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Princess Thyra of Denmark and her Illegitimate Daughter

Thyra Amelie Caroline Charlotte Anne of Schleswig-Holstein was born on September 29, 1853 at the Yellow Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark. She was the third and youngest daughter and the fifth child of the future King Christian IX—founder of the Royal Danish Glücksburg Dynasty and was dubbed the “Father-in-law of Europe”—and his wife, the future Queen Louise of Denmark.
The Glucksburgs were relatively minor royals and the family lived modestly. In fact, as a child, Thyra shared the nursery with her brother Prince Waldemar, practically a stranger to her older sisters (her oldest sister, Princess Alexandra was nine years her senior, while Dagmar,  six). "They made a pet of her, but there could be no confidence between them, for they had married and gone to their homes in other countries before she was out of the bedroom."  The family fortune changed when the Great Powers agreed that Prince Christian should succeed the childless Frederick VII as King of Denmark. The lives of Gluck…

“Pleasant-Looking but not Beautiful”: The Life of Princess Alexandra of Hanover and Cumberland, the Last Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Alexandra Louise Marie Olga Elisabeth Therese Vera Prinzessin von Hannover und Cumberland was born on September 29, 1882 at the Schloss Ort in Gmunden, Austria, the second daughter and third of six children of Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover and 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, and his wife, Princess Thyra of Denmark. She was named after her mother’s eldest sister, the future Queen Alexandra of Great Britain, who was Princess of Wales when she was born.

Described as a "tall, pleasant-looking girl, but not particularly beautiful”, rumor had it that Kaiser Wilhelm II wanted Alexandra to marry his eldest son, Crown Prince Wilhelm, a proposal that was supposed to be discussed during the Kaiser’s official visit to Copenhagen. The Crown Prince of Hanover, however, still resentful of Prussia’s aggrandizement toward Hanover, left Copenhagen before the Kaiser arrived, this despite Alexandra’s willingness to marry into the Prussian royal family.
Alexandra was later engaged …

Queen Maria II of Portugal, Portugal’s Educator and Good Mother

Maria da Glória Joana Carlota Leopoldina da Cruz Francisca Xavier de Paula Isidora Micaela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzagaon  was born on April4, 1819 at the Palace of São Cristóvão in Rio de Janeiro, Kingdom of Brazil, the daughter of Prince Pedro de Alcântara, the future Pedro IV of Portugal and Pedro I of Brazil, and his first wife, Dona Maria Leopoldina of Austria.

Prior to King João VI’s death in March of 1826, he nominated his favorite daughter, Isabel Maria, to serve as regent until "the legitimate heir returned to the kingdom", however failed to specify whether it was the absolutist Miguel, who was exiled to Vienna after leading numerous revolutions against his father’s liberal regime, or the liberal-minded Pedro (Maria’s father), who proclaimed Brazil’s independence in 1822 and subsequently became its emperor. Though most people considered Pedro as the legitimate heir, the Brazilians were against the reunification of Portugal and Brazil, thus he renounced his rights to th…

An Artistic Princess: The Life of Wilhelmine of Prussia, Margravine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth

Princess Wilhelmine Friederike Sophie of Prussia was born on July 3, 1709 in the city of Berlin, Prussia, the capital of the kingdom of Prussia.She was the eldest daughter and child of the ten children of Frederick William I of Prussia and his wife Sophia Dorothea of Hanover. One of her siblings was Frederick “the Great”.
Wilhelmine had an unhappy childhood. Her father was a terrible man; her mother was very weak, unable to defend either herself or those belonging to her and the young princess was constantly beaten by her governess. "Not a day passed that she did not prove upon me the fearful power of her fists," she later wrote about the said experience. The abuse only stopped when her brother’s governess told her mother, who was completely oblivious to the maltreatment, that she would not be surprised if Wilhelmine would eventually be crippled from all the beating. Despite this, little princess Wilhelmina was found to be bright and intelligent. Her brother, Frederick the …

Frederica of Hanover, Greece’s Grey Eminence

Friederike Luise Thyra Victoria Margarita Sophia Olga Cecilia Isabella Christa was born on April 18, 1917 in Blankenburg (Harz), Duchy of Brunswick, German Empire. Born a princess of Hanover, Great Britain and Ireland, and Brunswick-Lüneburg, Frederica was the only daughter and third of five children of Ernest Augustus, Prince of Hanover and Duke of Brunswick and Princess Victoria Louise. Their union put an end to the rift that existed between the House of Hohenzollern and the House of Hanover after the Prussian annexation of Hanover in 1866. Her father, inherited the Duchy of Brunswick after her grandfather, the Crown Prince of Hanover, renounced his claim to the Duchy of Brunswick.  As a descendant of Queen Victoria, Frederica was the 34th in the line of succession to the British throne when she was born.

In 1934, Adolf Hitler, then being in power as Führer in Germany, had the goal of linking the German and British royal houses. Consequently, he requested for the marriage of the t…

Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh: King George III’s Last Surviving Child

Princess Mary stands out among the many children of King George III because of one distinction—she lived longer than any of her siblings. Princess Mary was born on April 25, 1776 at Buckingham Palace in London. She was the fourth daughter and 11th of the fifteen children of King George III of the United Kingdom and Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
Mary and her sisters were educated together with her sisters Sophia and Amelia under the tutelage of their French governess, Charlotte de Montmollin. They were taught needlework and French. Later, Jane Gomm became their English teacher and oversaw the remainder of their education.
Mary, Sophia, and Amelia’s less disciplined upbringing contrasted that of their three elder sisters, a fact noticed by John Singleton Copley when he was commissioned to paint the three siblings with their family pets in 1785. The children, together with the parrots and dogs, did not cooperate, though Copley was still able to finish the portrait. Afterw…

Duchess Woizlawa Feodora of Mecklenburg, Princess Reuss Europe’s Centenarian Royal

December 20, 2018 was a bright and sunny day and charming Gera, one of Thuringia's most historic cities, beamed even more knowing one of her beloved daughters just turned 100. A crowd of locals and the press gathered outside the Gera Theatre, a cultural institution that benefitted from the support of the former ruling house of Reuss. Avehicle arrived and out came the celebrator, Duchess Woizlawa Feodora of Mecklenburg, Princess of Reuss. The children rushed forward to greet her with a bouquet of roses. Cannon shots were fired in her honor and when she entered the theatre, family and friends stood and gave her a fete.
Birth and Childhood
Woizlawa Feodora was born on December 17, 1918, in Rostock, the daughter of Duke Adolf Friedrich, a son of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II, and his first wife Princess Viktoria Feodora Reuss (Younger Line), the daughter of Heinrich XXVII, the last reigning Prince Reuss Younger Line. Alas, the babe’s mother died shortly after giving birth due to com…

Inveraray Castle, Scotland’s Iconic Attraction

Inveraray Castle or Caisteal Inbhir Aora (Scottish Gaelic) is a country house in the town of Inveraray in the county of Argyll in Scotland, United Kingdom. It sits on the shore of Scotland’s longest sea loch, Loch Fyne. Classified as an A-listed building, Inveraray Castle is one of the earliest examples of Gothic Revival architecture.
A Rich History
The site of Inveraray Castle was previously occupied by a small medieval castle that was built in the mid-15th century after the head of Clan Campbell, Sir Duncan Campbell, decided to move the family seat from Loch Awe to Loch Fyne. Being on Loch Awe made the Campbells important throughout Argyll, but transferring to Loch Fyne meant access to the sea and the Firth of Clyde, and it also allowed them to be one of the most important families in Scotland for centuries.
There was once an old stronghold—a four-storey tower with a garret, and bartizans with conical roofs—near Inveraray Castle. However, nothing of which remains today.
Inveraray C…

Carisbrooke Castle, the Isle of Wight’s Most Historic Castle

The motte-and-bailey Carisbrooke Castle can be found in the village of Crisbrooke in Isle of Wight, England. The First occupation on the site has been suggested, but never proven, to go as far back as the pre-Roman times.The earliest definite use of the site was for a pagan Anglo-Saxon cemetery dating back to the 6th century. Three graves were unearthed during excavations.
Around 1000, the site, a prominent hilltop located at the center of the island, became an Anglo-Saxon burh or fortress, serving as refuge against the Vikings. Following the Norman conquest, the burh was converted into a castle. They dug deep ditches within the fortress and built a defended closure.
A Norman Fortification
In 1100, The Isle of Wight came under the lordship created by Henry I for Baldwin de Redvers. It is assumed that Baldwin built the current motte-and-bailey castle. Following Henry I’s death, Baldwin supported the king’s daughter, Matilda, in her claim to the throne, which was challenged by the king…

Marlborough House – From Royal Residence to Commonwealth Headquarters

Marlborough House, situated in St James's in Westminster, Inner London, has been in existence for over 300 years. For more than a century, it was a favored royal residence, which, for a certain period, served as a venue for London’s high society.

Originally built in the 1700s, Marlborough House was built for Queen Anne’s favorite confidante, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, who wanted a house that was "strong, plain and convenient and good". In 1709, Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most revered English architects of all time, and his son were commissioned to design the Marlborough House. The brick building with rusticated stone quoins was completed in 1711. For more than a century, it serves as the London residence of the Dukes of Marlborough.

Royal Residence 


In 1817, Marlborough House reacquired by the Crown and became the residence of Princess Charlotte of Wales and her husband, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, the future King Leopold I of the Belgians. Unfortu…
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