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Showing posts from July, 2018

19 Facts about Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

1. She was born Camilla Rosemary Shand on July 17, 1947. She was the first of the three children of Major Bruce Shand and Rosalind Cubitt.
2. Describing the Duchess of Cornwall’s childhood, biographer Gyles Brandreth wrote, “Camilla is often described as having had an "Enid Blyton sort of Childhood". In fact, it was much grander than that.”
3. Her classmates at South Kensington’s Queens Gate School fondly called her “Milla”. Highly revered Offshore author Penelope Fitzgerald, who became Camilla’s French teacher at the said school, described her as “bright and lively”.
4. After graduating from Tolochenaz, Switzerland’s Mon Fertile finishing school, she travelled to France to further her knowledge on the French language and literature, attending University of London Institute in Paris for six months.
5. Camilla was first introduced to the British society on March 25th 1965 as a debutante. It was the night she met her first husband, a Blues and Royals lieutenant named Andrew P…

Archduchess Gisela of Austria, Bavaria's Good Angel from Vienna

Archduchess Gisela of Austria was sober like her father, a total opposite to her free-spirited but frequently-absent mother, the beautiful Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Even as a child, Gisela preferred her grandmother, Archduchess Sophie, over Sisi. The archduchess being soft and caring to her grandchildren, the typical doting grandmother, while remaining icy and stern to her daughter-in-law.
She was 15 when she was betrothed to marry Prince Leopold of Bavaria, her second cousin on both the maternal and paternal sides.
Prince Leopold was actually in love with the beautiful Princess Amelie of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Sisi's brother, Duke Maximilian Emanuel in Bavaria, besotted Amelia and not wanting to break his brother's heart, the Empress arranged for him and Amalie to meet atGödöllő Palace. One of Sisi's guests was her cousin, Prince Leopold of Bavaria, who was already told that a marriage between him and Gisela was favored by Emperor Franz Josef. To be the son-in-law of o…

Princess Louise marries the Earl of Fife

The marriage between Princess Louise of Wales and the Earl Fife was celebrated on July 27, 1899, at the Private Chapel in Buckingham Palace.

An article on The New York Times described the weather that day as "unpropitious," as it was rainy and gloomy. The event was  not as grand compared to previous royal weddings. In fact, it was the first time that a royal wedding was held at the Private Chapel and there was only a limited number of guests in attendance.

Despite the heavy downpour, nothing stopped the crowd from gathering the route from Marlborough House to Buckingham Palace to catch a glimpse of the royal bride. The Prince of Wales himself was "enthusiastically cheered."

The Earl of Fife wore a Highlander's costume and the garter of the Duffs. He was accompanied by his groosman, Mr. Horace Farquhar (later First Earl Farquhar).

During the wedding procession, Princess Louise was joined by her bridesmaids: her sisters Princesses Victoria and Maud of Wales, Pri…

Adelaide Cottage, a Queen's Favorite Cottage Orné

In 1831, artist Caleb Robert Stanley made a water colour painting of Adelaide Cottage in Windsor Home Park. It was acquired in 1839 by Queen Victoria and now belongs to the Royal Collection.

There were rumors that circulated in 2018 that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would settle in Adelaide Cottage as their country home. The Daily Mail broke the news citing an unnamed source, although Kensington Palace did not confirm this news. It was later announced that the couple would establish their official residence in Frogmore Cottage at the Frogmore Estate.

Adelaide Cottage is a spacious house is located in the bucolic Windsor Home Park. It was built in 1831 by Robert Wyatville as a retreat for William IV’s wife Queen Adelaide. The cottage orné (ornamental cottage) was built on the site of the Head Keeper's Lodge, using materials from the Royal Lodge, demolished after 1830.

After her death, Adelaide Cottage became an attractive royal retreat and Queen Victoria frequented the cottage f…

Last Glimpses: Nicholas II and the Romanovs in Exile

On the night of July 16-17, 1918, Nicholas Romanov, the former Czar of Russia and ruler of the world's biggest empire, helpless and miserable, was murdered together with his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, and children, Grand Duchesses Maria, Olga, Tatiana, and Anastacia,  the hemopheliac Grand Duke Alexei Nicolaevitch, and a number of servants. They suffered death in the most inhumane manner: shot, bayoneted and clubbed until they died again and again.

Various factors triggered the February Revolution of 1917, which led to the abdication of Czar Nicholas II. He also abdicated on behalf of his son but his younger brother, Grand Duke Michael, refused to accept the throne unless the people decided to retain the monarchy. However,  protesters demanded for a republic, and so, the house of Romanov, which ruled Russia for over three centuries was abolished. 
Nicholas and his family were held under house arrest in Alexander Palace until August 1917, when the Kerensky government deci…

11 Chilling Facts about the Murder of the Romanovs

1. The Romanovs (Emperor Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra, and their children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei), together with their three servants and family physician, spent their final days at “The House of Special Purpose”,a heavily guarded merchant building in Yekaterinburg previously owned by military engineer Nikolai Nikolayevich Ipatiev. The house was concealed from the streets by a 14-foot palisade, the windows covered with newspapers and eventually whitewashed. They only had one source of ventilation—a fortochka located in the bedroom of the grand duchesses; peeking through which was forbidden.
2. Grand Duchess Maria allegedly fell in love and planned an escape with one of their guards, Ivan Skorokhodov. The latter, however, was removed from his duty after he was caught smuggling a birthday cake inside the compound during Maria’s 19th birthday.
3. In a meeting that took place on June 29, 1918, the Ural Regional Soviet had reached the decision to execute…

51 Facts about Princess Michael of Kent

1. She was born on January 15th, 1945 in Karlsbad, Sudetenland (now Karlovy Vary), Czech Republic.

2. Her full name is Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz.
3. She is the daughter of Baron Günther Hubertus von Reibnitz and Countess Maria Anna Carolina Franziska Walburga Bernadette.
4. She is of Hungarian and German descent.
5. She was born shortly before World War II ended in Europe.
6. She has two half-siblings (from his father’s first marriage)-- Friedrich von Reibnitz and Margarita von Reibnitz.
7. Her father served as Sturmbannführer (equivalent to major) for the Nazi paramilitary organization, Schutzstaffel.
8. Her parents divorced not too long after her birth.
9. After her parents’ split, she, her brother, and her mother then moved to Australia, where the countess put up a beauty salon.
10. She also resided at her father’s farm in Mozambique and Austria for some time.
11. She took History of Fine and Decorative Art at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, where she…

17 Inspiring Quotes from Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

1. On taking the first step…
“The challenge that so many people have is not knowing how to take that first step of reaching out to another person for help.”
2. On the importance of child’s mental well-being…
“A child's mental health is just as important as their physical health and deserves the same quality of support.”
3. On how helping just one child could impact the whole humanity…
“Imagine if everyone was able to help just one child who needs to be listened to, needs to be respected, and needs to be loved—we could make such a huge difference for an entire generation.”
4. On addiction and its serious repercussions…
“Addiction is a hugely complex and destructive disease, and its impact can be simply devastating. All too often, lives and families can be shattered by it.”
5. On the essence of speaking out…
“We have heard time and time again in the course of our work how talking can help heal the hidden challenges we can't deal with alone.”
6. On what her parents instilled in …

The Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara: From St. Petersburg to London

This is the second of a two-part article about Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna and her famous tiara that now belongs to the British Royal Family. You can read the first part here.

Pictured above are Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, the original owner  of the famous Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara; Queen Mary, who purchased the tiara in 1953; and Queen Elizabeth II, who inherited the piece from from her grand mother in 1953.

It was 1917. World War I was nearing its end, and so the Romanov dynasty, which had ruled over Russia for over three centuries. Before the year came to a close, Nicholas II was overthrown from power and the Czar, his families and several of his relatives were murdered. Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, famous as St. Petersburg’s society queen and known for her fascinating jewelry collection refused to believe that the world around her was crumbling apart.
She was told she had to evacuate her own palace or risk her own life. With no time left, she tucked her famous tiar…

Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna and the Vladimir Tiara

This is the first of a two-part article about Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna and her famous tiara that now belongs to the British Royal Family. You can read the second part here
On March 28, 1874, twenty-year-old Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin tied the knot with Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovitch of Russia, the imposing and bear-like third son of Czar Alexander II. The princess was transformed into an elegant Russian grandduchess who took the name Maria Pavlovna, a tribute to her Russian heritage (her great-grandmother was Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia).
She was born to the Grand Ducal House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, a small German state ruled by her father Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II. Her mother, the grand duke’s first wife, was Princess Augusta Reuss of Kostritz. Duchess Marie was already engaged to George Albert, Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt when she met Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovitch. Perhaps, she thought she’d be better off as a Russian grand duke’s wife rather t…

The Truth about “Princess Qajar,” the Royal Lady with the Mustache

A Persian princess viral news websites baptized as Princess Qajar has lately become a stuff of legends. She was presented as a royal lady with a facial hair that made her so attracted that 13 men claimed their own lives because she couldn’t love them. The truth is, there was no “Princess Qajar,” only the Qajar dynasty  that ruled over Persia for more than a century.

The only fact about this historical meme is that at that time, it was fashionable for Persian women to wear mustache. “Many Persian-language sources, as well as photographs, from the nineteenth century confirm that Qajar women sported a thin mustache, or more accurately a soft down, as a sign of beauty,” explained Dr. Afsaneh Najmabadi.
The memes and fake stories circulating online refer not to a single princess, but actually to two female dynasts: Princess Fatemah Khanum"'Esmat al-Dowleh" and her half-sister, Princess Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh. Their father, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, ruled Persia from 1…

43 Facts about Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

Wallis , Duchess of Windsor, remains to this day as a controversial figure, notorious as the woman who caused King Edward VIII to abdicate who ended up a victim of her own desires. Here are 43 facts about Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor and the woman who would not be queen.
1. She was the only child of Teackle Wallis Warfield and Alice Montague.
2. She was born Bessie Wallis Warfield, in honor of her father and her mother’s elder sister, Bessie. Her first name, however, was dropped some time during her youth.
3. She attended the most expensive girls’ school in Maryland, Oldfields School, between 1912 and 1914, a stint paid for by his wealthy uncle, Solomon Davies Warfield. It was where she made friends with Kirk Silverware scion Mary Kirk, and Renee du Pont, whose family has been one of the richest clans in America since the 19th century.
4. She was a top student. "She was bright, brighter than all of us. She made up her mind to go to the head of the class, and she did," re…
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