Monday, October 24, 2016

Lady May weds Captain Henry Abel Smith

October 24, 1931

Lady May Helen Emma Cambridge, the only daughter of the Earl of Athlone and Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone,  was married today to Captain Henry Abel Smith, of the Royal Horse Guards, reports the New York Times.

The wedding took place in the "ancient church" at Balcombe, a tiny Sussex village.   Queen Mary arrived with her eldest son, the Prince of Wales, who was once reported engaged to Lady May.  This alliance seemed a bit far fetched as Lady May and the Prince of Wales are first cousins.

The Duke and Duchess of York were also at the wedding to see their 5 1/2 year old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, make her debut as a bridesmaid.  Prince George and the Duke of Gloucester also attended the wedding.    Other royal guests includes Princess Victoria, Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught, the Marquess and Marchioness of Carisbrooke, Marquess and Marquess of Cambridge, Lord Frederick Cambridge, Duchess of Beaufort,  Hereditary Prince Gustaf of Adolf, the older brother of Princess Ingrid, accompanied his sister to London from Sweden.  Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise,  Rear-Admiral the Hon. Alexander Ramsay and Lady Patricia Ramsay, and Lord Carnegie and Lady Maud Carnegie also received invitations and were present.

The wedding ceremony was performed by Archbishop William Carter, formerly the Archbishop of Capetown, who is a family friend of the bride and her parents.  He was assisted by the Bishop of Chichester and other clergymen.

She was attended by nine bridesmaids including the young Princess Elizabeth, Princess Ingrid of Sweden, Lady Mary Cambridge, Miss Jennifer Bevan, Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Hon. Imogen Rhys, Miss Kathleen Alington, Miss Verene Seymour, Moss Phyllis Seymour Holm and Miss Wenefryde Tabor, and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who is a first cousin of the bride.    Princess Ingrid's mother, the late Princess Margaret of Connaught, and Princess Alice, the bride's mother, were first cousins.

The revised wedding service was used, thus omitting the word obey.  Lady May and her parents were consulted by the Archbishop about this decision.  Lady May is the first British royal bride to not make the promise to obey at the altar.

The bride arrived to a "fanfare of trumpets.  She stepped out of the car, "radiant in soft-clinging robes of antique white satin, wearing the exquisite Brussels lace veil that was worn by Queen Mary and by the bride's mother at their own weddings."  The veil "fell from a double wreath of orange blossoms.  Her bouquet of lilies of the valley included sprigs of myrtle from the bush that had supplied bouquets for royal brides since Queen Victoria's time.

The bridesmaids wore "long blue velvet gowns and carried anemones."  They wore crystal necklaces, gifts of the bridegroom.

The choirs of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and the village church sang as Lady May was escorted down the aisle, joining her "tall, soldierly bridegroom" at the altar.

The best man was Major Cecil Weld-Forrester, a brother officer of Captain Abel Smith.

The reception was held at Lady May's parents home, Brantridge Park, where she used her husband's sword to cut the "eighty pound three-tiered wedding cake decorated with hunting scenes and figures of the Royal Horse Guards."  The Times reported that the reception had a "spirit of informality.  The Prince of Wales proposed the toast with a "few charming words."

Captain Abel Smith is 32 years old.  He is seven years older than his bride.  They first when he served as an aide to Lord Athlone, when he was Governor General of South Africa.

The  bride and groom left by car for Didlington Hall, Norfolk, where they will spend part of their honeymoon.  Later they intend to travel to Ireland for "some hunting.

The young golden-haired Princess Elizabeth is said to have stolen the show at the wedding.  Possibly one day she could become Queen.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What to do about the York princesses

In the mid-1990s,  Queen and other senior members of the British Royal Family founded the Way Ahead Group, which was designed to face and deal with the then growing criticism of the royal family following the divorces of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of York, and, to a lesser degree, the Princess Royal and Mark Phillips.   The death of Diana, Princess of Wales in September 1997, further  exacerbated the criticism toward the monarchy.

One of the primary goals of the Way Ahead group, which included the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Duke of York, was to "modernize" the royal family.   The Prince of Wales' stated goal was to have a slimmed down monarchy with the focus on his sons and their families.

In 1917, King George V issued a Letters Patent that limited the HRH and title Prince of Princess to the children of the Sovereign, the grandchildren of the Sovereign in the male line and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.   (Several months before the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to Prince George in 2013, Queen Elizabeth II issued a letters patent that extended the HRH to all of the Duke of Cambridge, the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.  This was done in the case the couple's first child was a daughter, who according to the new succession law, would never be preceded by a brother in the line of succession.)

The 1917 Letters Patent provided for a royal family, where attrition would play a role in keeping down the numbers.   King George V and Queen Mary had five sons and one daughter.  The eldest son,  Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936, and was succeeded by his brother, Albert, the Duke of York, who reigned as George VI.  

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth  had two daughters, Elizabeth, the heiress presumptive, and Margaret.  Shortly before Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, Charles, in November 1948,  her father issued a Letters Patent that gave the HRH and title Prince or Princess to Elizabeth's children.    If this had not been one,  Charles would have been styled as the Earl of Merioneth and Anne as the Lady Anne Mountbatten, bearing the courtesy titles as children of a duke.   In the United Kingdom, children take their father's rank, unless their mother has a higher rank (Peeress of the realm or Sovereign.)  

Princess Margaret married in 1960 to Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was created Earl Snowdon and Viscount Linley shortly before Margaret gave birth of their first child, David, who is styled as Viscount Linley.  Neither Lord Linley nor his younger sister, Lady Sarah Chatto, have never carried out official engagements, again because they are children of a princess, and their rank comes from their father.

George V's two other surviving sons, Henry (Duke of Gloucester) and George (Duke of Kent) established their own families.  The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were the parents of two sons:  Prince William and Prince Richard.  Prince William was the heir to his father's dukedom, and was expected to undertake official duties, while his younger brother, Prince Richard, would be able to have a career and a largely private life.

A graduate of Cambridge - and post-graduate work at Stanford University,  Prince William joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, serving in Lagos, Nigeria, and Tokyo, Japan.  After his father fell ill, in 1970,  Prince William resigned from his diplomatic post and returned to England to become a full time royal, and manage the family home, Barnwell Manor.  He also served several times as a Counsellor of State.   His death at age 30 in a plane crash ended Prince Richard's private life.   Richard had intended to practice architecture full time,  but his career plans were put aside when William died.    Only six weeks before William's death, he was the best man at Richard's wedding to Danish-born Birgitte van Deurs.

Richard succeeded his father as Duke of Gloucester on June 10, 1974.  He and his wife, Birgitte, are well-respected, full time working royals.  They have three children, Alexander, the Earl of Ulster, Lady Davina Lewis and Lady Rose Gilman, and six grandchildren.   Lord Ulster will succeed his father as the 3rd Duke of Gloucester, but he will be styled as Your Grace, and not Your Royal Highness.

The late Prince George, Duke of Kent, and his wife, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, were the parents of three children: Edward (who succeeded his father in 1942),  Alexandra and Michael.   Prince Michael was in the same position as his first cousin, Prince Richard: younger sons who were expected to have their own careers, and carry out few official duties.   Prince Michael and his wife appear at most state occasions, but carry out few engagements on behalf of the Queen.  Their patronages and other engagements are not included in the Court Circular.  Their two children, Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella, are styled as younger children of a duke.

The Duke and Duchess of Kent, both of whom are now in their 80s, and the Duke of Kent's younger sister, Princess Alexandra, who will celebrate her 80th birthday on December 25, continue to work as full time royals.  The Duke of Kent was recently in Canada and Princess Alexandra carried out several engagements in Washington, D.C., in early October.

Princess Alexandra only 17 years old when she became a "fully-fledged working member of the Royal Family, when she visited the British Red Cross.   Her early entrance into the life of a working royal came after Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation.   There was a "distinct shortage" of royals to undertake royal duties.  The Queen and Prince Philip were about to leave on a long tour of the Commonwealth.  The Queen Mother was still "grieving," This left the Princess Royal (Princess Mary, the only daughter of George V) , the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester,  Princess Margaret and the Duchess of Kent.

The Princess Royal spent most of her time at Harewood House outside Leeds.  She was the widowed in 1947, and  her sons, George, the 7th Earl of Harewood, and the Hon. Gerald Lascelles, were married with families of their own.  As sons of a princess, they took their rank from their father, and neither Lord Harewood nor his younger brother undertook royal duties.

According to the press of the day, the only two royals who had "the charisma to be newsworthy" were Margaret and Marina, who decided in 1953 that it was time to prepare Alexandra to join the Firm.   The young princess was familiar with royal duties.  From the age of 11, she had accompanied her grandmother, Queen Mary, on several engagements.   She began her royal carrier accompanying her mother on engagements, starting in the summer of 1953, culminating her first solo appearance in May 1954.

The Duke of Kent's three children, George, Earl of St. Andrews, Lady Helen Taylor and Lord Nicholas Windsor are not royal, and do not have royal duties.  The Kent dukedom will cease to be a royal dukedom when George succeeds his father.

Alexandra's husband, the Hon. Angus Ogilvy, turned down an earldom, offered by the Queen before the marriage.  He later regretted this decision because he felt it set a terrible precedent that led to Mark Phillip's decision to decline an earldom, offered by the Queen before his marriage to her only daughter, Princess Anne.  The Hon. Sir Angus believed that all of the queen's grandchildren should have been titled.

James and Marina Ogilvy and Peter and Zara Phillips are commoners.  Due to their royal connections,  they are invited to state occasions, such as a Thanksgiving Service or a royal wedding.  None will ever carry out royal duties as children of princesses do not have public roles as working royals.  Women have equal rights to the throne, but the new succession law does not affect titles or the HRH.

More than anything else, attrition (through death) will bring down the size of the Royal Family.   The Dukes of Kent, Gloucester, Princess Alexandra,  and the Princess Royal will not be replaced as working royals by their children.

This leaves the Royal family down to the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall,  the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (their children will not be working royals for at least two decades),  Prince Harry,  the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.  Although the Earl of Wessex's children are technically HRH and Princess and Prince of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland due to the 1917 Letters Patent, they are styled and titled as children of an earl.    Lady Louise Windsor and her younger brother, Viscount Severn are not expected to become working royals.

This brings us to Camilla Tominey's excellent article, Queen in centre of royal storm as the Prince of Wales and brother Andrew in royal conflict," which was published in today's Sunday Express.

The gist of the article is that the Duke of York continues to fight for an official role for his two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York. He and has written to his mother, the Queen, declaring that his two daughters - princesses of the blood royal -- will be completely sidelined when Charles becomes king.  He feels that his daughters are "already being overshadowed by their first cousins, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry.

[Memo to the Duke of York:  the Duke of Cambridge is second in line to the throne, but I get where you are coming from.]

One can understand the Duke's frustrations.  Beatrice and Eugenie are the only two adult princesses of the blood under thirty years old.   Princess Anne is 66.  Alexandra is 79.

According to Tominey,  the Queen was "so stunned" by Andrew's letter that she gave to her private secretary,  Sir Christopher Geidt, asking him to deal with it.    Sir Christopher "raised the matter directly" with the Prince of Wales who wanted a Government official to tell his brother that "he will continue to play a formal role in the Royal family," but his daughters will not be included in the Family Firm.

This really isn't a new story, just another chapter in the lives of the York Princesses.  They are the only two adult royals who do not have their own profiles on the official British monarchy site.  Their charities are not included in the royal family's charity database, also on the website.

This discomfiture goes back to the Way Ahead Group.  In March 1998, several British newspapers reported that the HRH might be further restricted to "those closest in line to the throne."    One Palace official said that there would be no question of "forcing people, particularly the older generation, to give anything up.  The issue will come down to Andrew's children. Should they keep what they have or should they fall in line with the new structure? It will be up to him to decide."

Him, of course, was Prince Andrew.  It can be assumed that neither he nor his former wife, Sarah, were supportive of the proposal.

The Way Ahead group had also discussed a review of police protection of some members of the royal family.  It was understood that the Duke of Edinburgh (and the Queen Mother) spoke out against some of the ideas, including the loss of the HRH and the title for the York girls, who were young children at the time.

But it was also implied at the time that neither princess would have a role as a working role when they reached adulthood.

A year later, in June 1999,  the Sunday Times reported that Buckingham Palace wanted the two princesses to renounce their title when they became of age.  A source close to the Duke of York told the Times: "He thinks it is outrageous.  He blames the Queen's advisers."

The plan was for Beatrice and Eugenie to be styled as daughters of a duke: Lady Beatrice and Lady Eugenie.

The newly married Earl and Countess of Wessex had already agreed that their children would not have royal titles.  

I believe that if the Duke and Duchess of York had a happy, scandal-free marriage and lifestyle,  their two daughters would be working royals.  But the sins of the parents have certainly visited their children.

In September 2005,  Beatrice was featured on the cover of Tatler magazine.  She told Geordie Greig: "I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's.  I know I'm very lucky. I love being who I am and feel very happy with that."

It was eventually decided that to remove the the HRH and title Princess from Beatrice and Eugenie would been seen as "cruel."   Majesty Magazine's Joe Little told The Scotsman in 2006 that "Beatrice is very aware of her background. Her father has always been particularly conscious of his Royal Surroundings and he will have made sure that his daughters are aware of their duties as granddaughters of the monarch."

In 2008, The Telegraph reported that the annual cost of police protection for the princesses was £500,000.  It was noted in the article that Princess Anne's children did not have security -- as children of a princess, they were not entitled to police protection.  Prince Andrew was described as wanting to "preserve his daughters' status."  It is understood that as early as 2005, Scotland Yard wanted to remove the princesses' protection, solely due to the costs, but the Duke of York had vetoed the plan.  He was concerned that in the age of terrorism, his daughters should have police protection.

Retired chief Superintendent Dai Davis said: "Given the pressure on security and policing budgets, I believe it is a gross abuse of taxpayers' money for Beatrice and Eugenie to receive this level of protection."

It is understood that Scotland Yard had completed a risk assessment, and concluded that the two princesses were in no greater danger than Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella Windsor, the children of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.  Prince Michael's children have never had police protection.

 A few months later, Richard Eden, then a correspondent for the Telegraph, reported that the two Princess would take on more charity work.  One courtier stated: "Because of their HRH titles and their security costs, there is a feeling in some circles that the Princesses have a 'debt' to pay."

An aide to the Princesses told Eden: "They have grown up to respect their heritage and acknowledge their privileged upbringing.  They will do their bit for the Royal Family, but they want to make their mark on life first - do well at university, pursue a successful career and be independent."

It was also said that the Prince of Wales would be "involved in talks over his nieces' roles."  He remained supportive of a 'scaled down' royal family, but other courtiers believed that there remained a need for other young members of the royal family to carry out official duties.

As we have seen, the Prince of Wales has remained adamant in the decision to not include Beatrice and Eugenie in official duties.  The Duke of York continue to lobby on behalf of his daughters. "I could make use of them because they would take some of the burden of me."

 In 2012, he was rebuffed when he asked if Beatrice could accompany him on an official trip to India.   The Palace also acknowledged that the Princesses would need to get jobs, but would also be required to attend the state and official events, such as the Trooping the Colour.

Both Princesses have added patronages to their portfolios of charities and other organizations. Visits to these organizations are not considered official, and, thus, are not listed in the Court Circular.   In 2013, however, two Princesses represented the queen at events in Berlin and Hannover.

Earlier this year,  Beatrice ended an eight year relationship with the very wealthy American-born Dave Clark,  currently the senior adviser to Uber's CEO.  He is based in New York.  For more than nine years, he was the head of Astronaut Relations for Virgin Galactic.  In other words, he could afford the lavish holidays that he took with Beatrice.

Since 2015, Princess Eugenie has been an associated director at the Houser & Wirth art gallery in London.  Previously, she had worked for Paddle8, on online auction firm in New York City.

Since the two princesses have shared an apartment in St. James's Palace. After Eugenie's graduation from the University of Newcastle, the Duke of York began to pay rent on the apartment.  It is understood that he also picks up the tab for the princesses' security as Scotland Yard stopped providing protection several years ago.  Scotland Yard will not confirm when this decision was made.

Princess Eugenie is expected to announce her engagement to Jack Brooksbank later this year.  It has not been officially confirmed that she will be moving into Ivy Cottage on the Kensington Palace estate, although several British newspapers reported the story in August.

The Princess acquired her first patronage, the RNOH Redevelopment Appeal, in 2012.   She -- and her sister -- have been adding more patronages and charities.  Earlier this month, Princess Eugenie joined Prime Minister Theresa May at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the life of anti-slavery William Wiburforce.  She also released a brief video supporting the Salvation Army's program to raise awareness about modern slavery and human trafficking.

By all accounts, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are lovely young women, well-educated, and acquit themselves well when they take part in duties, official or otherwise.  It is a shame that they cannot be a part of the royal rota, even part time, with official duties.  Princess Alexandra has a large portfolio, and it would be nice if some of her charities and patronages could be taken over by Beatrice and Eugenie.   It might also be a good idea for the two princesses to meet and talk with Sir Christopher Geidt and other palace officials -- and perhaps, the Prince of Wales, as well, about how they can support the monarchy, even in an unofficial capacity.

Even if their parents have been branded as liabilities and have caused numerous offenses,  the York girls should not be branded with their parents' sins.  It is well known that the Queen is fond of her York granddaughters, and I doubt she enjoys their media discomfiture.  It would not be difficult to advise and assist the princesses, especially Beatrice, in finding new opportunies.   This has been a difficult year for the princess, as she moves further away from the emotional breakup from Dave Clark.

It might be in the best interests of all to meet half way.  No real official roles for the princesses, but allow them and encourage them to take on more patronages and charity work.  They have a lot to offer, and let's face it,  Princesses are always more popular than Princes.  Celebrate that fact!  Let these young women be the Princesses they were born to be.

Royal wedding in Serbia



Church ceremony in Oplenac and reception at White Palace
Belgrade, 23 October 2016 –

 His Royal Highness Prince Mihailo Karadjordjevic and Miss Ljubica Ljubisavljevic were united in holy matrimony in the Church of Saint George in Oplenac, which was followed by a reception given by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine, for invited guests at the White Palace. The religious ceremony was officiated by Their Graces Bishop Irinej of the Eastern Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America and Bishop Pahomije of Vranje and Father Petar Lukic, Dean of Saborna crkva in Belgrade.

The wedding of Prince Mihailo Karadjordjevic, the youngest son of the late HRH Prince Tomislav and HRH Princess Linda, and Ljubica Ljubisavljevic, was attended by over 300 guests – members and friends of the Royal Family Karadjordjevic, as well as by numerous distinguished guests from public life in Serbia and abroad. The wedding was attended by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine with their children Prince Philip and Alison, Princess Linda Karadjordjevic (mother of Prince Mihajlo), Prince Djordje Karadjordjevic (brother of the bridegroom), Princess Fallon Rayman (wife of Djordje Karadjordjevic), Princess Elizabeth Karadjordjevic, Speaker of the National Parliament Maja Gojkovic, Minister of Education of Serbia, Science and Technological Development Mladen Sarcevic, Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Serbia Mr. Denis Keefe, and many others.

Following the wedding at the reception at the White Palace, Crown Prince Alexander wished the newlyweds the bride and bridegroom a long and happy life together.
"It is my duty and privilege to welcome Her Royal Highness Princess Ljubica in our home, and to greet the bride’s and groom’s parents, wishing and hoping that good fortune, health, and family blessings follow the new couple and be in our homes, through them and in them", Crown Prince Alexander said in his speech.

Thanks to designer Anabella Vencanice for allowing me to use these two photos.

The newlyweds respected Serbian wedding customs, but they were also innovative, so beside the Serbian traditional music, guests had the opportunity to enjoy a cello concert by two young ladies, the winners of a National Contest. The food was based on Serbian tradition. Companies which donated the food are Hyatt, Metropol, Nuzy Bakery, Nada Butcher Shop, Pekara 30, wine was from the Royal Winery Oplenac and Aleksandrovic winery, cake and sweets were a gift by Anci Kolaci Company from Pancevo, and the company “Bean and Leaf” took care of the coffee and tea.

Prince Mihailo Karadjordjevic was born 15 December, 1985 in London. He grew up in a rural area, where he had a lot of time to learn about nature. He organized a number of humanitarian events, and in an effort to engage in the issues of his country he continues to lobby for Serbian interests in the world. Princess Ljubica was born and raised in Belgrade, where she completed her master studies at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade. She is engaged in marketing and writes columns on health and skin care.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sophie Charlotte divorces husband

October 22, 1926

Princess Eitel Friedrich Prussia, wife of the second son of former Kaiser Wilhelm II. has been granted a divorce, reports the Associated Press.

The princess -- Duchess Sophie Charlotte of Oldenburg by birth - was granted a divorce on the "grounds of ill treatment, neglect and incompatibility of temperament."

The couple were married in 1906.  They had no children.

Both the prince and princess are expected to remarry.  The princess' future husband is said to be Harald von Hedemann, who is eight years her junior. He served in the royal dragoons, and is now a Potsdam police lieutenant.

Prince Eitel is said to be planning a marriage to the Countess Mellin,  a member of the Baltic nobility, who now lives in Potsdam.

The most recent royal wedding in Serbia was in 1995

@HRH Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia

The last royal wedding to take place in Serbia was on October 28, 1995 when HRH Prince Alexander and his wife, Princess Barbara of Liechtenstein were able to celebrate their religious wedding, which took place 22 years after their civil wedding at Paris.

Their Orthodox marriage took place at St. George's at Oplenac in Topola, thus the first royal wedding in Serbia since 1922 when King Alexander I married Princess Marie of Romania.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Queen Marie wears diadem to State Dinner

October 19, 1926

Queen Marie of Romania and President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge "exchanged official visits this afternoon with the utmost rigidity of ceremony and the utmost pomp of gold lace and clanking sabres possible in the American Republic, reports the New York Times.

This was the "first such ceremony" in the United States and Queen Marie is the first Queen to be so "received by the President on American soil."

The official welcome preceded the State Dinner, where Queen Marie wore a "diadem of diamonds and pearls to the White House.  She was the guest of honor at the White House dinner, which was the "first such function ever held in the United States."   The planning "presented delicate problems  in etiquette and precedence which were not disposed of until almost the minute."

It was a day of "extraordinary activity" for Queen Marie, the consort of King Ferdinand.  At times, it seemed that she was on a "split-second" schedule.   She arrived at "precisely" 3:59 p.m., at the White House to call on President Coolidge.    She had spent the earlier part of her day with her son, Prince Nicholas and daughter, Princess Ileana, seeing the sights, which included a trip to Mount Vernon, George Washington's home.

Before heading to the White House, the Queen  stopped at Arlington National Cemetery, where she laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At Arlington, she seemed "deeply impressed by the beauty of the setting of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier."

 She also laid a wreath on Washington's tomb at Mount Vernon.   Lunch was served in the banquet hall where General Lafayette was once a guest.  She was also appreciative of Mount Vernon.  "It's too lovely. Washington must have loved God very much to have chosen beautiful surroundings.  I love the velvety color of these trees.  They speak of God, don't they.  The love of God is a beautiful thing."

The Queen described Washington as "bigger and lovelier" than she expected.   After a brief return to the Romanian Legation to change their clothes, the Queen and her children were driven to the White House and were welcomed at the great portico on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the Executive Mansion.

Queen Marie was dressed in a brown brocaded cloth coat "enriched with gold threads, flaring at the bottom and trimmed with a heavy mink border, collar and cuffs.   She wore a "brown velvet crushed turban, brown leather shoes and taupe stockings."    Princess Ileana  was dressed in a"navy blue velvet coat suit with a knee-length  skirt and close-fitting hat," while her brother, Prince Nicholas, wore the dress uniform of a Lieutenant in the Romanian Navy.

The royal party were escorted to the Green Room, where they awaited the President and Mrs. Coolidge, who were waiting in their private apartment until it was time to go to the Blue Room, where the formal introduction would take place.

After the formal introductions, the Queen and her party left the White House, and returned to their hotel, to prepare for the state dinner.  The British-born queen, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was robed in a "creation by Patou, a straight-lined gown of white georgette crepe embroidered  in sequins."   The back of the gown was deeply pointed and the "neck was cut round in front."  This was complimented by a wing train that hung from the "right shoulder to the floor."  The Queen wore silver stockings and silver slippers."

Her tiara, worn as a diadem, "was the outstanding feature of her toilette."  It was made of "pearls and diamonds in pear shaped clusters."  She had inherited the tiara from her mother, Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia.    The Queen also wore the blue ribbon of the Romania's highest order.   She arrived at the White House "wearing a cloak of white messaline with gold brocade and trimmed with sable."

Princess Ileana's gown was far less elaborate.  She wore a blue crepe de chine gown embroidered with sequins.

Queen Marie was seated at the President's right.

The seven course dinner began with anchovy canapé, followed by consomme.  The fish course was lobster in cream, and the main course was filet mignon. Then menu also featured salad, ice cream, fruit and coffee.

After the dinner, the men went to the President's study for "their cigars and cigarettes." while the ladies "retired to the Blue Room.  The Queen left the White House at 9:45 p.m.

The  Queen and her children are expected to remain in the United States and Canada for two months, and return to Romania in December.   She is expected to open the Maryhill Museum in Washington State on November 3.  The Queen has brought 50 cases of Romanian art which go on display in the museum's Romanian room.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

King and Queen to attend Patricia's wedding

October 17, 1946

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth will among the guests at the wedding of the Hon. Patricia Mountbatten to Lord Brabourne at Romsey Abbey on October 26.  Miss Mountbatten is the elder daughter of Admiral Viscount and Viscountess Mountbatten of Burma.

Princesses Elizabeth, Margaret and Alexandra are expected to be bridesmaids at the wedding.

The service will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Two hundred guests, nearly all "members of the family or close personal friends," have been invited.

Lady May will have several bridemaids

October 18, 1931

Lady May Cambridge Queen Mary's niece and Captain Henry Abel Smith will marry at Balcombe on October 24, but a "little golden-haired bridesmaid with impish blue eyes is likely to steal the show," reports the Washington Post.

The little girl in question is 5-year-old Princess Elizabeth, elder daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York,  and "possibly some day queen of the British empire."

Two other princesses will be among the bridesmaids:  Princess Ingrid of Sweden and Princess Sybilla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who is a first cousin of the bride.  There is a chance that Princess Juliana of the Netherlands will also attend.

The bride's mother, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands are first cousins.

Lady May will wear the same veil that Queen Mary wore at her wedding 38 years ago.  It is a "piece of priceless Honiton lace, one of the most treasured family possessions of the queen."   The veil was also worn by Princess Alice when she married Prince Alexander of Teck (now the Earl of Athlone) in 1904.

The bride will wear a "perfectly plain pearl-colored satin antique cut on tight, modern lines, to suit the bride's slim, girlish figure."  The veil will be held by a wreath of orange blossoms.     Her bouquet will feature lilies of the valley, tied with a silver ribbon.

The adult bridesmaids will be wearing frocks made with "long, full, slightly trained skirts which fit neatly around the hips and flare at the hem," while their bodices are "draped in front and the long tight sleeves puffed at each shoulder."

The four child bridesmaids will be dressed in "soft powder-blue dresses," in the empire style and ankle length.  They will carry bouquets of anemones and all will wear pearl necklaces, a gift from the bridegroom.

All the bridesmaids' headdresses are "bandeaux of folded blue velvet " and all will wear silver shoes.

Lady May met her fiance when he served as her father's aide.  He is wealthy and comes from an old London banking family.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Netherlands

A Dutch friend of mine, Arjan Brouwer, got a good spot for the Duchess of Cambridge's visit to the Mauritshuis Museum at The Hague, the Netherlands.

He was thrilled to have met the Duchess as she walked over to chat to people behind the barriers.   Arjan is on Twitter (@houseoflemon).  The copyright for these photos belong to Arjan Brouwer.
 Thank you for letting me publish the photos.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The wedding of Prince Leka and Princess Elia of Albania

TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent

The bride and groom with Grand Duke George and Grand Duchess Maria of Russia

Prince Nikola of Montenegro

all photos copyright Roger Lundgren
TRH Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu of Romania

TRH Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine

HIH Grand Duchess Maria of Russia

HI & RH Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia & TRH The Duke and Duchess of Braganza

TRH The Duke and Duchess of  Castro

HRH Lalla Meriem of Morocco

Her Imperial Majesty  Empress Farah of Iran

TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.  The Princess' mother, Countess Maria Anna Szapary was one of Queen Geraldine's bridesmaids

HM Queen Sofia of Spain and HRH Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark

The bride and groom with their attendants.  Looks like HIH Grand Duke George of Russia was a groomsman.

HI & RH Prince Georg Friedrich and Roger Lundgren

HSH Gloria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis

Thanks to Roger Lundgren and Seth Leonard for sharing their photos with me.

The couple were married in a civil ceremonty at the New Royal Palace, the residence of the President of Albania.  The 15-minute ceremony was conducted by the Mayor of Tirana.    The bride and groom received benedictions from the five different religious groups in Albania (Muslin, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Protesant and Orthodox), symbolizing religious tolerance in Albania.

The wedding luncheon was held the Royal Residence, the home of the Prince and Princess.   This was followed by a formal dinner for all the guests at the New Royal Palace.

HRH Prince Nikola of Montenegro and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Serbia with the newlyweds

HRH Prince Nikola of Montenegro with Crown Princess Katherine and Crown Prince Alexander

HRH Crown Prince Alexander, HRH Prince Michael of Kent and the Serbian Ambassador to Albania