Nov 19, 2014

The Life of Duchess Helene in Bavaria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis


The world knows about the beauty (and sadness) of the story of Elisabeth, Empress of Austria. But little did the world know about the life and tale of Helene, Sisi's elder sister, who lived a far happier life as the wife of a German prince. 

Helene, elder daughter of Maximilian von Wittelsbach, Duke in Bavaria, was Germany’s most eligible bride at the beginning of the 1850s. Twenty years old and of impeccable pedigree, she was a match fit for a prince, or even an emperor—and in the summer of 1853 her suitor was young Franz Josef, newly crowned Emperor of Austria.

Born Helene Caroline Therese on April 4, 1834, her qualification had been assessed in advance by the Emperor’s representatives, and her father had given his approval in principle to a marriage. In 1853, together with her Princess Ludovika of Bavaria, and her younger sister Elisabeth, she went to Bad Ischl, with the prospect of becoming a bride to their cousin Franz Josef (Ludovica and Franz Josef’s mother Sofia, were sisters). However, when the dashing young Franz met Helen, she failed to live up to the expectations his ambassadors had aroused. Franz Joseph was much more attracted, instead, to Helene’s vivacious younger sister “Sisi,” who was only fifteen. In a matter of days the Emperor had fallen head over heels in love with her, and the following spring the couple wed. So little Sisi became Elisabeth, Empress of Austria—and her jilted elder sister was required not simply to smile graciously at her wedding; she had to curtsey as well.

Nov 16, 2014

The Week that was in Royalty

We've been searching the net to look for some of the hottest, must-read articles. Here's our royal round up for today.


Queen Elizabeth II defied terror threat as she leD the nation in memory of the fallen on Remembrance Sunday, Telegraph reports. (Image: CTV News)


Prince Harry returns to Afghanistan. Prince Harry paid an emotional tribute to his fallen "friends" as he returned to Afghanistan to lead a remembrance service. Check Prince Harry's official website for more details of his trip to Afghanistan. (Image: Prince Harry's official website)


Sixteen-week pregnant Duchess of Cambridge met One Direction star Harry Styles at Royal Variety Performance. The Duchess wore a stunning floor length Diane Von Furstenberg gown, and her hair in a simple up-do. Harry Styles said after meeting the Duchess: "I said congratulations on the bump," though he added that she "didn't look bumpy." MailOnline reports. (Image: Matt Frost)


Prince Charles as the Prince Regent? As the heir to the throne celebrates his 66th birthday, thoughts of His Royal Highness becoming the Prince Regent lingers on. The Queen’s eldest son has many of the qualities required, but, thankfully, there’s no vacancy, Telegraph can tell.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have confirmed that they'll be heading to New York for some pre-Christmas engagements, Telegraph reports.

Nov 14, 2014

Visit These 5 Historic Houses in England’s Eastern Counties

Whether you’re a fan of anything grand and stately or you just wish to take a peek of the best from the past, a visit to some of the England’s historic and stately houses, palaces and castles will definitely make you want to fall in love with the years of yore. Here are five of the best historic houses in England’s Eastern Counties now operated by the National Trust. 

Belton House

Nov 13, 2014

Meet Princess Viktoria of Prussia: 5 Things You Should Know

Princess Viktoria of Prussia was the second daughter and fifth child of Prince Frederick of Prussia, later Emperor Frederick III, and Victoria, Princess Royal, eldest daughter and child of Queen Victoria. She was born on Apr. 12, 1866. If you don't know that much about Princess Viktoria, here are five facts about here.


Stay at These Five Lovely Castles and Chateaux Turned Inns in Northern France

If you are planning to step back in time and enjoy the regal luxury of how it was to live in the olden years in Northern France, then, staying at chateaux and castles turned inns and bed and breakfasts is a great idea. If you’re in Northern France, here’s a list of homey yet opulent accommodations that you shouldn’t miss on your list.

Chateau d’Agneaux

Nov 5, 2014

Yolande of Aragon: Queen of Four Kingdoms

Yolande of Aragon

As the early-morning sun reaches the tops of the towers of Saragossa, the time has come for Yolande, only surviving child of the King Aragon, to leave her home, and her country, to marry the French King's cousin, Louis II, Duke of Anjou. By this union, it is hoped her people and his will cease fighting over the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, which both Aragon and Anjou claim as their inheritance. She is nineteen years old and beautiful, they say - but flattery is commonplace in her world and she pays it no mind.

'Juana, dear one, help me dress carefully," she asks her companion - once her nursemaid, then her governess, now her closest confidante. 'I want everyone here to remember me as I look today. Who knows if I will never return?'

Juana fiddled nervously with the ties on Yolande's bodice. Perhaps she, too, doubts that her mistress will return.

'I thank the Lord that you are coming with me to Provence, dear Juana. I will need your dear familiar face in my new life.'

Nov 4, 2014

Kaiser Wilhelm II: A Life in Power

Kaiser Wilhelm II

'I am for hanging the Kaiser,' announced the Labour MP George Barnes, during an election speech at Netherton in November 1918. At the end of the First World War, Wilhelm II was the object of mass hatred. The poster art of Allied wartime propaganda portrayed him as a bestial blood-soaked creature stooped over the corpses of raped Belgian women, or strutting ape-like before burning libraries, rejoicing in the destruction of civilization. Learned treatises bristling with footnotes were published to demonstrate to a more educated public the Kaiser's prime culpability in the horrors that had engulfed Europe since 1914. 'When all is said and done,' one such study announced in 1917, 'the German Emperor...is the responsible author of the misfortunes that afflict the world'; another spoke of his 'complete and direct responsibility' for the catastrophe of 1914-18. Small wonder that so many joined in the call for the execution by hanging of this 'enemy of the human race'.

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