Royal News: Thursday 30 March 2017

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March 30: Today in Royal History

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

March 30, 1231 – (First) Wedding of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, son of King John of England, and Lady Isabella Marshal, at Fawley Church in Buckinghamshire, England
Unofficial Royalty: Richard, Earl of Cornwall
Wikipedia: Isabel Marshal

March 30, 1660 – Wedding of Prince Louis I of Monaco and Catherine-Charlotte de Gramont
Wikipedia: Louis I, Prince of Monaco
Wikipedia: Catherine-Charlotte de Gramont, Princess of Monaco

March 30, 1774 – Death of Caroline of Pfalz-Zweibrücken, wife of Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, in Darmstadt (Germany)
Wikipedia: Caroline of Pfalz-Zweibrücken, Landgravine of Hesse-Darmstadt

March 30, 1830 – Death of Ludwig I, Grand Duke of Baden, in Karlsruhe, Baden (Germany)
Wikipedia: Ludwig I, Grand Duke of Baden

March 30, 1871 – Death of Louise of the Netherlands, wife of King Charles XV of Sweden and Norway, in Stockholm, Sweden; buried at Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm, Sweden
Unofficial Royalty: Louise of the Netherlands, Queen of Sweden

March 30, 2002 – Death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, wife of King George VI, mother of Queen Elizabeth II, at Royal Lodge, Windsor; buried at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
Unofficial Royalty: Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
Unofficial Royalty: Death of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

Prince Alexander of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland

by Scott Mehl

Prince Alexander and his parents, March 2017. photo: Swedish Royal Court

Prince Alexander of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland, is the first child of Prince Carl Philip and the former Sofia Hellqvist. He was born April 19, 2016 at 6:25pm at the Danderyd Hospital in Danderyd, Sweden. He weighed 3595 grams and was 49 centimeters long. Prince Alexander is 5th in the line of succession to the Swedish throne.

photo: Erika Gerdemark, Swedish Royal Court

At a cabinet meeting held at The Royal Palace of Stockholm two days later, King Carl XVI Gustaf announced the names and titles of his newest grandson – Prince Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland.

  • Alexander – a name liked by his parents
  • Erik – for his maternal grandfather, Erik Hellqvist, and a name of several Swedish kings
  • Hubertus – for his paternal grandfather, King Carl Gustaf (Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus)
  • Bertil – for Prince Bertil of Sweden, an uncle of the King and one of Prince Carl Philip’s godparents

photo: Jonas Ekströmer / TT

Prince Alexander was christened on September 9, 2016 in the Royal Chapel at Drottningholm Palace. His godparents are:

  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden – his paternal aunt
  • Lina Frejd – his maternal aunt
  • Victor Magnuson – his father’s paternal cousin
  • Jan-Åke Hansson – a close friend of his father
  • Cajsa Larsson – a close friend of his mother

Prince Alexander with his parents and godparents. photo: Mattias Edwall, Swedish Royal Court

At the christening, Prince Alexander wore the christening gown first worn by his great-grandfather, Prince Gustaf Adolf (father of the current King), in 1906. Since then, all members of the Swedish Royal Family have worn the gown at their christenings, and each child’s name is embroidered into it. The young prince was also invested with the Order of the Seraphim, Sweden’s senior, and most prestigious, order of chivalry.

In March 2017, it was announced that Prince Alexander will become an older brother, with an anticipated younger sibling due in September 2017.

photo: Kate Gabor, Swedish Royal Court

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Royal News: Wednesday 29 March 2017

 

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Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Edwina Ashley, Countess Mountbatten of Burma

Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, was the wife of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, a member of the extended British Royal Family. She was born Edwina Cynthia Annette Ashley on November 28, 1901, at Broadlands, her family’s home in Romsey, Hampshire. Her parents were Wilfrid Ashley, (later 1st Baron Mount Temple) and Amalia “Maudie” Cassel. Through her father, she was a great-granddaughter of the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury and a great-great-granddaughter of the 6th Duke of Beaufort. Through her mother, she was a granddaughter of Sir Ernest Cassel. Edwina had one younger sister:

After her mother’s death, and father’s subsequent remarriage, Edwina went off to boarding school, first at The Links in Eastbourne and then Alde House in Suffolk. Not being a good student, and not enjoying life in boarding school, the problem was solved when her grandfather invited her to come live with him at his London residence, Brook House. Sir Ernest Cassel was a successful financier and capitalist who had become one of the richest men in Europe. He had been a close friend and advisor of King Edward VII who had bestowed several honour on him during his reign. Upon his death, he left an estate valued at over £6 million (approx. £240 million today), a large portion of which went to Edwina.

Edwina quickly became a prominent member of London society, and through those connections, met her future husband – then Lord Louis Mountbatten – in 1920. Louis was the younger son of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven (formerly Prince Ludwig of Battenberg) and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. A romance quickly began, and the two were engaged in India on Valentine’s Day 1922. They married on July 18, 1922 at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, in the presence of The King and Queen and numerous royals from other European countries. The Prince of Wales served as Best Man. Following a honeymoon in North America, they settled at Brook House in London and went on to have two daughters:

Edwina’s grandfather had died the previous year, leaving Edwina a very wealthy woman. In addition to £2 million pounds (£80 million today), she also inherited several properties including Brook House in London, Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket, Suffolk, and Branksome Dene (now Zetland Court) in Bournemouth, Dorset.

She also later inherited two properties from her father, upon his death in 1939. These were Broadlands, and Classiebawn Castle, in County Sligo, Ireland. The family still owns Broadlands, but Classiebawn Castle was sold in 1991. (It was while at Classiebawn that Edwina’s husband was assassinated by the Provisional IRA in 1979).

Edwina’s wealth allowed her to pursue a life of leisure and indulge in anything she wanted to. She often set off on travels around the world – sometimes completely out of contact with her family. But she was also quick to lend financial support to friends and relatives, and was often the primary source of income for several members of her husband’s family. It was during World War II that this selfless willingness to help others developed into a life of service. She served as President of the London Division of the British Red Cross and was named Superintendent-in-Chief of the St. John Ambulance Brigade in 1942. During her husband’s time as Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command, she traveled extensively to the Allied prisoner of war camps, and assisted to repatriate the prisoners.

In August 1946, her husband was created Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, and the following year appointed to serve as the last Viceroy of India, charged with overseeing India’s independence from Britain. During this time, and the subsequent ten months when he served as Governor-General, Edwina worked tirelessly to ease the suffering amongst the poor and helpless in India. It was during this time that she became Countess Mountbatten upon her husband’s elevation to an Earldom. Her close relationship with Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, is often the source of speculation that the two were romantically involved. Although denied by official biographers and Edwina’s own daughters, the rumors continue to this day. It was no secret that both Edwina and her husband had numerous affairs and lovers through the years, so any close friendship either of them had quickly became the subject of gossip and rumors.

In the years after India, Edwina continued her charity work and pursued her love of traveling around the world. It was while on an inspection tour for the St. John Ambulance Brigade that Edwina died on February 21, 1960. She was in Jesselton (now Kota Kinabalu), British North Borneo at the time, and passed away in her sleep. Her body was flown back to Britain and, per her wishes, buried at sea off the coast of Portsmouth on February 25, 1960. In a show of friendship and respect, Prime Minister Nehru sent two Indian destroyers to accompany her body during the burial.

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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: Tuesday 28 March 2017

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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: Tsar Ivan IV of Russia

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

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, Crown Princess of Norway

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, Queen of Denmark

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
Unofficial Royalty: Mary, Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood

Royal News: Monday, 27 March 2017

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Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, was a member of the extended British Royal Family and a distinguished Naval officer. A great-grandson of Queen Victoria (and the last great-grandson to be born during her lifetime), he was born a Prince of Battenberg but grew up fiercely British. In addition to his naval career, he also served as the last Viceroy and first Governor-General of India. Mountbatten also played a very prominent role in the lives of his nephew, The Duke of Edinburgh, and grand-nephew, The Prince of Wales.

Prince Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas of Battenberg was born on June 25, 1900 at Frogmore House, the youngest child of Prince Louis (Ludwig) of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. He was christened at Frogmore on July 17, with Queen Victoria and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia among his godparents. Louis – known almost from birth as “Dickie” – had three elder siblings:

Through both of his parents, he was closely related to numerous other royal families of Europe. His mother’s younger sister was Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, and in his childhood, Dickie was close to her children. At a very young age, he began a “lifelong love affair” with one of them – Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna – and kept a framed photo of her by his bed for his entire life.

At the age of 10, Dickie was enrolled at the Lockers Park School in Hertfordshire, and then at 13 entered the Royal Naval College, Osborne. Destined for a naval career, he received his first posting in July 1916, as a midshipman on HMS Lion. After studying for two terms at Christ’s College, Cambridge, Louis was posted to HMS Renown, accompanying The Prince of Wales on a tour of Australia. The following year, on HMS Repulse, he again accompanied his cousin on a tour of India and Japan. It was during this trip that he became engaged to his future wife.

Dickie first met Edwina Ashley in October 1920, when both attended a ball at Claridge’s in London, hosted by Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt III. Edwina was the daughter of Wilfrid Ashley, 1st Baron Mount Temple (a grandson of the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury) and Amalia Cassel (daughter of Sir Ernest Cassel). The two soon found themselves invited to the same house parties and shooting weekends, and a romance began. Both were guests of the Duke of Sutherland at Dunrobin Castle in Scotland in September 1921, when Louis received word that his father had died. When Edwina’s grandfather died just ten days later, the two grew very close in their shared grief. Several months later, Edwina went to visit Dickie while he was in India with the Prince of Wales. It was there, at a Valentine’s Day Ball held at the Viceregal Lodge in Delhi, that Dickie proposed.

Louis and Edwina were married on July 18, 1922, at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster. The wedding was a lavish affair, attended by The King and Queen and other members of the British Royal Family and other royal houses of Europe. The bridal party included the Prince of Wales, who served as Best Man, and Dickie’s four nieces – Princesses Margarita, Theodora, Cecilie and Sophie of Greece. Following a honeymoon which took them to Canada and The United States, Dickie and Edwina settled at Brook House in London – one of several properties Edwina had inherited from her grandfather. They went on to have two daughters:

Admiral Lord Mountbatten receiving the Japanese surrender at Singapore, September 1945. source: Wikipedia.

Dickie was posted to several other boats before being given his first command – HMS Daring – in 1934. This was followed by commands of HMS Wishart (1934-1936), HMS Kelly (1939-1941) and HMS Illustrious (1941). From 1941-1943, he served as Chief of Combined Operations, and then from 1943-1946 as Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command. In that role, in September 1945 Mountbatten received the Japanese surrender in Singapore.

On August 27, 1946, he was created Viscount Mountbatten of Burma by King George VI. The following February, Prime Minister Clement Atlee appointed him Viceroy of India, and tasked him with overseeing India’s independence from Britain. Following independence in August 1947, Mountbatten served for the next ten months as the country’s first Governor-General. During that time, on October 28, 1947, he was created Earl Mountbatten of Burma and Baron Romsey. As Mountbatten had no sons, the Letters Patent creating both the Viscountcy and the Earldom were written to allow the titles to pass to his daughters and their male heirs. Had this not been done, the titles would have ended upon Mountbatten’s death. Instead, they passed to his elder daughter, Patricia, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

Following his time in India, Mountbatten returned to military service in 1949, serving as Commander of the 1st Squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet. From 1950-1952, he served as Fourth Sea Lord, and then from 1952-1954 as Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet. Finally, in April 1955, nearly forty-one years after his father had been forced to relinquish the role due to anti-German sentiment, Mountbatten was made First Sea Lord – the head of the British Royal Navy. The following year, he reached the rank of Admiral of the Fleet. Dickie served as First Sea Lord until October 1959, when he became Chief of the Defence Staff, serving until his retirement in July 1965. During this time, he also served as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee from 1960-1961.

Earl Mountbatten of Burma, in uniform as Colonel of the Life Guards, with Gold Stick in Hand (1973). Source: Wikipedia, photo: by Allan warren – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28983433

Upon retiring, he was granted several honorary appointments. He was made Colonel of the Life Guards, Gold Stick in Waiting, and Life Colonel Commandant of the Royal Marines. The Queen also appointed him Governor of the Isle of Wight. In 1974, he became the first Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight.

Lord Mountbatten was killed on August 27, 1979 when his boat was blown up by the Provisional IRA on Donegal Bay, in County Sligo, Ireland. He had been staying at his summer home, Classiebawn Castle, in County Sligo, Ireland, with much of his family. Mountbatten, his grandson Nicholas, his son-in-law’s mother, The Dowager Baroness Brabourne, and a young crew member, Paul Maxwell, all died as a result of the blast. Mountbatten’s daughter Patricia, her husband John, and their son Timothy were all critically injured, but survived.

A ceremonial funeral was held at Westminster Abbey on September 5, 1979, attended by most of the British Royal Family and many other European royals. He is buried at Romsey Abbey.

Earl Mountbatten’s tomb at Romsey Abbey. Source: Wikipedia, photo by JohnArmagh

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