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Royalty


Royalty in all shapes and forms

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…

England

Queen Victoria was mad about family gatherings, always making them pose for her. She loved her husband, but was a very demanding wife, to the point that it exhausted poor Albert. She was also an authoritarian mother, leaving nothing to be decided by her children. Pictured is the adoring wife and protective royal mother.  …

Fascist Italy 4

In Morocco, where the Duke and Duchess of Guise lived during the war. Pictured is their son Henry, the future Count of Paris, and his Cousin, Amedeo, the future Duke of Aosta.   Amedeo of Savoy, the Duke of Aosta, was a committed athlete. He is pictured here in a bathing suit in front of…

The Iron Mask

I’ve heard the stories about the Iron Mask ever since my adolescence. Being an admirer of historical mysteries, I set off researching the subject. I have never been convinced of the importance of this mystery, or why it is such a mystery at all. During the reign of Louis XIV, there was a prisoner in…

Portugal

King Louis I of Portugal, unlike the majority of his countrymen, was a blue eyed blond. He was the son of a German Prince, Ferdinand of Saxe Cobourg, who married the ruling Queen, Maria II de Gloria. Louis I wasn’t destined for the throne, but the death of his elder brother, the young King Pedro V,…

19th Century Royalty

Princess Isabelle of France, the future Duchess of Guise. God knows why my grandmother is wearing this crusader costume, which clearly doesn’t suit her. She does not seem very pleased with it herself.   King Carlos I of Portugal had a profound fondness for his sisters-in-law, Helen the Duchess of Aosta and Isabelle the Duchess…