• fr
  • en

Royalty


Royalty in all shapes and forms

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,…

Family Portrait, VII

In 1962, General de Gaulle and his wife made an official visit to Athens. King Paul, Queen Frederica, Crown Prince Constantine, Princess Irene and myself welcomed them at the airport. This visit was unforgettable for all, beginning with myself.   A pavilion built for a charity ball in the gardens of the Orléans House outside London….

Razoumovska

The patron of the epoch who built the grandest palaces was without a doubt Catherine II of Russia. With unlimited resources at her disposal, she could build colossal homes, grander than all the palaces of Europe. In fact, Catherine was only imitating her predecessor, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, daughter of Peter the Great. The latter was…

Family Portrait, VI

Maria Pia of Savoie, the wife of King Louis I of Portugal. She is pictured with her eldest grandson, Louis Philippe of Bragance, sitting on her knees. The Queen Maria Pia was perfectly original. My grandmother once told me a story of the Queen delaying a Te Deum at the Lisbon Cathedral so that when…

The Countess of Palmyra

I discovered Palmyra in the winter of 1964. It was cold, terribly cold. We were staying at the Queen Zenobia Hotel, the only hotel around. This structure, located amid the low and crumbling ruins of the area, had been built by Countess Margot d’Andurain. Margot, a French woman, had long ago married a garrison officer in Palmyra,…

Family Portrait, V

Princess Antonia of Luxembourg was the second wife of Prince Ruprecht of Bavaria. The prince was a staunch opponent of the Nazis, and joined in the battle against Hitler. His family was eventually arrested by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp. Princess Antonia survived the camp, but left in such a vulnerable state…

The Love Story That Led To World War I

Many years ago, when I began attending the Salzburg music festival, I became well acquainted with my distant cousins, the Hohenberg princes. I was particularly fond of them. They were friendly, funny, and lively. They were also the grandchildren of one of most history’s most famous tragedies. At the end of the 19th century, Archduke…

Family Portrait, IV

Philippe, the Duke d’Orléans, and King Alphonse XIII of Spain at Wood Norton, England. The Duke d’Orléans, son of the exiled Count of Paris, like many of the House of France, had chosen England as his place of exile. He owned the sumptuous property of Wood Norton, the future site of the marriage between his…