kingdom

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia

source: Wikipedia

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was born May 18, 1868 at the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, St Petersburg. He was the eldest son of Tsar Alexander III and Maria Alexandrovna (born Princess Dagmar of Denmark). At the time of his birth, he was second in line to the Russian throne, following his father. He had five younger siblings:

 

In 1884, having recently come of age, Nicholas attended the wedding of his uncle Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich to Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine. It was here that he first met the bride’s younger sister, Princess Alix. The two were second-cousins through their mutual great-grandmother, Wilhelmine of Baden. Despite their young ages (16 and 12), both were drawn to each other. It would be five years later, while Alix was visiting her sister in Russia, that the two would fall in love.

The relationship was met with much opposition from both Nicholas’ parents, and Alix’s grandmother, Queen Victoria. The Tsar and Tsarina felt that Alix was not suitable enough for their son, in part because of their dislike and distrust for all things German. They’d also hoped for a ‘higher profile’ bride and future Empress. As for Queen Victoria, she quite liked Nicholas personally. However, the same could not be said for his father, or for Russia itself. She also felt uneasy about another of her granddaughters marrying into the Russian Imperial Family. However, she was quite fond of her granddaughter, and eventually gave in to Alix’s wishes.

source: Wikipedia

Despite the misgivings of their respective families, the couple became engaged in April 1894, while in Coburg attending the wedding of Alix’ brother. Nicholas was representing his father at the wedding of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine to Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Nicholas’ first cousin. At first Alix refused his proposal, as she was a devout Lutheran and was unwilling to convert to Russian Orthodoxy as would be required. However, after some urging from her elder sister, she relented and accepted the second time he asked. The wedding was planned for the spring of 1895.

Sadly, in the Fall of 1894, Nicholas’ father fell ill. Sensing that there was not much time left, the Tsar instructed Nicholas to send for Alix, who arrived on October 22nd. Despite his ailing health, the Tsar insisted on greeting her in full uniform, and gave her his blessing. Tsar Alexander III died just 10 days later, leaving the 26 year old Nicholas as the new Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias. The following day, Alix was received into the Orthodox church, taking the name Grand Duchess Alexandra Feodorovna. Nicholas initially wanted to marry immediately, even before his father’s funeral, in a private ceremony. However, he was convinced that as Tsar, he should marry in St. Petersburg with at least some of the pomp and ceremony traditional in the Russian Imperial Family.

Wedding of Nicholas and Alexandra, by Ilya Repin. source: Wikipedia

It was on November 26, 1894, in the Grand Church of the Winter Palace, that Nicholas and Alix were married in a traditional Orthodox ceremony. Because of the formal mourning for his father, the couple did not take a honeymoon, and took up residence temporarily at the Anichkov Palace with his mother. They would soon move to the Alexander Palace, which would be their primary home for the remainder of their lives. Over the next ten years, the couple had five children:

Coronation of Nicholas II, by Valentin Serov. source: Wikipedia

On May 14, 1896, Nicholas’ coronation was held in the Uspensky Cathedral in the Kremlin. The following day, a large celebration was held in the Khodynka Field outside of Moscow. Tragically, over 1,300 people were killed, and another 1,300 injured, when the crowds surged forward toward the food and drinks which were being given out.  That evening, Nicholas was scheduled to attend an event hosted by the French ambassador, which he intended to cancel after the tragedy. But, told that it would be a huge snub to the host, and to relations with France, he relented and attended. This made him appear indifferent to the suffering of his people. The whole affair would be the first of many events which contributed to the distrust and outright hatred of many of the Russian people toward their Emperor.

The Imperial Family, 1913. source: Wikipedia

Nicholas’ reign would see the the first Russian Constitution of 1906 which established a parliament of sorts. His reign also saw a steady decline of his popularity and support. His decision to fully mobilize the Russian troops in 1914 led to Russia’s entrance into World War I. By 1917, his authority had diminished, and on March 15, 1917, he was forced from the throne. He formally abdicated for himself and his son, making his younger brother, Mikhail, the new Emperor. (Mikhail, however, refused to accept until the Russian people could decide on continuing the monarchy or establishing a republic.)

Nicholas at Tsarskoye Selo after his abdication, 1917. source: Wikipedia

The former Emperor returned to the Alexander Palace where he and his family were held under protective custody. A few months later, in August, the family along with 45 retainers were moved to the city of Tobolsk, where they lived in the Governor’s Mansion, still under heavy guard. Their final move, in April 1918, was to Yekaterinburg where they were housed in the Ipatiev House – known as the ‘house of special purpose’. It was here, in the early hours of July 17,1918, that Nicholas, his wife and children, and the few retainers who had remained with them, were killed by the Bolsheviks. Their bodies were initially thrown down a mine, but fearing discovery, they were mutilated and hastily buried beneath some tracks.

For many years, several members of the Imperial Family (including Nicholas’ mother) refused to believe the stories of their deaths. Other members of the family had been killed, and their bodies had been found and identified. But Nicholas’ and his family’s remains were never found, prompting numerous pretenders coming forward claiming to be one of the Grand Duchesses or the Tsarevich.

Finally, in 1979, a mass grave was discovered, believed to include the remains of the Imperial Family. The bodies were exhumed in 1991, and in 1998, through DNA testing, it was formally announced that the remains were of Nicholas, Alexandra and three of their daughters. On July 17, 1998 – 80 years to the day of their murders – the bodies were interred in the St. Catherine Chapel at the St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The remains of the last two children were found in a nearby grave in 2007, and positively identified the following year. They were buried alongside the rest of the Imperial Family.

The St. Catherine Chapel, with the tombs of the Imperial Family.  source: Wikipedia

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March 28: Today in Royal History

Princess Ingrid of Sweden, wife of King Frederick IX of Denmark; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

March 28, 1584 – Death of Tsar Ivan IV (the Terrible) of Russia in Moscow, Russia; buried at the Cathedral of St Michael the Archangel in Moscow, Russia
Wikipedia: Ivan IV of Russia

March 28, 1609 – Birth of King Frederik III of Denmark and Norway at Haderslevhus Castle in Denmark
Wikipedia: Frederik III of Denmark

March 28, 1655 – Death of Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg, wife of King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden, at Nyköping, Sweden; buried at Riddarholm Church in Stockholm, Sweden
Wikipedia: Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg

March 28, 1835 – Death of Auguste de Beauharnais, 2nd Duke of Leuchtenberg, first husband of Queen Maria II of Portugal; buried at Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon, Portugal
Auguste died two months after his wedding at age 24. He was the grandson of Napoleon’s first wife Josephine from her first marriage.
Wikipedia: Auguste de Beauharnais, 2nd Duke of Leuchtenberg

March 28, 1884 – Death of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, son of Queen Victoria, at Villa Nevada in Cannes, France; buried in the Albert Memorial Chapel at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany

March 28, 1901 – Birth of Princess Märtha of Sweden, wife of Crown Prince Olav (after her death King Olav V), at the Palace of the Hereditary Prince in Stockholm, Sweden
Full name: Märtha Sofia Lovisa Dagmar Thyra
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Märtha of Sweden

March 28, 1910 – Birth of Princess Ingrid of Sweden, wife of King Frederick IX of Denmark, mother of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, in Stockholm, Sweden
Full name: Ingrid Victoria Sofia Louise Margareta
Ingrid was a great granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Her mother was Margaret, daughter of Queen Victoria’s son Arthur, Duke of Connaught.
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Ingrid of Sweden

March 28, 1965 – Death of Mary, Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood, daughter of King George V of the United Kingdom, at Harewood House in Leeds, Yorkshire, England; buried at Harewood House
The Princess Royal died suddenly and unexpectedly while walking in the garden of Harewood House, Yorkshire.
Unofficial Royalty: Mary, Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood

Royal News: Friday 27 March 2015

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March 27: Today in Royal History

Tomb of Mary, Duchess of Burgundy; Photo Credit – Susan Flantzer, July 2009

March 27, 972 – Birth of Robert II, King of France
Wikipedia: Robert II, King of France

March 27, 1482 – Death of Mary, Duchess of Burgundy (in her own right) at Wijnendale Castle, Flanders after falling from her horse; buried in the Church of Our Lady in Bruges, Belgium
Wikipedia: Mary, Duchess of Burgundy

March 27, 1615 – Death of Marguerite de Valois, daughter of King Henri II of France, first wife of King Henri IV of France, at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye; buried at the Basilica of St. Denis near Paris
Wikipedia: Marguerite de Valois

March 27, 1625 – Death of King James I of England at Theobold’s Park in Hertfordshire, England; buried at Westminster Abbey
Wikipedia: James I of England

March 27, 1714 – Death of Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Cassel, wife of King Christian V of Denmark and Norway, at Charlottenborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark; buried at Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark
Wikipedia: Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Cassel

March 27, 1785 – Birth of King Louis XVII of France, son of King Louis XVI of France and pretender to the throne during the French Revolution, at the Palace of Versailles
Wikipedia: Louis XVII of France

March 27, 1819 – Birth and death of Princess Charlotte of Clarence, daughter of (the future) King William IV of the United Kingdom, at Fürstenhof Palace in Hanover, Germany
Full name: Charlotte Augusta Louisa
Wikipedia: Princess Charlotte of Clarence

March 27, 1837 – Death of Maria Fitzherbert, morganatic wife of King George IV of the United Kingdom, in Brighton, Sussex, England; buried at St. John the Baptist’s Church in Kemp Town, Brighton, England
George married Mrs. Fitzherbert against the Royal Marriages Act and the Act of Settlement. He was 22 at the time of the marriage and married without his father’s permission.  In addition, Mrs. Fitzherbert was a Roman Catholic. The marriage was invalid under the term of the Royal Marriages Act.
Wikipedia: Maria Fitzherbert

March 27, 1879 – Death of Prince Waldemar of Prussia, grandson of Queen Victoria, at Potsdam, Germany; buried at Friedenskirche in Potsdam, Germany
Prince Waldemar was the son of Victoria, Princess Royal and Friedrich III, German Emperor.  He died of diphtheria at age 11, three months after his aunt Princess Alice and her daughter Princess May died from the same disease.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Waldemar of Prussia

Succession to the Crown Act 2013

In a written statement from Parliament, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has announced that the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 has come into force, effective today, March 26, 2015.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Perth, Australia in October 2011, the Heads of Government of the 16 realms who have Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State announced they would all introduce legislation to eliminate the male-preference succession. This became known as the Perth Agreement.  In the United Kingdom, the Act passed through Parliament and was given Royal Assent on April 25, 2013.  However, it needed to be approved in the other realms as well.  While most passed the legislation quickly (or agreed that there was no need for separate legislation in their realm), Australia was the last to pass through, finally passing through Parliament in March 2015.  Canada was actually the first to pass their legislation, however there are currently legal challenges.

There are three provisions of the Act: Gender-blind succession, repeal of the Royal Marriages Act 1772, and the ban on marriage to a Catholic.

Succession to the British throne, as well as those of the 16 realms, will now fall to the eldest child, regardless of gender.  This change is retroactive only back to October 28, 2011 when the Perth Agreement was reached.  So, contrary to some published reports, this does not change the place in succession of The Princess Royal and her descendants.  In fact, the first people affected are some of the grandchildren of the Duke of Gloucester.  His two daughters both have a daughter and a son.  As both sons were born after the retroactive date of the Act, they will no longer come before their sisters in the line of succession.

Royal Consent for Marriage. The Royal Marriages Act 1772 required all descendants of King George II (other than those of princesses who had married into other royal families) to receive consent from the Sovereign before marrying.  Going forward, this requirement will only apply to the first six people in the line of succession.

Ban on marriage to Catholics. Previously, those who married a Catholic lost their place in the line of succession.  Going foward, this will no longer be the case.  This will return both George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews (elder son of the Duke of Kent), and Prince Michael of Kent to the line of succession.  Both had lost their rights of succession due to their marriages.  Despite this change, the Act of Settlement still requires that the monarch may not be Catholic.