• fr
  • en

Portraits


Royalty in all shapes and forms

19th Century Greece

Four generations of kings. Christian IX, King of Denmark, his second son King George I of Greece, King Constantine of Greece, the son of the latter, and the eldest son of Constantine, the future King George II of Greece.   The Duke of Cambridge at Corfu. Since the reign of George I, the Greek royal…

Imperial Russia

Emperor Alexander III of Russia inspects an honor guard with his son, the future Nicholas II. Alexander III proved to be a good father, loved by his children and his nephews, my father foremost among them. Did he know that his successor was too weak for the position? In any case, he raised his son for…

Romania

King Carol of Romania When Romania gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, a foreigner, Prince Carol of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, was chosen to become sovereign, in part due to political influences. Prince, then King of Romania, he was the true creator of the modern Romanian state. An austere German, feared by his family, he was also a…

Lady Freemason

At the end of the 18th century, the daughter of Lord Doneraile was only an adolescent, but she was intelligent, independent, cultivated and full of character. She loved nothing more than passing the time in the library, huddled beside a window with the curtains closed, lost in a good book, usually History, sometimes poetry. It…

Blickling Hall, The Beheaded Queen

Blickling Hall, that sumptuous estate in Norfolk, is supposedly haunted by Anne Boleyn, the queen beheaded by her ghastly husband, Henry VIII. In reality, she never lived at Blickling Hall, but the home did belong to her family. Queen Anne is said to appear each year on the anniversary of her tragic death. The conservators…

Olga : Russia II

My great-grandmother, Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna, was partially paralyzed late in her life. She was confined to moving around in a wheelchair, but maintained a grand appearance all the same. She is pictured here in the park of her enchanting home, Pavlosk Palace.   This photograph was taken by my grandmother Olga of Russia. She…

Imperial Russia

Mother and daughter, Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna, one of the grandest beauties of the Imperial family, and her daughter Olga, a gentle, lovable, smiling, and generous child destined to become a very popular Queen of Greece.   My great-grandmother, Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna of Russia, born Princess of Saxe-Altenbourg, with her two eldest children, Olga,…

The Gaffe of the Old Princess

In the blue room of the Royal Palace in Brussels, reserved for members of the four princely families of Belgium: Croy, Merode, Ligne, and Arenberg, all the talk was about the Spanish flu. Early in the 20th century, the epidemic was ravaging Europe and horrifying the people, nobody knew how to deal with it. The…

Germany, Beyond Prussia

King Ludwig II of Bavaria was briefly engaged. He was handsome and young, the Bavarians idolized him. He fell in love with his cousin, Duchess Sophie, or at least he claimed to have. However, over the course of their engagement, poor Sophie found her fiancé’s attitude increasingly outrageous. Finally, they called the marriage off. Later,…

19th Century France

Antoine d’Oléans, the Duke of Montpensier, married Maria Louisa Fernanda of Bourbon, the Infanta of Spain, sister of Isabelle II. It was a marriage that provoked intrigue, plots, and revolution. One of their daughters, the Infanta Isabelle, married Philippe, the Count of Paris, head of the House of France. The Montpensiers, after decades of turmoil,…