Royal News: Friday 24 March 2017

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Nadejda Mikhailovna de Torby, Marchioness of Milford Haven

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Nadejda Mikhailovna de Torby, Marchioness of Milford Haven

Countess Nadejda Mikhailovna de Torby was the wife of Prince George of Battenberg (later George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven). She was born in Cannes on March 28, 1896, the second daughter of Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich of Russia and Countess Sophie von Merenberg. As her parents’ marriage was morganatic, her father was stripped of his position at the Imperial Court and banished from Russia for the rest of his life. The morganatic marriage also meant that none of Mikhail’s styles or titles passed to his wife or their children. However, shortly after they married, Sophie’s uncle – Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg – created Sophie Countess de Torby, a title which also passed down to Nadejda and her two siblings:

Nadejda (left), with her brother, sister and father. source: Wikipedia

By the time she was four, Nadejda’s family had settled in England, but also spent part of the year at their villa in Cannes. The family became prominent members of British society, and developed friendships with several members of the British Royal Family. It was through these friendships that Nadejda met her future husband, Prince George of Battenberg.

George was the eldest son of Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (later the 1st Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven). His siblings included Princess Andreas of Greece, Queen Louise of Sweden and Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Nadejda and George married at the Russian Embassy in London on November 15, 1916. They settled at Lynden Manor in Bray, Berkshire, and had two children:

When King George V asked his German relatives to relinquish their German titles in 1917, Nadejda and her husband became simply Mr. and Mrs. George Mountbatten. Several months later, when George’s father was created Marquess of Milford Haven, George assumed his father’s subsidiary title, Earl of Medina. It would only be another 4 years when George’s father died, and he and Nadejda became the 2nd Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven. In later years, Nadejda and her husband helped to raise George’s nephew, Prince Philippos of Greece (now The Duke of Edinburgh).

1934 saw Nadejda drawn into the international spotlight during the contentious custody trial of Gloria Vanderbilt. Nadejda was a close friend with the child’s mother – Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt – and became part of the story when a former maid of Mrs. Vanderbilt suggested during testimony that her employer and the Marchioness were lovers. After publicly denouncing the allegations as “malicious, terrible lies”, Nadejda considered traveling to New York to testify on her friend’s behalf, but was talked out of making the trip by King George V and Queen Mary.

However, one relative who did travel to testify in Mrs. Vanderbilt’s defense was Gottfried, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, who was married to Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark, a niece of Nadejda’s husband. Gottfried had briefly been engaged to Mrs. Vanderbilt in the late 1920s, and was called to testify on her behalf after scandalous allegations were made in court testimony about their prior relationship.

And here’s another interesting tidbit of information relating to Mrs. Vanderbilt. Her twin sister, Thelma, Viscountess Furness, was the mistress of The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII / Duke of Windsor) in the early 1930s. It was Thelma who introduced the Prince to her good friend, Wallis Simpson. The rest, as they say, is history!

Four years later, Nadejda was widowed when her husband succumbed to bone marrow cancer in 1938. Nada was very close to her sister-in-law, Edwina, and the two often traveled together around the world.

Nada (center) with her son David and his fiancée, Romaine Pierce SImpson, photographed in October 1949. source: Zimbio

The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven died in Cannes on January 22, 1963. She is buried beside her husband in the Bray Cemetery in Bray, Berkshire.

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March 24: Today in Royal History

Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

March 24, 1275 – Death of Beatrice of England, daughter of King Henry III of England, in London, England; buried at Greyfriars Church in Newgate, London, England
Wikipedia: Beatrice of England

March 24, 1394 – Death of Constance of Castile, Duchess of Lancaster
Constance was the second wife of John of Gaunt, son of King Edward III, and mother of his daughter Catherine, who later became queen consort of Castile.
Wikipedia: Constance of Castile, Duchess of Lancaster

March 24, 1603 – Death of Queen Elizabeth I of England at Richmond Palace; buried at Westminster Abbey
Unofficial Royalty: Queen Elizabeth I of England

March 24, 1628 – Birth of Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg, wife of King Frederik III of Denmark, at Herzberg Castle in Lower Saxony (Germany)
Wikipedia: Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Queen of Denmark

March 24, 1805 – Death of Prince Alois I of Liechtenstein, buried at the Liechtenstein Crypt in Vranov, Czech Republic
Wikipedia: Prince Alois I of Liechtenstein

March 24, 1837 – Birth of Philippe, Count of Flanders
Philippe was the second son of Leopold I of Belgium and Louise of Orleans. He was also the father of Albert I of Belgium, but died before becoming king himself.
Unofficial Royalty: Philippe, Count of Flanders

March 24, 1866 – Death of Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies, wife of Louis-Philippe I, King of the French, in exile, at Claremont in Surrey in England; buried first at Weybridge, England, re-buried in 1876 in the Orléans Mausoleum in the Royal Chapel in Dreux, France
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Amalia of the Two Sicilies, Queen of the French

March 24, 1953 – Death of Mary of Teck, wife of King George V of the United Kingdom, at Marlborough House in London; buried at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
Unofficial Royalty: Mary of Teck, Queen of the United Kingdom

New Swedish Baby: Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia expecting second child.

Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia and Prince Alexander. Photo: royalcourt.se

The Swedish Royal Court has announced that Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia are expecting their second child in September 2017.  The Swedish Royal Court’s announcement quoted the couple:  “We are happy to announce that we are expecting a child, a sibling to Prince Alexander. We are looking forward to welcoming a new little member to our family.” Their first child Prince Alexander was born April 19, 2016.  Prince Carl Philip, the second of the three children of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, married the former Sofia Hellqvist on June 13, 2015 at the Royal Chapel in the Royal Palace of Stockholm.

 

Royal News: Thursday 23 March 2017

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March 23: Today in Royal History

Margaret of Anjou; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

March 23, 1429 – Birth of Margaret of Anjou, wife of King Henry VI of England, at Pont-à-Mousson, Lorraine, France
Unofficial Royalty: Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England

March 23, 1801 – Murder of Tsar Paul I of Russia at the Mikhailovsky Castle in St. Petersburg, Russia; buried at the Fortress of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg, Russia
Wikipedia: Tsar Paul I of Russia

March 23, 1990 – Birth of Princess Eugenie of York at Portland Hospital in London, England
Full name: Eugenie Victoria Helena
Unofficial Royalty: Princess Eugenie of York

Royal News: Wednesday 22 March 2017

 

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George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven

George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven was born on December 6, 1892, at The New Palace in Darmstadt. At the time of his birth, he was HSH Prince George Louis Victor Henry Serge of Battenberg, the third child and elder son of Prince Ludwig (Louis) of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. George had three younger siblings:

George with his mother, Victoria.

A remarkably intelligent and clever child, George had his own workshop at his father’s Heiligenberg Castle by the age of ten, and was soon designing and building precise working models of steam engines. He enjoyed complex math problems “for relaxation” and was recognized by his superiors at Dartmouth Naval College for being perhaps the most clever cadet the college had ever seen. During his time in the Royal Navy, he devised a system to provide air conditioning in his cabin, and invented a device which would brew his morning tea, triggered by an alarm clock.

Wedding portrait of George and Nadejda.

On November 15, 1916 at the Russian Embassy in London, George married Countess Nadejda Mikhailovna de Torby. Nadjeda was born in Cannes on March 28, 1896, the younger daughter of Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich of Russia and Countess Sophie von Merenberg. Following their wedding, George and Nadejda settled at Lynden Manor, in Bray, Berkshire, and had two children:

The following year, in 1917, King George V of the United Kingdom asked his relatives to relinquish their German royal titles. On July 14, 1917, the Battenbergs gave up their titles and styles, and took on the surname Mountbatten. George, having previously been created a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, became Sir George Mountbatten. Four months later, on November 7, 1917, his father was created Marquess of Milford Haven, and George assumed the courtesy title Earl of Medina. Four years later, in 1921, George succeeded his father as 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven.

In the late 1920s, having lost most of his inheritance to German inflation – and having a wife with very expensive tastes – George left the Royal Navy for a career in business. He worked for a brokerage house before moving to the British Sperry Gyroscope Company where he became chairman. He also served as director for several large companies, including Electrolux and Marks & Spencer.

In 1930, George became instrumental in the upbringing of his nephew, Prince Philip of Greece. Philip’s mother suffered a breakdown that year, and his father was more-or-less separated from the family, living with a mistress on the French Riviera. George became Philip’s primary guardian, serving as a surrogate father and arranging for, and financing, Philip’s education.

In 1934, George and Nadejda were brought into the international spotlight during the custody battle for the young Gloria Vanderbilt in New York City. Allegations had been raised that Nadejda and Gloria’s mother – Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt – had been lovers. Nadejda traveled to New York to testify in the case, decrying the allegations as “malicious, terrible lies.”

In December 1937, George suffered a fall and broke his femur. A month later, when it didn’t appear to be healing, further examination found that he was suffering from bone marrow cancer. Fearing that the diagnosis would cause him to decline quite quickly, the doctors chose to withhold it from him, in agreement with the family. He lingered for several months, finally losing his battle on April 8, 1938. He is buried at the Bray Cemetery. By the time of his death, George had accumulated a large collection of erotic art, which he left – on permanent loan – to the British Library. The library’s index describes the collection as “prospectuses and catalogues of erotic and obscene books, pictures and instruments, dating from 1889 to 1929. 81 parts. Collected by George Mountbatten.”

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March 22: Today in Royal History

Marie Sophie of Hesse-Cassel, Queen of Denmark; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

March 22, 1421 – Death of Thomas, Duke of Clarence, son of King Henry IV of England, at the Battle of Baugé in France; buried at Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, England
Wikipedia: Thomas, Duke of Clarence

March 22, 1759– Birth of Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp, wife of King Charles XIII of Sweden, in Eutin (Germany)
Wikipedia: Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte of Holstein-Gottorp, Queen of Sweden

March 22, 1797 – Birth of Wilhelm I, German Emperor, King of Prussia at the Crown Prince’s Palace in Berlin, Prussia (Germany)
Full name: Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig
Unofficial Royalty: Wilhelm I, German Emperor, King of Prussia

March 22, 1852 – Death of Marie Sophie of Hesse-Cassel, wife of King Frederik VI of Denmark and Norway, at Frederiksberg Palace in Frederiksberg, Denmark; buried at Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark
Wikipedia: Marie Sophie of Hesse-Cassel, Queen of Denmark

March 22, 1956 – Birth of Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista, wife of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, in Havana, Cuba
Unofficial Royalty: Maria Teresa Mestre y Batista, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

Royal News: Tuesday 21 March 2017

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