Maria Pia of Savoie, the wife of King Louis I of Portugal. She is pictured with her eldest grandson, Louis Philippe of Bragance, sitting on her knees. The Queen Maria Pia was perfectly original. My grandmother once told me a story of the Queen delaying a Te Deum at the Lisbon Cathedral so that when she entered the sanctuary the rays of sunlight would pass through the stained glass and illuminate her flamboyant red hair.
Maria Pavlovna of Mecklembourg was the wife of the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovitch of Russia. Aunt Miechen, a great beauty, very intelligent, and of an assertive character became the queen of Saint Petersburg and held an important place at the Court.
The coronation of the last Tsar, Nicolas II, in Moscow. The photograph shows the cortege of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, Aunt Miny, the sister of my grandfather George I. She makes her way, wearing ermine and diamonds, by the dais occupied by the gentlemen of the Court. Behind, we see the Faceted Palace of Moscow.
Louise of Belgium, first cousin of my French grandparents, was the wife of Prince Philippe of Saxe Cobourg. Unhappy in marriage, she ran away with a handsome Hungarian. Once apprehended, her family resorted to a typical solution reserved or familial and international scandals: she was locked in a madhouse.
The splendid Queen Victoria, wearing ceremonial dress and crowned with diamonds for one the many jubilees during her never-ending reign.
Alexandra of Denmark, Aunt Allix, was the sister of my grandfather George I. She married the Prince of Galles, the future Edward VII. Upon the death of her mother-in-law, Queen Victoria, she and her husband became King and Queen of England, and were crowned at Westminster. The Ko I Noor diamond, the most famous in the world, is encrusted on the front of her crown.