• fr
  • en

The Unusuals


Exploring the unexplored
jean-baptiste-bernadotte-sweden-Michael-of-greece-Chronicles

BERNADOTTE

He was a Gascon soldier from the Revolution, Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte. He had grown up and made his path during this troubled period through the shear strength of his wrists, his wit and his military genius. He had gotten into contact with Bonaparte, but the latter, in some ways, was jealous of him as Bernadotte bested…

A GREEK FOR THE CONQUEST PERU

His name was Pedro de Candia and I discovered his existence in a fascinating book “The Royal Commentaries of Peru” written by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, which my friend Samantha introduced to me. The author is the son of a Spanish conquistador and an Inca Princess. He therefore knows both the Spanish and Inca…

Palace of Strelna

Saint Petersburg, Russia This palace was built for Peter the Great by architect Le Blond. Its park stretched from its terraces to the Baltic. It was passed down to numerous members of the Imperial Family before belonging to my great-grandfather, the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, and then to his son, Konstantin Konstantinovich. I absolutely wanted…

THE FORGOTTEN TREASURE OF THE LAST TSAR

When Kerensky had seized power in Russia during the Revolution of February 1917, he had interned the tsar, the tsarina and their five children in the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo. He had tried to send the prisoners to England, but King George V, first cousin of Nicholas II and first cousin of the Empress,…

THE DIGESTIVE OF THE TIME OF THE WAR_Michael_of_greece_digeen temps de guerre

THE DIGESTIVE OF THE TIME OF THE WAR

My mother’s first cousin, the Duke of X, was as charming as he was jovial. During the Second World War, like so many Frenchmen, he and his whole family sought refuge in the family castle in the country. At that time, the question of where the ingredients and foods that appeared on the table came…

Elisabeth_Charlotte_de_Baviere_La_Palatine

A GHOST STORY AS TOLD BY THE PRINCESS PALATINE

Elisabeth Charlotte of Bavaria, Princess Palatine and the second wife of Louis the 14th’s brother and the Duke of Orleans, or ‘Monsieur’ (the traditional title given to the eldest living brother of a French king), is one of my favourite ancestors. Larger-than-life; sincere; courageous; she would share her thoughts with everyone; she enjoyed cold cuts,…

Pont_d'Iéna_Bridge-Paris Bridge

Louis XVIII and Jena Bridge

Louis XVIII had a feel for France whatever regime it was ruled by. In the Paris occupied by the forces of the coalition, the place names, the avenues, and the bridges served as a constant reminder to the occupying forces of their defeats. L’Avenue d’Austerlitz, l’Avenue de Wagram, and above all the Jena Bridge, reminded…

THE ELYSEE

The Elysee Palace, residence to the President of the French Republic, has a long history. It was first built by the marquis de Marigny, brother of the all-powerful mistress of Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour. I do not know by what turn of events but, during the Revolution it belonged to the Princess of Orleans,…

Francis Bannerman

BANNERMAN CASTLE

His name was Francis Bannerman. He had come to the United States from his native Scotland when he was three years old and he and his family lived in Brooklyn. He worked in trade. He had specialized in purchasing American army surplus. The American Civil War and then the Cuban war had indeed left behind…

Beresford New york

OUR BERESFORD GHOST

The Beresford is one of the most magnificent buildings in New York City on Central Park West. That is where we settled when we arrived from Europe: in a large apartment with spacious, high-ceilinged rooms. It was light-filled, with a splendid view of the park. Marina, myself, and our two daughters were very happy there….