The Fredensborg Palace has been the preferred residence of Danish Royalty for generations. It is neither the grandest nor the most sumptuous royal home, but it is the most beautiful and the most comfortable. It is also the most inhabited. The home is surrounded by a vast romantic park that extends all the way to the sea. It was there that King Christian X, the grandfather of the current Queen Margaret II, loved to take his daily walks, regardless of the weather. One day, towards the end of winter, he was walking through a field in front of the palace that has a grand view of the countryside. The ground was covered with snow. Suddenly, the king realized that there was an additional set of footprints next to his. A ghost was following him. He stopped, more intrigued than afraid. The footprints stopped too. He began walking again and once more the footprints appeared beside his own. The king decided to let things be and allowed the ghost to follow him back to the entrance of the palace. Neither King Christian X nor anybody else knew the identity of the ghost, or the reason the ghost had followed the king on his daily walk.
THE MAGICIAN’S CHAMBERMAID
22 December 2018 - 2 mins
Over twenty years ago, Marshal Alan Brooke’s descendants invited me to their castle in Northern Ireland. Theirs was a courageous and enterprising household; they had decided to restore the family domain and open it to the public. They were endearing, welcoming, intelligent and warm. The surprising thing is that I cannot remember the name…
PHOTOS OF THE SPANISH ROYAL FAMILY
17 August 2018 - 3 mins
Infant Alfonso of Orleans and his wife princess Beatrice of Great Britain, uncle Ali, aunt Bee. He belongs to the Spanish branch of the Orleans family; he was an exceptionally gifted pilot, original, always unexpected, adored by his nephews and nieces, including me. She was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, a famous beauty like her…
Family portraits of Denmark
18 May 2018 - 1 min
The future kings Edward VII of England and Frederick VIII of Denmark. They were brothers-in-law, Frederick’s sister having married Edward. Princess Dagmar of Denmark. She would later marry the Grand Duke and Russian heir Alexander and become empress of Russia. Vilhelmine Marie, princess of Denmark. She married her first cousin King Frederick VII of Denmark….
Family Portrait, XIII
27 July 2015 - 3 mins
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….
A GHOST AT SANDRINGHAM
14 July 2021 - 4 mins
My father, Christopher, had the most profound affection for his aunt, Queen Alexandra of England, wife of King Eduard VII, and frequently stayed at the various English palaces. In the early years of the twentieth century, he found himself at Sandringham for the weekend, where he had a strange experience that I was reminded of…
20 June 2021 - 6 mins
Countess Caroline Goëss was a mean and absolute unpleasant character. She owned Gradisch Castle at the beginning of the 19th century. It likely originated as a fortress in the line of fire from which steeples to towers signalled danger in the Middle Ages. It later became a charming and elegant abode on a human scale….
30 March 2021 - 5 mins
Unlike the facetious Countess Caroline Goess, the White Lady of Telč thought only of doing good. She had the unusual name Perchta. She had married a count of Liechtenstein, a namesake but entirely unrelated to the principality. He was a wicked, brutal man whose odious methods often forced her to seek refuge at her brother’s…
THE DWARF OF GRAZZANO PART 2
11 March 2021 - 9 mins
One winter morning, it was freezing in the Grazzano library where the infamous séance took place. The seance that had, in a sense, resurrected Aloysa. The ghost took some time to show itself. Amazingly, there was nothing dwarf-like about it. On the contrary, the precisely contoured silhouette in the door was that of a tall…