Tag: Family Portraits

Exotic Royalty

Naser al-Din Shah belonged to the Qajar dynasty and ruled during the 19th century. Slowly, his country began to descend into chaos, caught between the competing pressures of England and Russia. He was a very open sovereign. He visited Europe and was well received, he knew how to please. Following the example of his predecessors, and…

Family Portrait : Spain

Queen Marie-Christine, widow of Ferdinand VII Marie Christine of Bourbon-Two Sicilies married her uncle, King Ferdinand VII of Spain. She was his fourth wife. King Ferdinand died shortly after, and Marie Christine found herself the Regent of her young daughter, Isabella. Civil war soon broke out; coups were orchestrated constantly. The political situation was explosive….

Family Portrait : Imperial Russia II

Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna as a child, the Future Duchess of Edinburgh Maria Alexandrovna was the daughter of Tsar Alexander II and his first wife. She married Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria. The queen opposed the marriage. She hated the Russians, both for their status as international political rivals…

Family Portrait : Brazil

Brazil was a Portuguese colony at the turn of the 19th century, when the heir prince severed ties with the motherland and his family. He became the first sovereign of an independent Brazil. As much as Pedro I was an adventurer, his son and successor was an intellectual. Emperor Pedro II was close friends with…

Bonaparte

My maternal family, the House of Orléans, hated Napoleon III. One of his first acts upon coming into power was to confiscate their fortune, to which the journalist Henri de Rochefort remarked, “C’est le premier vol de l’aigle.” (The play on words here cannot be translated into English, vol means both flight and theft in…

Family Portrait, XV

Emperor Alexander of Russia was the uncle of Queen Olga of Greece. Pushed by his brother Constantine, the Tsar sought to liberalize Russia, with the goal of producing a constitution. It was a race against time; the Tsar knew anarchists and terrorists were targeting him. There had already been one bombing attempt in the dining…

Family Portrait, XIV

Prince William of Denmark was chosen to become King of Greece in 1863, taking the name George I. Upon assuming the throne, he began his search for a wife. Needing support for his small and nascent kingdom, he met with the most powerful rulers in the world, finally finding his pearl in Russia, in the…

Family Portrait, XIII

The royal succession of Denmark in 1863 was particularly complicated. Frederick VII, the ruling king was neither likable nor pleasant. He had a complicated private life, and to tops things off he was without a legitimate child. He had a sister Charlotte, pictured above, who was married to a German prince, the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel….

Family Portrait, XII

The life of Louis Philippe I, King of the French, reads like a novel. Born in 1773 during the reign of Louis XV, the young prince saw the Court of Versailles, Louis XVI, and Marie Antoinette. He joined the ranks during the Revolution and became the youngest general in France. The son of a regicide, his…

Family Portrait, XI

The House of Orléans in England, their place of exile. Fom left to right, standing, unknown, the Duke of Aumale, Prince Henry of Orléans, the Princess of Joinville, Princess Marguerite of Orléans, my grandfather Prince Jean of Orléans, the Prince of Joinville, and the Count of Paris. Seated, unknown, unknown, the Countess of Paris with…