Two (Three) Happy Queens


Here the newest additions to my collection. It must at least have been a year ago that I acquired Queen Silvia of Sweden (in the middle). On Sunday a friend gave me Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain as a gift. And I decided to buy Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands myself, after I found out she is still available. My mother isn’t happy, as I always have to put them away when she comes – the waving hands (there are solar cells in their handbags) make too much noise. I honestly hardly hear it anymore myself. Silvia and Elizabeth are products by They have several versions of the Queen, including a special 90th birthday edition. Queen Beatrix was issued in 2013 on the occasion of her abdication, and was fabricated by a Dutch company called “Buro Glimlach”. I bought mine at The Tin Star Company. If you want to have one, just search for Solar Queen and the name in a search engine, as prices can be different.

Accidentally two of these Queens were in the news this week. Queen Silvia of Sweden became a grandmother for the fifth time. A baby boy was born to Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia at Danderyds Hospital on 19 April at 6.25 (statement)/6.28 (Carl Philip). The gender wasn’t immediately announced, but was announced by the happy father during a short press conference later in the evening. Mother and child are doing fine and left hospital already the next day. The only picture we got to see thus far is the one of the parents leaving the hospital with their newborn son. Not much to see tough. The name and title were announced in a Council of State on 21 April at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. He will be known as His Royal Higness Prince Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland. A Te Deum will be held in the palace church in Stockholm on 22 April. I am sure a photo will follow somewhere in the coming days.

Anyway the most important birthday girl of the week was of course Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, who today, 21 April, turned 90 years old. Can you imagine? You really wouldn’t say if you’d see her. She still looks so good and healthy, the same can be said of her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who will even turn 95 on 10 June (although his skin clearly shows he is old). And they’re still have more than enough engagements. Yesterday and today they (especially the Queen of course) were celebrated in Windsor, where they’re staying these days. A private party with the family seems to take place this evening. Big celebrations – going on for days – will take place in May and June. I hope to see as much of it as possible on television. Long live the Queen (and the Duke)!

By the way, also Queen Beatrix, at 78, is still going strong. She today attended the Four Freedom Awards.

Merry Christmas & A Royal 2015!

christmascard2014 has been a year full of royal events with as a highlight of course the abdication of King Juan Carlos of Spain and King Felipe ascending the throne there. Royals were born, got married, died … The most important births were Princess Leonore of Sweden on 20 February, Princess Amalia of Nassau (Luxembourg) on 15 June, Princess Noor bint Hamzah of Jordan on 5 July, Princess Halaevalu Mata’aho of Tonga on 12 July … and on 10 December the long awaited twins from Monaco were born at the Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace de Monaco in Monte Carlo. They were named Gabriella Thérèse Marie, countess de Carladès, and Jacques Honoré Rainier, marquis des Baux. The latter one is the heir to the throne, even when he was born two minutes after his sister. And surprise, surprise, announced on Friday, Princess Leonore is having a brother or sister in Summer 2015. Princess Madeleine of Sweden is pregnant again. Also expected is the second child of Andrea Casiraghi (Monaco) and Tatiana Santo Domingo.

Married were amongst others Prince Faisal bin Al Hussein of Jordan and Zeina Lubbadeh (his third) on 4 January, Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo religiously on 1 February, Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco and Oum Keltoum Boufarès on 15 June and 14 November, Prince Amedeo of Belgium Archduke of Austria-Este and Nobile Elisabetta Maria Rosboch von Wolkenstein on 5 July. O yes, also the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini was married to his sixth wife Zola Zelusiwe kaMafu on 26 July and some time also King Mswati III of Swaziland and Sidiswa Dlamini (his 14th wife). We’re looking forward to the marriage of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and Sofia Hellqvist in Stockholm on 13 June 2015. Sadlier Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand and his third wife Srirasmi Suwadee have divorced or are to divorce. He already seems to have a mistress he wants to marry to. Srirasmi was stripped of all her titles this month.

The world had to say goodbye to the Japanese Prince Katsura on 8 June, Princess Lalla Fatima Zahra of Morocco on 10 August, Princess Kristine Bernadotte on 4 November and Queen Fabiola of Belgium on 5 December. Also several German heads of royal and noble families died.

Another Christening at Palace Het Loo

You’d almost forget, but no Willem Jan Johannes Pieter Floris van Vollenhoven, son of Prince Floris and Princess Aimée van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven wasn’t christened yet. The little boy was born at the Bronovo Hospital in The Hague, The Netherlands, on 1 July 2013 at 1.32pm.

The little brother of Magali and Eliane was finally christened at the chapel of Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands, on Sunday 9 November 2014, aged 16 months. Willem Jan could show the onlookers that he already is able to walk. His godparents were Prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, Van Vollenhoven, Hereditary Prince Alexander von Isenburg, Floris Leewens and Cooske Alberda van Ekenstein-Ten Cate.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Among the guests of course King Willem-Alexander, cousin of the father of Willem Jan, his wife Queen Máxima and their three daughters, Princess Laurentien with her three children, Princess Margarita de Bourbon de Parme with husband and daughters, and all children, children-in-law and grandchildren of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Pieter van Vollenhoven.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

Copyright: Henriëtte E.

The reason for the late christening was the serious illness of Prince Bernhard, uncle of Willem Jan. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the Summer of 2013, and happily the treatment was successfull. He attended the christening with his wife and three children and looked very good. Also his hair is returning.

Prince of Monaco visits The Netherlands

Some weeks ago it was announced that Reigning Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Princess Charlène were pay an official visit to the Netherlands on 3 June. While Albert was going to speak with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the presidents of the first and second Chamber, Charlène was to visit the Ronald McDonald Centre and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and to see something of Amsterdam during lunch on a canal boat. Queen Máxima was to accompany her. Late in the afternoon of 30 May however the Princely Court of Monaco announced that Charlène is pregnant. Lovely news for the couple of course, but the next day it turned out that she therefore had to cancel her visit to the Netherlands. And thus also Máxima was unfortunately no longer part of most of the programme.  gracekelly3gracekelly1Thus Albert arrived all alone in the Netherlands. He spoke with politicians and business people from Monaco and the Netherlands, and was to visit a few Dutch companies on 4 June also. In the afternoon he travelled to Apeldoorn, together with King Willem-Alexander, for the opening of the exhibition “Grace Kelly, Princess and Style Icon” at Palace Het Loo. They arrived shortly before 4.30pm, waved to the public, chatted a bit with each other. A member of the public had some presents for him, already for the baby, but it took a while before they understood. But then Albert, all smiles, walked to the public to accept the present. Soon afterwards they disappeared into the side wing of the palace, where Albert opened the exhibition. King and Prince left around 6pm.

gracekelly6 gracekelly7In the evening King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, in a gorgeous green dress, were the first to arrive for dinner at the palace. They were accompanied by Princess Beatrix. Lovely evening dresses and glittering jewels. Around 8pm also Prince Albert arrived. He was greeted by the royal couple. After giving her a hug and kisses, Albert gave Máxima a handkiss also. Among the guests were also Dutch fashion designers Viktor & Rolf by the way.


Bourbon de Parme Baby

photo & copyright: Netty Leistra

photo & copyright: Netty Leistra

Princess Irene of the Netherlands became the proud grandmother of a sixth granddaughter last week.

The Bourbon de Parme family announced on Friday that Albert Brenninkmeijer and his wife Princess Carolina de Bourbon de Parme had their first child and first daughter, Alaïa-Maria Irene Cécile Brenninkmeijer in Switzerland (reportedly in Zürich), on 20 May. The baby’s first name is an Arab name, also used in Basque language. The name means joyful, happy. Irene and Cécile are the names of the baby’s grandmothers.

Carolina and Albert married in Florence, Italy, in 2012.

Carolina’s eldest brother Carlos has two daughters, her elder sister Margarita also, and her brother Jaime has one daughter. Carlos has a son, Hugo, born out of wedlock.

Where the Queen was born

Photos and copyright: Netty Leistra

I just spent some days in and around London. On Monday evening a friend and I were walking through the city, when I suddenly saw a street called Bruton Street. The name sounded familiar to me, so I said, wasn’t the Queen born there? I didn’t remember the number, but wondered if there was any plaque to commemorate the event. We had a quick look in the street, and found the place within minutes. 17 Bruton Street it is! The actual house doesn’t exist anymore, as it was bombed in World War II, the security guy at the door said, but there is a plaque, or actually even two.

queen1The one on top says “This plaque was dedicated in the Silver Jubilee Year of Her Reign – 1977 – to Her Majesty The Queen who was born here on April 21st 1926”.

queen2The one by the City of Westminster below the first one says, as you can probably read “In commemoration of her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee Year 2002. On this site at 17 Bruton Street stood the townhouse of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne where Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, later to become Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, was born on 21 April 1926”.

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.