Breaking News: Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan gives birth to a son

King_Queen of Bhutan

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema in January 2016; Photo Credit – https://www.facebook.com/KingJigmeKhesar/?fref=ts

His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan announced on his Facebook page that his wife Queen Jetsun Pema gave birth to their first child, a son, on February 5, 2016.  The Facebook post read: “Our happiness knows no bounds, as we announce the Royal Birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey on 5th February 2016. Our Prince, the first Royal Child of His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Her Majesty Queen Jetsun Pema, was delivered safely at the Lingkana Palace, Thimphu. His Majesty was at Her Majesty’s side during the time of the delivery. Following the Royal Birth, His Royal Highness was first presented to His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen and His Royal Highness are both in perfect health.”

Royal News: Saturday 6 February 2016

Doing some shopping on Amazon.com? Please remember to use our Amazon link – found at the top of the right-hand column on every page of our site. It costs you nothing, and every purchase made through that link helps to support Unofficial Royalty, so that we can continue to bring you the royal news and features every day. Thank you!

Belgium

MercatorNet: Belgian artist fights to be recognised as king’s daughter

Bhutan

Bourbon-Parma/Netherlands

Denmark

Netherlands

Norway

Spain

Thailand

United Kingdom

February 6: Today in Royal History

King George VI of the United Kingdom with his grandson Prince Charles; Photo Credit – www.itv.com

February 6, 1378 – Death of Jeanne de Bourbon in childbirth, wife of King Charles V of France; her heart was buried in the convent of the Cordeliers, her entrails in the Church of the Celestines in Paris and her other remains were buried at Basilica of St. Denis
Wikipedia: Joanna of Bourbon

February 6, 1665 – Birth of Queen Anne of Great Britain at St. James’ Palace in London, England
Wikipedia: Queen Anne

February 6, 1685 – Death of King Charles II of England at Whitehall Palace in London, England; buried at Westminster Abbey
Wikipedia: King Charles II of England

February 6, 1693 – King William III and Queen Mary II of England grant a royal charter to The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia
The College of William and Mary is the second oldest (after Harvard) university in the United States and is the only American university to have a royal charter.
Wikipedia: College of William and Mary

February 6, 1899 – Death of Prince Alfred of Edinburgh, grandson of Queen Victoria, at Sanitorium Martinnsbrunn in Gratsch bei Meran (Merano) in Tyrol, Italy; buried at Friedenstein Castle Church in Gotha, Germany
Alfred was the son of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia.  He made a failed suicide attempt after a scandal with a mistress and died two weeks later.
Unofficial Royalty: Prince Alfred of Edinburgh

February 6, 1929 – Death of Maria Christina of Austria, second wife of King Alfonso XII of Spain, at the Royal Palace in Madrid; buried at Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo El Real
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Christina of Austria, Queen of Spain

February 6, 1952 – Death of King George VI of the United Kingdom at Sandringham House in Norfolk, England; buried at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
Unofficial Royalty: King George VI of the United Kingdom

February 6, 1981 – Death of Frederika of Hanover, wife of King Paul I of Greece, in exile in Madrid, Spain; buried at the Tatoi Royal Cemetery, Greece
Wikipedia: Frederika of Hanover

February 6, 1982 – Wedding of Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg and Archduke Carl Christian of Austria at Notre Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Unofficial Royalty: Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg
Unofficial Royalty: Carl Christian of Austria

February 6, 2004 – Birth of Princess Louise of Belgium, daughter of Prince Laurent of Belgium, at the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Belgium
Full name: Louise Sophie Mary
Wikipedia: Princess Louise of Belgium

Royal News: Friday 5 February 2016

Doing some shopping on Amazon.com? Please remember to use our Amazon link – found at the top of the right-hand column on every page of our site. It costs you nothing, and every purchase made through that link helps to support Unofficial Royalty, so that we can continue to bring you the royal news and features every day. Thank you!

Multiple Monarchies

Netherlands

Norway

Other

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom

Make sure to get the latest news updates as soon as they’re posted. Register today as a member of Unofficial Royalty. It’s quick and easy, and completely free! Click the ‘Register’ link in the menu to the right.

Princess Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Parma, Princess of Bulgaria

source: Wikipedia

Princess Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Parma, Princess of Bulgaria

Princess Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Parma was the first wife of the future Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. She was born Princess Maria Luisa Pia Teresa Anna Ferdinanda Francesca Antonietta Margherita Giuseppina Caroline Bianca Lucia Apollonia of Bourbon-Parma on January 17, 1870 in Rome. Maria Luisa was the eldest child of Robert I, Duke of Parma and his first wife, Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, and had 11 younger siblings:

  • Prince Ferdinando (1871) – died in infancy
  • Princess Luisa Maria (1872) – unmarried
  • Prince Enrico (1873) – unmarried
  • Princess Maria Immacolata (1874) – unmarried
  • Prince Giuseppe (1875) – unmarried
  • Princess Maria Teresa (1876) – unmarried
  • Princess Maria Pia (1877) – unmarried
  • Princess Beatrice (1879) – married Pietro Lucchesi-Palli, had issue
  • Prince Elias (1880) – married Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, had issue
  • Princess Maria Anastasia (1881) died in infancy
  • stillborn son (1882)

Her mother died in childbirth in 1882, and two years later, her father married Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal and had another 12 children:

Princess Maria Luisa was raised primarily in Switzerland, in the care of English governesses. Artistically gifted, she became fluent in five languages and enjoyed painting and music.

In 1892, her father began to arrange a marriage for Maria Luisa to the reigning Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria. He and Ferdinand’s mother went through extensive negotiations in order to make the match possible. One of the biggest obstacles was religion. Maria Luisa’s family was staunchly Catholic, and insisted that any children would be raised in the Catholic church. Ferdinand was also Catholic, and had been permitted to remain so when elected Prince of Bulgaria. However, the Bulgarian constitution required that any future Prince be a member of the Orthodox Church. This would mean that Ferdinand’s heir could not be raised Catholic. Capitalizing on the exceptions which had been given to both Ferdinand and his predecessor, Alexander of Battenberg, the Prime Minister Stefan Stambolov quickly had the constitution amended to provide another exception for Ferdinand’s heir.

Maria Luisa and Ferdinand, 1893. source: Wikipedia

With this final issue resolved, the engagement was announced in August 1892. Being a truly arranged marriage, it would be on their engagement day that Maria Luisa and Ferdinand met for the first time. They married on April 20, 1893 at Villa Pianore, the Duke of Parma’s residence in Lucca, Italy. They had four children:

  • King Boris III of Bulgaria (1894) – married Princess Giovanna of Italy, had issue
  • Prince Kyril (1895) – unmarried, killed in 1945
  • Princess Eudoxia (1898) – unmarried
  • Princess Nadezhda (1899) – married Duke Albrecht Eugen of Württemberg, had issue

Maria Luisa with her sons, Boris and Kiril, 1896. source: Wikipedia

Less than two years after the birth of their first son, Boris, Ferdinand decided that he would have his son baptized in the Orthodox church, despite the agreements made at the time of their marriage. This was part of his efforts to be recognized by the new Russia Tsar, Nicholas II, as sovereign of Bulgaria. Maria Luisa, supported by both her family and her mother-in-law, argued strongly against the conversion but Ferdinand insisted. Prince Boris was received into the Orthodox church, with Tsar Nicholas II as his godparent. Maria Luisa left the country in protest, not returning until the late spring of 1896. The rest of their children were raised Catholic.

source: Wikipedia

Maria Luisa’s marriage, which had been strictly for political and dynastic reasons, was not a happy one. Having given birth to three children, and expecting a fourth, within 5 years had taken a toll on her already frail health. She developed pneumonia while pregnant with her youngest child, and died on January 31, 1889, just a day after giving birth. She was just 29 years old. Princess Maria Luisa was buried in the Cathedral of Saint Louis of France, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

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

February 5: Today in History

The Prince Regent (future King George IV of the United Kingdom); Photo Credit – Wikipedia

February 5, 1811 – George, Prince of Wales becomes Prince Regent as King George III’s mental health deteriorates
Wikipedia: English Regency
Unofficial Royalty: King George IV of the United Kingdom

February 5, 1818 – Death of King Carl XIII of Sweden and Norway; buried at Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm, Sweden
Wikipedia: King Carl XIII of Sweden

February 5, 1972 – Birth of Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, wife of Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Unofficial Royalty: Crown Mary Princess of Denmark

February 4: Today in Royal History

Natalia Kirillovna Naryshkina, second wife of Tsar Alexei of Russia, mother of Peter the Great; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

February 4, 1495 – Wedding of Anne of York, daughter of King Edward IV of England, and Thomas Howard, (the future) 3rd Duke of Norfolk at Greenwich Palace in London, England
Anne married Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey and the son and heir of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk, but she died young and they had no surviving children.  The Duke later married Elizabeth Stafford, daughter of the Duke of Buckingham and was the uncle of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard.
Wikipedia: Anne of York
Wikipedia: Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk

February 4, 1694 – Death of Natalia Kirillovna Naryshkina, second wife of Tsar Alexei of Russia, mother of Peter the Great; buried at the Cathedral of the Archangel in Moscow, Russia
Wikipedia: Natalia Kirillovna Naryshkina

February 4, 1930 – Wedding of Prince Takamatsu of Japan and Tokugawa Kikuko
Prince Takamatsu was an uncle of Emperor Akihito, the present emperor.  The prince died in 1987 and his widow Princess Takamatsu died in 2004.  Princess Takamatsu issued a statement shortly after the birth of Princess Aiko stating that females should be able to succeed to the throne.  See
Wikipedia: Prince Takamatsu of Japan
Wikipedia: Tokugawa Kikuko

February 4, 1970 – Birth of Marilène van den Broek, wife of Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau, in Dieren, Rheden in the Netherlands
Full name: Marie-Helène Angela
Wikipedia: Marilène of Orange-Nassau

February 4, 2002 – Death of Sigvard Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg
Sigvard was the second son of Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden. He gave up his royal title in 1934 after marrying a commoner.
Unofficial Royalty: Sigvard Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg

Royal News: Thursday 4 February 2016

Doing some shopping on Amazon.com? Please remember to use our Amazon link – found at the top of the right-hand column on every page of our site. It costs you nothing, and every purchase made through that link helps to support Unofficial Royalty, so that we can continue to bring you the royal news and features every day. Thank you!

Jordan

Norway

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom

Royal News: Wednesday 3 February 2016

Doing some shopping on Amazon.com? Please remember to use our Amazon link – found at the top of the right-hand column on every page of our site. It costs you nothing, and every purchase made through that link helps to support Unofficial Royalty, so that we can continue to bring you the royal news and features every day. Thank you!

Bahrain

Denmark

Egypt

Jordan

Netherlands

Spain

Sweden

United Kingdom

Make sure to get the latest news updates as soon as they’re posted. Register today as a member of Unofficial Royalty. It’s quick and easy, and completely free! Click the ‘Register’ link in the menu to the right.

Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria

source: Wikipedia

Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria

Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria was born on February 26, 1861, at the Palais Coburg in Vienna. At birth, he was Prince Ferdinand Maximilian Karl Leopold Maria of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Koháry, a member of the catholic Koháry branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was the son of Prince August of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Koháry and Princess Clémentine of Orléans, daughter of King Louis Philippe I of the French. Ferdinand had four older siblings:

Ferdinand with his mother, c1866. source: Wikipedia

The Koháry branch began with Ferdinand’s grandfather who married Princess Maria Antonia Koháry de Csábrág et Szitnya, who was Catholic. She was the daughter and heiress of one of the largest landowners in Hungary. Upon her father’s death in 1826, the couple inherited his estates and fortune, at which point her husband and rest of the family converted to Roman Catholicism and added Koháry to the family name.

Prince Ferdinand, grew up in Vienna, where his father was a General in the Austrian military. He attended and graduated from the Theresianum Academy and became a Colonel in the Second Regiment of the Austrian Hussars, where he would remain until 1887. From a young age, he developed an interest in ornithology, entomology and botany – subjects which fascinated him his entire life. During his schooling, he and his brother Ludwig August embarked on a scientific expedition on the Amazon river, after which Ferdinand published a study, ‘Description of Birds by Prince Ferdinand Saxe-Coburg and Gotha’ in 1884.

source: Wikipedia

In 1886, after the abdication of Alexander of Battenberg as reigning Knyaz (Prince) of Bulgaria, a search began for a new prince. While many European princes refused, fearing the same fate as Alexander Battenberg, Prince Ferdinand’s name was put forth by his mother. Following a vote by the National Assembly, Ferdinand was elected Knyaz of Bulgaria on July 7, 1887, although he remained unrecognized by the Great Powers.

Ferdinand and Maria Luisa, 1893. source: Wikipedia

Knowing that establishing a royal house and ensuring the succession would be crucial in order to be recognized as sovereign, Ferdinand married Princess Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Parma on April 20, 1893. She was the daughter of Robert I, Duke of Parma and Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. The marriage had been arranged by Ferdinand’s mother, and the couple hadn’t met until the day of their engagement. Despite Ferdinand’s complete disinterest in his wife, the couple had four children:

  • Tsar Boris III (1894) – married Princess Giovanna of Italy, had issue
  • Prince Kyril (1895) – unmarried, killed in 1945
  • Princess Eudoxia (1898) – unmarried
  • Princess Nadezhda (1899) – married Duke Albrecht Eugen of Württemberg, had issue

The early years of Ferdinand’s reign brought Bulgaria to the forefront of the Balkan countries, primarily due to the efforts of Prime Minister Stefan Stambolov. However, Russia had severed diplomatic relations, and Tsar Alexander III was strongly opposed to recognizing Ferdinand as Prince. After Alexander’s death, his son, Tsar Nicholas II, who was much more moderate, proposed reconciliation provided that Ferdinand’s heir be raised in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Despite the feelings of Ferdinand’s Catholic family, he realized that formal recognition from Russia would be necessary before any European country would recognize him. On February 2, 1896, Ferdinand had his son Boris baptized in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, with Tsar Nicholas II as as godparent. Soon after, Ferdinand was recognized as Prince of Bulgaria by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Ferdinand quickly began to bring Bulgaria to the level of other European monarchies.

Prince Ferdinand, c1897. source: Wikipedia

The Bulgarian army became one of the most powerful in the Balkan region and Ferdinand established Universities, an Arts Academy, a Seminary, and technical schools around the country. He personally founded the Institute of Natural Sciences with a museum, zoo and botanical gardens. The nation’s railway and road network was developed, and post offices and telegraph stations opened across the country.

Ferdinand and his second wife, Eleonore, on their wedding day. source: Wikipedia

Ferdinand’s wife, Marie Louise, died on January 31, 1899 after the birth of their youngest child. Nine years later, on February 28, 1908, he remarried to Princess Princess Eleonore Reuss of Köstritz. She stepped in as mother to his children, although the couple did not have any children together.

Since its establishment as a principality, Bulgaria had been under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire. However, on October 5, 1908, Ferdinand proclaimed independence, elevating Bulgaria to a kingdom and becoming Tsar Ferdinand I. Much of the next ten years was consumed by war. The First Balkan War in 1912 saw significant land gains, but these were nearly all negated by losses during the Second Balkan War the following year. And soon, World War I had begun. At the beginning, Bulgaria remained neutral while being courted by both sides due to the country’s location and strong military. Having entered the war in the fall of 1915, siding with the Central Powers, initial successes were soon overshadowed by significant losses and defeats. On October 3, 1918, taking full responsibility for the loss of the war, Tsar Ferdinand abdicated in favor of his son Boris. Ferdinand settled in Coburg, where he devoted his time to his favorite pastimes – art, gardening, travel and history.

In 1943, his son, Tsar Boris III, died after visiting Hitler in Germany, and was succeeded by his own son, Simeon who was just six years old. In 1945, Ferdinand’s other son, Kyril, was executed, and in 1946, the young Simeon was deposed, and the Bulgarian monarchy abolished. Heartbroken at the loss of his family and his kingdom, Ferdinand died in Coburg on September 10, 1948. Unable to be buried in Bulgaria at the time, his remains were temporarily placed in the crypt of St. Augustine’s Church in Coburg, beside those of his parents. They remain there to this day.

Casket of Tsar Ferdinand I, at the feet of the tomb of his parents, St. Augustine’s Church, Coburg. source: Wikipedia

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