Oranjebeurs in Nijverdal

An Oranjebeurs? I will try to explain what it is. A few times a year royal collectors in the Netherlands organize this event in various parts of the Netherlands: Buren, Wassenaar and Nijverdal. It is the place to be for collectors of royal euphemera and memorabilia: plates, cups, tins, postcards, photos, books, coins … just anything you can imagine. Usually the items are being sold by other collectors, like Royalty Twins, or the photographers of Royal Press Europe. But it is more than just a place to look for an addition to your calendar. You can easily hang around for hours, not only watching and buying the items that are being sold, but also meeting royalty watchers you don’t know yet, or don’t see too often. In Nijverdal there are three rooms with items. Organizer of this collectors market, that is usually being held in Nijverdal on the second Saturday in October, is Wilbert Slooijer, who is a collector himself. Usually there is also some press around, often curious why all these crazy people are so fond of the royal family. This year for example the local TV-channel RTV Oost was there and made a short but nice report. The event started at 10am and ended just after 3pm. Most visitors come in the morning tough. Soup and bread available, in case you forgot to bring your own food.

Needless to say as usual I did buy a few items, even when I was not going to spend much money. I found some lovely old Norwegian and Danish yearbooks (late 1980s and 1990s), a few lovely photos, the newest postcards by Royal Press Europe and a few Wilhelmina Peppermint tins I didn’t have yet.

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Dining with the Tsars

Photos & copyright: Netty Leistra. If media want more information or pictures let me know.

If you always have wanted to know how the tsars of Russia dined, you now have the chance to find out. In the Hermitage in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, you can visit the exhibition “Dining with the Tsars”, which can be admired until 1 March 2015. The exhibition opened on 6 September. A must for royalty watchers, and interesting even if you don’t really like silver, porcelain and services. There are several tables set, and they are well decorated. Shown are among others items of the Green Frog Service (Wedgwood, England), the Cameo Service (Sèvres, Paris), and the Berlin Dessert Service (Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin), the service that Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany gave to Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra for their wedding, and much more. Information and funny facts about dining at the imperial palaces everywhere. The exhibition ends with the service that was given to Stalin by the Hungarian people in 1949. It has never been used or exhibited before.

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A Royal Carriage Ride at the Fraeylemaborg

fraeylemaborg12Just over two weeks ago, on 6 September, I attended the “Fraeylemaborg Koetsentocht 2014″. This tour with horse-drawn carriages takes place every year and takes the whole day. It ends at the beautiful Fraeylemaborg, a former noble estate in Slochteren, in the North of the Netherlands. I’d rather would have liked to sit in a carriage in an historical costume, but of course I was only allowed to take pictures of the carriages and the beautiful setting. The weather was quite good, but not very sunny unfortunately.

This year’s edition of the carriage ride had an extra royal touch on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. Not only did the “Stichting Oud Oranje” present historical costumes, even a royal carriage participated this year with permission of King Willem-Alexander. Special guests as far as I understood were two jonkvrouwen Van Panhuys, whose ancestors once lived at the Fraeylemaborg. They must have been daughters of Jonkheer François Willem Peter Marie van Panhuys (1914-1969) and Louise Thomassen à Thuessink van der Hoop van Slochteren (1915-2008). They had three daughters Kitty, Mieke and Ulrica, and I am certain I heard one of the two ladies being called Mieke.

fraeylemaborg11 fraeylemaborg10 fraeylemaborg9 fraeylemaborg7 fraeylemaborg6 fraeylemaborg8I had already seen an even bigger costume show of the “Stichting Oud Oranje” a few years ago. But this time only the Dutch monarchs were presented, except for Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. It did start with Emperor Napoleon of France who conquered The Netherlands in the late 18th century, and his first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais. Following were the first Dutch King Louis Napoleon (1806-1810) and his wife Hortense de Beauharnais. And then of course also the Kings Willem I, Willem II, Willem III with their Queens – including the second wife of Willem I – and the Queens Wilhelmina and Juliana with husbands. Of course the models are not look-a-likes, but the costumes and the whole presentation are already worth watching.

fraeylemaborg1 fraeylemaborg2 fraeylemaborg3 fraeylemaborg4 fraeylemaborg5King Willem-Alexander had given his permission for the presentation of the “Koninklijk Staldepartement” (Royal Stables). A Gala Landau drawn by four-in-hand – four Friesian horses – was driven ‘à la d’Aumont” with Gala harness, and staff in demi-Gala dress. The carriage was built in 1872 by M.L. Hermans & Co in The Hague. It was a royal sighting when the carriage drove around with the Fraeylemaborg in the background. When the event had ended the horses were driven back home to The Hague in a special motor-truck with royal number plate, which I had never seen before. The carriage was placed in another motor-truck for transport.

Lots of pictures by the official photographer of the Stichting Oud Oranje.

Princess Maria Theresia von Thurn und Taxis married Hugo Wilson

A fairytale wedding on 13 September at the St. Joseph church in Tutzing, Germany at 4.30pm. Princess Maria Theresia von Thurn und Taxis married Hugo Wilson. Party afterwards at the nearby Garatshausen Castle, owned by the Thurn und Taxis family. The “wedding of the year” was supposed to be private, but of course outside there were many onlookers and press.

The bride’s wedding dress was designed by Vivienne Westwood. Fürst Albert von Thurn und Taxis, brother of the bride, gave away his sister.

Among the guests were Hereditary Prince Alexander and Hereditary Princess Sarah von Isenburg, Princess Felipa of Bavaria and her husband Christian Dienst, Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo, Princess Chantal von Hannover with her sons Ernst August and Christian.

The wedding was led by Father Alexander Sherbrooke of St Patrick’s, Soho, London. Best man and maids of honour were Sami Robertson, Victoire de Pourtalès and Clementina Gentiloni Silverj. The bridal children were Count Valentin von Schönburg-Glauchau and Princess Elisabetta zu Schwarzenberg. The ushers were the Hon Angus Elphinstone, Max Fraser, Charles Green, Oliver (Viscount?) Lymington, Prince Ernst August von Hannover, George Scott, Robert Sheffield, Sam Emery and Alexander Flick.

A few very nice pictures were posted in Hola online.

Pictures by Gabi, not to be posted elsewhere without permission. She unfortunately didn’t have a very good view on bride, groom and guests, but took a few nice pictures anyway.thurntaxis1 thurntaxis2 thurntaxis3

Queen Silvia’s visit to Mainau

On 23 August Queen Silvia of Sweden paid a visit to the Island of Mainau in Lake Constance, Germany. The occasion was the 15th anniversary of the World Childhood Foundation of which she is the founder and honorary chair.

 Queen Silvia met with economics students who attended the 5th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, and presented the Global Childhood Award to the Chinese economics stundent Bin Wan. A lunch was served in the Palm House.
In the evening the Queen attended a celebratory dinner.
Of course Queen Silvia was received by Count Björn and Countess Sandra Bernadotte af Wisborg.
My friend Gabi took a few nice pictures outside during the day.
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The Favourite Royal of … Jordi

I love it that about everybody thus far had different favourite royals. So if you’d like to tell about yours, just sent me a message.

Jordi from the Netherlands also found the time to answer my questions.

Who are your favourite royals?

The Norwegian royal family and prince Harry of Wales.

What do you find interesting about them?

The thing that I find the most interesting about both the Norwegian royals and prince Harry is that they all are so extremely passionate about what they do. They seem to love the work they do, seem to love the visits they pay, seem to be genuinly concerned about what happens in the fields they find important.

What would you like to ask them if you could meet?

I would ask them lots about how they see their constitutional position (I’m a political scientist, so I find that very interesting). Also I would ask them to tell about the things they are so passionate about and – of course – also what it is like to be a royal.

And where would you like to meet?

I would very much like to meet them in their ‘natural habitat’, so at a place they regard as ‘home’. I think such a place says a lot about the people you’ll be talking to.

Genealogical mystery – Stolberg-Wernigerode

Recently I came accross the archive of “Das Ostpreußenblatt”, later the “Preussische Allgemeine Zeitung” online. I started having a look at all the family announcements in the newspaper, as they include several noble announcements. Today I even found a Stolberg-Wernigerode engagement announcement, and was puzzled.

The engagement announcement in “Das Ostpreußenblatt” of 14 September 1957 says:



Nothing strange about it at first, until I started checking the genealogy of the family.The genealogy I checked said they got married at Köln-Marienburg on 13 July 1957. That is the date already mentioned in the Genealogischs Handbuch des Adels Fürstliche Häuser Band V 1959, which has been copied ever since. But the announcement above says that they didn’t get engaged until August 1957. Luckily the same newspaper, this time of 12 July 1958, also had the marriage announcement.


Also exactly one year later. That would to my opinion mean that all genealogies have given the wrong year of marriage for almost 60 years. Quite funny that the family never found it necessary to correct the mistake.

Count Christian-Albrecht zu Stolberg-Wernigerode was born in 1926 as the fourth child of Count Reinhard zu Stolberg-Wernigerode (1889-1973) and Countess Mariagnes zu Stolberg-Wernigerode (1894-1972). He was adopted in 1938 by his relative Count Albrecht zu Stolberg-Wernigerode (1886-1946) and his wife Countess Magna Maria zu Solms-Wildenfels (1883-1966), and was to be the heir of the Kreppelhof in Silesia. He died in 1991. His wife Hannelore was born in 1934 and is still alive.