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Royalty


Royalty in all shapes and forms

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,…

Yildiz, The Tunnel Maker

The architect’s wife was beginning to worry. It was getting late, and her husband still hadn’t returned from the palace. Her husband was one of Sultan Abdul Hamid’s architects. The architect and his wife belonged to an old and venerable Greek community in Constantinople. The Ottoman sultans showed great tolerance and sought the services of…

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,…

King Ferdinand’s Infidelities

Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies, had a poor reputation. Nicknamed the Nose King, owing to his formidable nasal appendage, he was seen as an ultra-conservative, and both cruel and stupid. He wasn’t properly educated by his private tutor the Duke of San Nicandro, as such he only spoke the Neapolitan dialect. He also…