A Finnish noble buried with the Romanoffs

The churchyard of the pittoresque Church of St Mary near Provender House, Norton, Kent, Great Britain, is truly beautiful. It is small but most interesting. Where you’d expect local residents with British sounding names, you’ll find Scots, a Finnish woman and some Romanoffs.

provender9Here you will find the graves of Andrew Alexandervitch Romanoff and his wife Nadine née McDougall, several family members. The stones read:

provender6 provender8

“In loving memory of Nadine, eldest daughter of Sylvia and Herbert McDougall, wife of Prince Andrew Alexandervitch. Born at Loyterton June 5th 1908. Died at Provender June 6th 2000. Love goes on forever-even after death.”

“Andrew Alexandervitch, eldest son of H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Xenia and H.I.H. Grand Duke Alexander. Born at the Winter Palace St Petersburg January 25th 1897. Joined the Russian Navy and later Lieutenant in the Chevalier Gardes. Died at Provender May 8th 1981. Love goes on forever-even after death.”

provender10 provender11 provender12Luckily a friend had written down some relatives of Nadine McDougall in female line, so it was easy to spot the graves of some other family members. One of the graves read (I think) “in loving memory of Lieut. Col. Herbert McDougall, who served his country in three wars, 3rd Hussars 9th Scottish Division, Natal Mounted Rifles 1879-1967. R.I.P.” This was Nadine’s father, married to a Finnish woman called Sylvia Borgström, the one who bought Provender House in 1912. The other graves show the names of Dorothy, youngest daughter of James and Margaret McDougall, 24 January 1884-15 May 1958. The grave on the photo in the middle is of Constance Borgström, widow of Emil Borgström of Helsingfors, Finland and daughter of Colonel James Paterson, The Buffs November 24 1846-July 26 1915. I clearly missed a few graves in the heavy rain, or they were nearly unreadable, as also Sylvia, Herbert McDougall’s wife was buried at the churchyard, as well as Emmeline Alice Aline Borgström (1876-1960), widow of Lt Gen George Macdonogh, another daughter of Emil Borgström. Almost unbelievable as the churchyard is really small. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GScid=2299308

provender7Most interesting however was the grave next to the two Romanoff ones. This is the grave of Anastasie Mannerheim, the eldest daughter of Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, president of Finland between 1944 and 1946, and his wife Anastasia Arapova, whom he married in 1892 and divorced in 1919. Their daughter Anatasie was educated in France and moved to England during World War I. She was orthodox, but converted to Catholicism and became a Carmelite nun in England. Her grave reads: “Anastasie Mannerheim. Born at St. Petersburg 23rd April 1893, died at Faversham 19th April 1978. Elder daughter of the Regent of Finland Field-Marshal Baron Mannerheim. Resquiescat in pace.” Interesting maybe for readers in London, a lecture about her will be held by The Anglo-Finnish Society on 15 May 2014.

What happened in the past weeks?

The year 2014 has only just started and the past twelve days have already proven to be highly interesting in a genealogical way. As well as did late 2013.

Of course already in December there were a few interesting births. Charlotte Casiraghi (Monaco) and her boyfriend Gad Elmaleh had a son, Raphaël, in Monaco on 17 December. And Hereditary Prince Christian zu Fürstenberg and his wife Jeanette had their first child, a son called Tassilo Heinrich Christian, in the morning of 24 December. Queen Mathilde of Belgium became an aunt again. Her sister Countess Hélène d’Udekem d’Acoz and her husband Baron Nicolas Janssen had a son, Alistair, on 19 December, a brother for Cordelia. On 14 December Maria-Stella, daughter of Archduke Imre and Archduchess Kathleen of Austria, was christened at Fischbach, Luxembourg. She had been born on 11 November. More babies to come in 2014. The hereditary princely couple of Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha expects their first child in Spring, Prince Jaime and Princess Viktória de Bourbon de Parme their first child already in February, and of course the baby of Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips (Great Britain) seems to be due any minute. Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O’Neill can’t wait for their baby girl to arrive late February. She is to be born in New York City the couple has decided.

A few marriages to look forward to in 2014. In December the engagement was reported of Count Roderick zu Castell-Rüdenhausen and his longtime girlfriend Liesbeth Lotgering. On the last day of the year the engagement was officially announced between the Hon James Tollemache (* 1980), son of the 5th Baron Tollemache of Helmingham, and Florence (Princess) von Preussen. Online the engagement of Baron Axel de Sambucy de Sorgue (son of Princess Chantal of France) and Charlotte Paul-Reynaud was announced. Point de Vue last week reported the engagement of Prince François d’Orléans (France) and Theresa von Einsiedel, whose mother is Princess Amélie von Urach (Württemberg). Another Prussian engagement was announced on 11 January between Philip Womack (* 1981) and Tatiana (Princess) von Preussen. Apparently Countess Francesca “Fanny” von Khevenhüller-Metsch has become engaged to Count Damiano Minozzi some time ago. Anyway also recently divorced Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein of Jordan on 4 January became engaged/got married (contract was signed) to Zeina Lubbadeh. It will be his third marriage.

Andrea Casiraghi (Monaco) and Tatiana Santo Domingo already tied the knots civilly, and plan to get married religiously on 1 February at the Church St. Nicholas of Myra in Gstaad, at least according to a Columbian jetset page. Prince François d’Orléans (France) and Theresa von Einsiedel are said to have no exact wedding date yet, but they might get married at Niederaichbach Castle, Germany, in the Summer. His cousin Count Melchior von Schönborn-Buchheim will marry Bernadette von Mentzingen on 24 May. Other cousin Axel de Sambucy de Sorgue and Charlotte Paul-Reynaud are to get married at the end of the Summer at Morocco. In August Alexander Spearman will marry Amélia de Orléans e Bragança at the Igreja Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Antiga Sé in Rio de Janeiro.

Two Indian royal deaths. The titular Maharaja Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar of Mysore died on 10 December in a private hospital in Bangalore after a heart attack, and the titular Maharaja of Travancore died on 16 December. The new year thus far has been pretty deathly. On 1 January Count Higashifushimi Kunihide, maternal uncle of the Emperor of Japan, died at an impressive age of 103. He was a former member of the Japanese imperial family. Countess Dorothea Razumovsky née Princess zu Solms-Hohensolms-Lich died pretty suddenly on 2 January, aged 78. Also on 2 January Countess Anne Dorte af Rosenborg née Maltoft-Nielsen died at Gentofte Hospital, aged 66. The funeral in presence of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, took place at Kongens Lyngby on 9 January. Her husband Count Christian had died in 2013. On 3 January Countess Agnes Miloradovich née Baroness von Hoenning O’Carroll died at Dülmen, Germany aged 77. Her daughter Alexandra married the present Duke of Croÿ, while her own mother was Princess Margarete Lobkowicz. Prince Martin Lobkowicz has died on 4 January, aged 85, likely at Dover, Massachusetts, USA.

The funeral of Prince Friso

The funeral service of Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau will take place at the Stulpkerk in Lage Vuursche, the Netherlands, in the afternoon of 16 August. The ceremony will be led by the Rev. Carel ter Linden. Friso will be buried at the nearby cemetery afterwards. It will be a private ceremony only attended by family and close friends. A memorial service will take place later this year.

The solution is a good one I think. Not only was Prince Friso himself quite a private person and not a member of the Dutch Royal House anymore. I think you should also take in consideration that he and his wife had two daughters. Luana and Zaria are 8 and 7 years old. They are old enough to attend the funeral, but I can’t imagine they would be able to cope very well with a huge public and media interest. By burying him in Lage Vuursche, he will return to the village where he grew up as a child. Princess Beatrix will soon move back to Drakensteyn Castle, which is next to the cemetery.

Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau has died

Despite of the circumstances quite unexpectedly His Royal Highness Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau died on Monday morning, 12 August 2013, at Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague, The Netherlands. He died of complications related to the hypoxic brain injury, which he suffered as the result of his skiing accident in Lech, Austria on 17 February 2012. He was taken care of in the Wellington Hospital in London until early July 2013 and was then taken home to The Hague.

Prince Friso was born on 25 September 1968 as son of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands. In April 2004 he married Mabel Wisse Smit, with whom he had two daughters Luana and Zaria. He also leaves behind his mother Princess Beatrix, his brothers King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, his sisters-in-law Queen Máxima and Princess Laurentien, as well as nephews and nieces.

It is not known yet when and where the funeral will take place.

Condolences can be posted on the royal website.

These Royal Recently Passed Away

There are sadly also a few royal deaths to report.

Dagmar Castenskiold died on 12 July 2013, aged 81. She was born on 11 September 1931 as youngest child of Jørgen Castenskiold – of Danish nobility – and his wife Princess Dagmar of Denmark. Among her first cousins were King Frederik IX of Denmark, King Olav V of Norway and Queen Astrid of the Belgians. She married twice. Her first husband Poul Bitsch died in a car accident, as did one of the three sons from this marriage years later. Her second husband Ole Larsen survives her, as well as her elder brother Christian (* 1926), who is the last surviving grandchild of King Frederik VIII of Denmark. The funeral will take place at Jersie Church on 19 July 2013.

Prince Michal Ksawery Sapieha-Kodenski died at Ohain, Belgium, on 11 July 2013. He was born on 1 May 1930 at Bobrek. His eldest sister Zofia (1919-1997) was the maternal grandmother of Princess Mathilde of Belgium. He is mourned by his second wife Ghislaine van Cutsem, his two sons by his first wife and five of his six grandchildren.

Princess Fawzia of Egypt died on 2 July 2013 at Alexandria, Egypt, aged 91. She was born on 5 November 1921 as the daughter of King Fouad I of Egypt and his second wife Nazli Sabri, the sister of King Farouk I of Egypt, and aunt of King Fouad II of Egypt. One of the most beautiful Princesses of her time she married in 1939 Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Persia (Iran). They got divorced several years later and had one daughter together: Shahnaz (* 1940). In 1949 Fawzia married Ismail Chirine (1919-1994) and had further issue: Nadia Khanum (1950-2009) and Husain (* 1955).

A descendant of the Austrian Imperial Family died far too young. Cornelia Kirpicsenko-Meran née Countess von Meran died in Salzburg, Austria, on 27 June 2013 after a long illness. She was only 49 years old. She is mourned by her husband Walter, her three children, her brother and sister-in-law with their children. She was a daughter of Count Adolf von Meran (1919-2010) and Ada Maria Kindermann (1922-2012).

Princess Leylâ of Afghanistan née Tarzi died in Genève, Switzerland, on 19 June 2013. She was born on 3 September 1932. She was the wife of Prince Ehsan Ullah of Afghanistan (also spelled Ihsanu’llah Khan). She is survived by him and by her sons Aman Ullah and Rahmat Ullah. She came from one of the most notable families of Afghanistan herself.

An old grave monument needs to be restored

The municipality of Vianen, the Netherlands, places 25.000 Euro at the disposal for the restoration of the tomb of Reinoud III van Brederode, Lord of Vianen (1492-1556), and his wife Philippote van der Marck († 1537) in the Grote Kerk (great church) in Vianen. However the restoration will cost about 400.000 Euro. The church has received some money from the province also, and donations, but there is not enough money yet.

The Tomb was built between 1540 and 1556, probably by Colijn de Nole, and is one of the main grave monuments in the Netherlands. On top of the tomb are two people made of stone, beautifully dressed. Below the monument is the vault of the Brederode family.

Both the Brederode and Van der Marck families were important noble families in the Netherlands at the time. Reinoud III was an advisor of Emperor Charles V and knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. He and his wife had ten children together, but he also had several illegitimate children. Philippote van der Marck was a daughter of Robert van der Marck and Catherine de Croÿ-Chimay.

Some more information and pictures, and also here (in English).

The mystery of the 3rd Duchess of Sevilla

If you ever thought royal and noble genealogy is easy: no it is not! You need to be accurate, and pretty good at doing research. People have often wondered how and where I discovered things … ah well I have discovered tons of sources in the past fifteen years, and some of them I better not reveal. But it is amazing how much you can find out by searching online.

There are also many what some people call “vampires”, royals and nobles that must have died, but nobody has ever found proof of it. For many, many years, royal genealogists have looked for the date of death of María Luisa de Borbón y Parade, 3rd Duchess of Sevilla – a side branche of the Spanish royal house. All that was known was that she likely had died in Madrid around 1950. Yesterday a French genealogist pointed out on the Nobiliana Forum, that she seems to be mentioned in the England & Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966, a database with some basic information about wills, connected to England & Wales. But he had no access, so I had a look at it via Ancestry and there it was … finally after just over 64 years! María Luisa de Borbon y Parade died on 10 June 1949 at Ciempozuelos, Spain. She left effects worth £4534 3s. 7 d. in England. Her heir seems to have been her sister Enriqueta de Borbon y Parade, 4th Duchess of Sevilla.

María Luisa had been born in Madrid, Spain, on 4 April 1868 as daughter of the 2nd Duke of Sevilla (a great-grandson of King Carlos IV of Spain) and his wife Josephine Parade. She was the widow of Juan Monclús y Cabañellas, who died after an operation at Stretton House, Church Stretton district, Shropshire, England, on 13 December 1918, only aged 56. They had married at London on 25 July 1894.

Mystery solved, but there are many more …

King Peter II of Yugoslavia was reburied (5)

After writing about the topic of the reburial of the last King of Yugoslavia, I should at least finish the series, even when it is some time ago since it happened.

On 14 May the press office of Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia announced that also Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia (1929-1990) would be reburied on 26 May at the Royal Mausoleum of St. George’s Chapel in Oplenac, Serbia. His remains were transferred to the Royal Chapel in Dedinje, Serbia on 15 May. He was previously buried at the Nova Gracanica Cemetery in Illinois, USA. The transfer happened with the permission of the prince’s children Prince Dimitri, Princess Lavinia-Maria and Princess Tatiana-Marie. They stated: “This is truly an emotional, extraordinary and momentous event, not only for us as Prince Andrej’s children and the Royal Family, but also for the Serbian nation and Serbs everywhere. The return of our Father completes the jigsaw in the righting of an historic injustice. Our beloved father was always homesick for his homeland, and although this was not possible in life, at last he will join his family in eternal peace on Sunday 26 May in the Royal Mausoleum in Oplenac, where he rightfully belongs with his family and ancestors. We would also like to acknowledge our cousin HRH Crown Prince Alexander, without whom this would not have been possible.” Although the eldest son Prince Vladimir hadn’t agreed with the transfer of his father’s remains right now he was like his three siblings present when they arrived at Nikola Tesla airport, Belgrade on 15 May. Also present were Prince Andrej’s grandson Luka Austin Prichard, Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine, Princess Elizabeth, Prince George, Prince Michael and India Oxenberg.

On 24 May the coffins of King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia left the Royal Chapel after a service and were transfered to the Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Belgrade. The bells of the cathedral marked the royal arrival. In the cathedral a memorial requiem was being held. Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine, Princess Katarina, Prince George, Prince Michael, Prince Vladimir and Princess Brigitta as well as Princess Elizabeth were present. After the service citizens could pay their respect. A holy liturgy and a requiem were being held on 25 May. Afterwards the remains of the royals were transferred to St. George Church in Oplenac. On their way from Belgrade to Oplenac the motorcade was escorted by sound of church bells. Many people stood on the side of the roads. The royal coffins were placed on special carts in Topola. From there the coffin of King Peter II was escorted by members of the Serbian Army Guard on horses. Members of the royal family walked behind the procession. A requiem service was also being held in Oplenac. Present wereCrown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Hereditary Prince Peter and Prince Alexander, Princess Katarina, Prince George, Prince Michael, Princess Linda, Prince Vladimir and Princess Brigitta, Prince Dimitri, Princess Lavinia and Mr. Austin Pritchard-Levy and Luca Pritchard-Levy, and Princess Elizabeth.

On Saturday 26 May the actual reburial at the Royal Mausoleum in Oplenac took place. The service at St. George Church was attended by Crown Prince Alexander II, Crown Princess Katherine, Hereditary Prince Peter, Prince Philip and Prince Alexander, Princess Linda, Prince Nicholas, Princess Katerina, Prince Vladimir and Princess Brigitta, Princess Lavinia, Mr. Austin Prichard-Levy and Luca Prichard-Levy, Prince Dimitri, Princess Elizabeth, Prince Michel, Prince Serge and Prince Dushan. Also members of foreign royal families were present: King Simeon and Queen Margarita of the Bulgarians, King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu of Romania, Archduke Sandor and Archduchess Herta of Austria, the Margrave and Margravinne of Baden, Prince Philipp Erasmus and Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein, Princess Ira von Fürstenberg, Prince Pierre d’Arenberg, Sheikh Abdulla bin Hamad al Khalifa of Bahrain and Prince Mabandla Dlamini of Swaziland. Also present were the ambassadors of the United Kingdm and Denmark, and the Defense Minister of Greece Panos Panayotopoulus.

Before the start of the ceremony Hereditary Prince Peter placed the crown of King Peter I, Prince Philip the scepter and the orb, and Prince Alexander the diamond sabre of King Alexander I on the coffin of their grandfather King Peter II. After the liturgy and requiem there were several speakers, including Crown Prince Alexander II. He said: “We are gathered today here in Oplenac to pay our last respects and bid farewell to King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej. The Karadjordjevic’s, whose destiny throughout history has been closely tied to the destiny of the entire nation, as well as to the establishment of the modern Serbian State. Their lives are the reflection of what happened to their people and their homeland. Their wanderings and their exile lasted for too long. They lived and died in different parts of the world. Today they are here in Oplenac, among their family and among their Serbs. For me, as the Head of the Royal Family and for my whole family this a great day. Sad, but solemn. Full of emotions and reverence. Full of personal memories. This is not only a historic moment for Royal Family, but also for the whole Serbian nation and the State of Serbia.” A reception was held at the White Palace in the evening.

Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine on 9 June attended another holy liturgy and requiem for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej at the Royal Mausoleum in St. George Church in Oplenac.

For more information, pictures and videos see The Royal Family of Serbia.

The mysterious head of King Henri IV of France

Is a mummified skull found in a box in the attic of the retired tax collector Jacques Bellanger in 2008 the missing head of King Henri IV of France? Authors Stéphane Gabet and Philippe Charlier, who wrote the book “Henri IV: The Mystery of a Headless King”,  are convinced the head is his. The pathologist Charlier says that DNA tests show that the head has links to King Louis XVI. Lots of French researchers and royalty experts however say that there is not much scientific proof that the head is actually the King’s. Even the French royals don’t agree on the subject. Prince Louis de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou has taken the side of the authors. The Count of Paris thinks that there is not enough evidence.

If you also think that there should be a much more extensive research of the head before it can be buried in the royal burial church in Saint-Denis, France, just sign this petition by French researcher and royalty expert Philippe Delorme.

Landgrave Moritz von Hessen (1926-2013)

It is always sad when hearing about the death of a royal or noble you have seen several times. Landgrave Moritz von Hessen died on 23 May of a lung disease in a hospital in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, aged 86. The funeral will be held at the Johanniskirche in Kronberg im Taunus on 3 June (noon). The private funeral will be held afterwards. He will be missed a lot by his family and friends. The newspapers already report lots of royals and nobles will attend the funeral.

Moritz was born at Racconigi Castle, Italy, as son of Landgrave Philipp von Hessen († 1980) and Princess Mafalda of Savoy. His mother died in the concentration camp of Buchenwald in 1944. In 1964 he married Princess Tatiana zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. The couple divorced in 1974 after having had four children: Mafalda (* 1965), Donatus (* 1966), Elena (* 1967) and Philipp (* 1970). The Landgrave is survived by his former wife, his four children, two children-in-law, ten grandchildren, and his sister Elisabeth. hessenThe last time I saw Landgrave Moritz von Hessen he still looked pretty healthy to me. Older but not frail. He was one of these people you thought would simply always be there. I was present – of course not as a guest – when both his sons got married. And like me he was in Potsdam when Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia and Princess Sophie von Isenburg got married in August 2011. I of course had seen him arriving at the wedding. But we were accidentally staying at the same hotel also and the day after the wedding I came downstairs to have breakfast in the small breakfast room. He was eating at another table together with some other royals. Quite strange now to imagine that was our last “meeting”. I never spoke a word to him, but he seemed to be quite a nice person.