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Portraits


Royalty in all shapes and forms

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….

Belhomme’s Clinic

In the midst of the Terror, at a time when Parisians were laying low, afraid of falling victim to the revolutionaries, when a heavy atmosphere weighed down on the city and dread and anxiety suppressed all amusement, when shortages grew ever more dramatic and severe, there was at Charenton, a refuge, a haven where all the…

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…

The Begum

On one of my trips to India, I met a rather exceptional maharani. Her husband owned the most beautiful library in India, filled with ancient manuscripts dedicated to the study of medicine and botany. The maharani herself was short and round. She wore the garlands of an actual Christmas tree as a necklace, and on…


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…


Family Portrait, X

King Leopold II of Belgium, the first cousin of my French great-grandparents, is the subject of this exceptional photograph, dressed in a costume from the Court of Louis XIV. He earned a terrible reputation owing to his treatment of the indigenous population of the Congo, which he made his personal property. For a long time,…

Family Portrait, IX

Helen of France, the Duchess of Aosta, returned from one of her African expeditions with two children bought from a slave market. The children became her pages at the Capodimonte Palace in Naples. One day, while the duchess was away from home, her elder sister, Queen Amelie of Portugal, had the children baptized. After informing her sister,…

Family Portrait, VIII

The baptism of Princess Marguerite of Savoy Aosta at the Capodimonte Palace, Naples, Italy, in 1930. From left to right, Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Aosta, Queen of Italy Elena of Montenegro, whose hand my father, Prince Christopher, is kissing. Next to him, Anne of France, the future Duchess of Aosta and mother of the newborn,…