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Portraits


Royalty in all shapes and forms

Family portraits of France

Princess Mathilde Bonaparte She was first cousin to Napoleon III. A great lady under the Second Empire, she was even more so under the Third Republic. The whole wide world would visit her in her hotel on Rue Courcelles and in her Château de Saint Gratien, amongst whom many intellectuals and many artists. She was…

THE REGENT’S WEDDING

At the moment I am watching the television series “Versailles”, in which I find many of my ancestors portrayed in a rather unorthodox manner. There is however a story the scriptwriters have omitted. Louis XIV had many children from his mistress the marquise de Montespan, both boys and girls. He had showered them with donations,…

Portrait of the future Duke of Guise

This is a portrait of my grandfather Jean of Orléans, the future Duke of Guise, found entirely by chance when googling the castles belonging to the family. He is here shown with his eldest sister, Marguerite of Orléans, who, being a princess of France, married the son of the first president of the 3rd Republic,…

INFERNAL LAUZUN

Monsieur de Lauzun was one of the ornaments to adorn the court of Louis XIV. Small, ugly, irresistible; no woman would yield to him; no man would accept him as a friend. The audacity of the man knew no limit: he had an unspeakable cheek and an unshakeable courage. He was a great friend of…

AUNT BELLINA

My grandmother, the Duchess of Guise, had a younger brother, Ferdinand of Orleans, Duke of Montpensier, who was charming but somewhat wayward: taking drugs, among other things. His sisters, one of whom was my grandmother, decided to marry him off. They found the rare pearl they were looking for in a wealthy girl of the…

Portrait of the Princess of Zanzibar and an African Lady-in-waiting

By Walter Frier This canvas is to be sold at Sotheby’s in London on December 7th 2017. In 1628, Captain John Henderson of Fordell, who had been travelling through Africa for many years, was captured by Barbarians and taken to the island of Zanzibar, where a Moorish king reigned. The king’s daughter fell madly in…

THE DUCHESS AND THE CONSTABLE

Louise Marie Adelaide de Bourbon was the daughter of the duke of Penthievre, only heir out of all the bastards of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan. She was the richest heiress of all of France. Philippe of Orleans duke of Chartres, future Philipe Egalité, asked for her hand in marriage. Louis XV advised his…

Family photo from spain

Family portraits from Spain

Photo dedicated to my grandmother the Duchess de Guise by young king Alfonso XIII He is not handsome, but he is irresistibly seductive. The truth is: few ladies could resist him. Distinguished, elegant, an admirable equestrian, courteous: he was a grand nobleman, right to his fingertips. Alas, he was less brilliant politically, which would bring…

young cayetana fitz james stuart Duchess of alba

THE ECCENTRIC DUCHESS

Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, Duchess of Alba was the descendant of a bastard child of King James II of England, who had come to fight in Spain. It could have been said that she was the last of the line of Stuarts. She possessed innumerable duchies, marquisates and counties, which made her one of the most…

palais royal madrid

THE JEWELS OF THE SPANISH CROWN

In the month of July 1808, panic reigned in Madrid. A French army of 100,000 men was marching towards the city, determined to prevail. For a year coups d’état, revolts and repression had wracked the city. Napoleon, after having dethroned the Bourbon dynasty, was determined to put one of his brothers on the throne of…