20 November 2017

King of Norway discharged from hospital

King Harald of Norway was today discharged from the National Hospital (Rikshospitalet) and is in good shape, the Norwegian Royal Court announced today. The king was admitted to hospital on Friday due to an infection.

19 November 2017

King of Norway hospitalised

The Norwegian Royal Court announced today that King Harald (80) was hospitalised on Friday 17 September 2017 after having contracted an infection. His condition is described as satisfactory, and is improving.
Kongen har pådratt seg en infeksjon

Hans Majestet Kongen ble fredag innlagt på Rikshospitalet i Oslo på grunn av en infeksjon. Tilstanden er tilfredsstillende, og Kongen er i bedring.
The Norwegain daily VG.no writes today that the king's planned engagements on Monday have been cancelled. He was scheduled to receive in audience the Chief of the Royal Norwegian Navy, Rear Admiral Nils Andreas Stensønes, as well as representatives of the National Spiritual Council for Bahá'í in Norway. In addition he was to receive in audience Brigadier General Jan Morten Mangersnes and the chairperson of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen.

According to the Royal Court the king presided in Council of State on Friday at 11 a.m., so the hospitalisation must have taken place later in the day.

31 October 2017

Genealogen nr. 2, 2017

Genealogen, medlemsbladet til Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening, er nettopp kommet uit med en ny utgave (nr. 2, 2017). På forsiden pryder et kart over Orknøyene. Kartet, som er en håndtegnet versjon av historikeren P.A. Munch, er hentet fra Nasjonalbibliotekets kartsamling. Illustrasjonen er valgt fordi den lengste artikkelen i denne utgaven dreier seg om slekten Dishington, som kom fra Orknøyene og slo seg ned i Bergen. Fra innholdet gjengis:
  • Formannens spalte: For deg som vil videre
  • Are S. Gustavsen: Skoleholderen fra Gausdal. Tore Anderssøn Kvisberg – et 1700-talls eksempel fra den innenlandske migrasjon
  • Rønnaug Hartz: En 13-årings dagbok fra 1850-tallet
  • Petter Falch Vennemoe: Jacob Andersen Dishington
  • Dag Trygsland Hoelseth: Mer om Rosenbaum og Rogg
  • Lisbeth Løchen: 200-årsjubileum for skipet De Zee Ploegs havari utenfor Bergen
Det er gitt plass til to anmeldelser denne gangen. Are S. Gustavsen har gitt sine inntrykk av Rune Nedruds tobindsverk Sikt og sakefall 1612-1695 for Hadeland, Toten, Vardal, Biri, Valdres og Land, utgitt 2016, og Sikt og sakefall 1606-1695 for Gudbrandsdalen, utgitt i 2017, i artikkelen «Opplysende om livets mange skyggesider», mens undertegnede har gitt en presentasjon av The Central Iowa Norwegian Project og anmeldt første bind av Arlen Twedts The Central Iowa Norwegians, utgitt i 2017.

Videre inneholder Genealogen foreningsstoff slik som et medlemsblad skal ha, slik som protokoll fra årsmøtet 2017 og en oversikt over donerte bøker til NSFs bibliotek fra oktober 2016 til oktober 2017.

Mitt hovedbidrag denne gangen er altså artikkelen Mer om Rosenbaum og Rogg. Kanskje ikke den mest prosaiske tittelen, men den indikerer i hvert fall at jeg har fulgt opp artikkelen Rosenbaum som tok slektsnavnet Rogg, som ble publisert i Genealogen nr. 1, 2017. Artikkelen omhandlet brødrene Halvard, Karl Marius «Kalle» og Henry Conrad Rosenbaum, som i 1939 fikk Justisdepartementets bevilling til å anta slektsnavnet Rogg. I artikkelen skrev jeg litt om navnebevillinger som kilde og litt om hva som motiverte brødrenes ønske om å skifte slektsnavn. I tillegg ga jeg en presentasjon av de tre brødrene og inkluderte samtidig en kort genealogisk oversikt over de tre brødrene og deres nærmeste slektskrets, som inkluderte to halvsøstre, en antatt halvbror samt brødrenes foreldre Henry Conrad Rosenbaum (d.e.) (1878–1949) og Harriet Rosenbaum, f. Kristensen (1881–1965). Jeg kom ikke helt i mål med genealogien – det var fortsatt noen uavklarte spørsmål som stod igjen ved deadline. Det skyldtes delvis at jeg kom litt for sent i gang med prosjektet – det var jo navnebevillingen jeg først og fremst hadde tenkt å fokusere på – og delvis at jeg ikke var kreativ nok i letingen etter kilder. Prosjektet ble også større enn jeg hadde opprinnelig planlagt. Etter at jeg leverte artikkelen, har jeg funnet ytterligere informasjon om slektskretsen, og som både utfyller og korrigerer artikkelen. Blant nyhetene er detaljer om farmoren og farmoren til Henry Conrad Rosenbaum (d.e.), som ble født i Edinburgh og deretter etterlatt hos fosterforeldre i Norge mens foreldrene Adolf Rosenbaum, f. ca. 1853, angivelig i Hamburg, og Helle Johanne Nilsen (Nilsdatter), f. 1855 i Sande, emigrerte til USA. Jeg har ennå ikke funnet spor etter dem, så det får eventuelt bli et senere prosjekt.

Men jeg kom endelig i mål med Henry Conrads datter med Anna Mathilde Ingebrigtsen, Magdalena Henriette Rosenbaum, som var født i Larvik i 1909, oppvokst i Tjølling og levde størsteparten av sitt voksne liv som gift og enke i Sandefjord, der hun døde i 1985. Underveis har jeg forsøkt å beskrive hvilke metoder jeg brukte for å komme frem til resultatet. Jeg sporet til slutt opp ett av Magdalenas barnebarn, som bidro med mange opplysninger. Jeg har dessverre ikke kommet til bunns i mysteriet om hvor det ble av Henry Odvar Rosenbaum, f. 1909, den antatte sønnen Henry Conrad Rosenbaum (d.e.) fikk med Olava Diderikke Stubberud (1876–1962). Men jeg har spor som jeg håper å kunne følge opp utover vinteren. Det fortelles for øvrig at Henry Conrad antagelig også ble far til et tredje utenomekteskapelig barn. Det er med andre ord mange tråder å nøste opp, men en spennende slekt å studere. Verken forrige eller herværende artikkel om Rosenbaum-Rogg-slekten gir en fullstendig oversikt over etterslekten. Det var heller aldri meningen. Men artiklene gir i hvert fall et godt utgangspunkt for videre studier. I tillegg er slektskretsen til Magdalena, med de mange halv- og stesøsknene i Holtan-slekten i Tjølling, også verdt å studere videre for de som vil ta utfordringen.

Oppdatert onsdag 1. november 2017 kl. 13.20 (tyrkleif rettet opp).

22 October 2017

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 3, 2017

I received my copy of  Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 3, 2017 at the end of September. It is on due time to give some of my impressions.

The photo on the front cover shows Queen Louise of Denmark (1817–1898) and her granddaughters Princesses Victoria, Maud and Louise of Wales. The photo was taken at Wiesbaden in 1882 according to the editor's photo caption on page 2. In his Editor's Corner Ted Rosvall is this time commenting on the names of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia's second son Gabriel Carl Walther. Rosvall gives examples of other members of the Royal European Family who have the name Gabriel. He wrongly refers to Prince Louis of Luxembourg's son Gabriel, born 2006, as a Count of Nassau (and not Prince of Nassau, as he really is), but that is of course a trifle.

There are many interesting articles in the present issue. The first one is titled The End of Swedish Coronations which is written by the historian Trond Norén Isaksen. He gives a detailed and well-sourced account for why the coronation ceremony was dropped after Gustaf V became King.

The second article is written by the freelance journalist and historian Elizabeth Jane Timms and is titled Birth in Darmstadt – Princess Alix of Hesse. Princes Alix was the sixth child and fourth daughter of Prince Ludwig, later Grand Duke Ludwig IV (1837–1892), by his wife Princess Alice of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1843–1878). Princess Alix was of course later better known as Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress of Russia, spouse of Emperor Nicholas II.

Everyone who has followed my blog which includes many articles about graves and cemeteries will not be surprised by how much I enjoyed Lucas Szkopinski's article The Final Resting Places of the Members of the Albanian Royal Family 1934–2012. Besides the historical outline of the short-lived Albanian monarchy and the members of the Albanian Royal Family, one will find photos of King Zog's original tomb at the Thiais cemetery outside Paris and the burial places in Tirana and Istanbul. Knowing that the remains of King Zog were about to be moved from France to Albania, I hurried to visit the Thiais cemetery in October 2009. I hope to visit Tirana some time later.

Issue no. 3, 2017 brings the second part of The Royal House of Denmark – A Family Album by the periodical's historical consultant Charlotte Zeepvat. Besides the introduction, the readers are treated with 96 images and two pages with family tables. I suppose that the next issue will bring the third and final part of the family album covering Denmark.  And wonder when it will be Norway's turn?

Following the family album comes the obituary of Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma (1924–2017), who died on 13 June this year. The obituary is written by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig, author of among others Queen Victoria's Descendants (1st edition, 1987; 2nd edition,1998; companion volume, 2004).

Another ongoing serial in the RDQ is called Little-Known Royals. One can always discuss how little-known some of these royals are, but I guess I am not the right person to ask.  Anyway, Coryne Hall has written a nice piece about Princess Katharina of Greece (1913–2007), later known as Lady Katherine Brandram.

I have always enjoyed the serial Half a Century of Royal Letters; 1899–1946, collected by John Wimbles from the Romanian National Archives (among others) and compiled by David Horbury. Part 5 brings many interesting letters. The following extract, taken from a letter from Princess Alexandra of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1878–1942), née Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to Queen Marie of Romania (1875–1938), written on 1 March 1924 at Coburg, makes me shudder:
The father was born before the war in one of the German colonies and does not seem to have had quite a clear reputation in some business affairs. The mother is of a good (half French, half Luxembourg family, the best part of the family it seems) but the worst of all that could be, the mother of  the father was a jewess. And that, of course, is a thing we could not get over.
The said people were parents of a «Frl Essen», once the girl-friend of Princess Alexandra of Hohenlohe-Langenburg's son Prince Gottfried (1897–1960), who later married Princess Margarita of Greece (1905–1981).

The present issue is concluded by the column The World Wide Web of Royalty, which brings genealogical news from the Royal, Princely and/or Ducal houses of Beaufort, Hannover, Oldenburg, Richmond, Ruffo and Sweden.

Information on Royalty Digest Quarterly can be found at its editor's website Royalbooks.se. See earlier presentation of RDQ here. See also its Facebook page.  

Updated on 23 October 2017 at 10 a.m. (typo corrected).

17 October 2017

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to pay Norway an official visit

The Norwegian Royal Court announced today that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine) are coming to Norway for an official visit in early 2018.

The exact date and program has not yet been set. According to a tweet from Kensington Palace earlier today, the couple is also going to visit Sweden. The tweet says that the couple will undetake the official visit «at the request of the FCO [Foreign & Commonwealth Office]».
https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/92022379052470681
https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/920223790524706816

11 October 2017

Norway: Crown Prince Haakon to attend King Bhumibol of Thailand's funeral service

The Norwegian Royal Court confirmed today that Crown Prince Haakon will represent Norway at the funeral service and cremation ceremony for King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) on 26 October 2017.

The death of King Bhumibol on 13 October 2016 has been marked by a one-year period of mourning. From the 25th to the 29th of October several ceremonies will take place. The actual cremation will be held on 26 October 2017, with many royals and other dignitaries in attendance. More details can be found among others on the Bangkok Post's Royal Cremation Ceremony page and Wikipedia.

Crown Prince Haakon will travel to Thailand alone. On the same day as the cremation ceremony takes place, his wife Crown Princess Mette-Marit will together with Princess Astrid Mrs. Ferner attend the gala dinner for the members of the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) hosted by King Harald and Queen Sonja.

2 October 2017

Julie Payette installed as Canada's new Governor General

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada. Photo credit: Sgt Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall © OSGG-BSGG, 2017.

Julie Payette was today installed as Canada's 29th Governor General in a ceremony which took place inside the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The ceremony started at 10.55 a.m. local time. According to the press release, the ceremony was to be followed by military honours and the inspection of a guard of honour outside of Parliament (12.15 p.m.). Ms. Payette will then lay flowers at the National War Memorial (1.45 p.m.), before arriving at Rideau Hall, the official residence and workplace of the governor general in Ottawa (1.55 p.m.). The day will conclude with an evening reception at the Canadian Museum of History (7 p.m.).

Payette replaced David Johnston, who was installed as Governor General on 1 October 2010. Johnston bid farewell at a ceremony last Thursday. His term was originally meant to expire in 2015, but was extended with two years. Payette, b. 1963, is a businesswoman and a former astronaut and engineer. She has been married twice and has one son.

In connection with Payette's installation, her coat of arms was unveiled.

© The Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. Copy of the version at gg.ca.

Arms: Per pale Azure and Sable a wing and in the canton the Royal Crown Argent.

Crest: A musical stave bearing the first notes of the second movement of Alessandro Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D minor Sable; Motto: PER ASPERA AD ASTRA, meaning “Through hardship to the stars”.

Supporters: Two lynx Sable embellished Argent each wearing a collar set with laurel leaves Or and mullets Argent, and standing on the planet Earth Azure, its atmosphere Argent, charged with the Greek letter sigma (Σ) Argent.

More information about the coat of arms can be found at the website of the Governor General's Office.

The national coat-of-arms of Canada. Photo taken inside Parliament Hill in 2008.

 Parliament Hill, Ottawa.


 Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada.

Well, just to prove that I have been there!

Last five photos: © 2008 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth.

25 September 2017

Sweden: Prince Gabriel's christening date set

The Swedish Royal Court announced today that the christening of Prince Gabriel, second son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia, will take place in the Royal Chapel at Drottningholm Palace on Friday 1 December 2017.

Prince Gabriel was born on 31 August 2017 at Danderyd Hospital. His name and title was announced on 4 September 2017. Prince Alexander, Prince Gabriel's elder brother, b. 19 April 2016, was also christened in the Drottningholm Palace Chapel (9 September 2016).

Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neills children, Princess Leonore, b. 20 February 2014, and Prince Nicolas, b. 15 June 2015, were christened at Drottningholm on 8 June 2014 and 11 October 2015 respectively.

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel's children, Princess Estelle, b. 23 February 2012, and Prince Oscar, b. 2 March 2016, were on the other hand christened in the Royal Chapel at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. Princess Estelle's christening took place on 22 May 2012, while Prince Oscar's christening took place on 27 May 2016.

21 September 2017

Author Olav Duun's childhood home and grave

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway are currently paying a county visit to Nord-Trøndelag. Today they arrived at the island of Jøa in the municipality of Fosnes, where they among others visited the childhood of the author Olav Duun (1876–1939). On the Royal Court's official website you will find will find an article about today's visit to Jøa as well as photos from the country tour. See also NRK.no.

Duun was born at the farm Stein nearby, but lived at Øver-Dun farm at Ramnfjellaksla from he was 7-8 years old until he was 25. After he married Emma Møller (1881–1970) in 1908, he lived in Botne in Vestfold county (Botne became a part of Holmestrand municipality in 1964). He died in Tønsberg in 1939 and was buried at Dun Cemetery at Jøa near his childhood home.

I visited Jøa and Olav Duun's childhood home two years ago. Here are some photos of the farm Øver-Dun and Dun Church and Cemetery.





For no particular reason I never took photos of the entrance side of the house. But you you can see one photo of the Crown Prince couple in the door opening here.

 The Olav Duun memorial behind the farm house.



From the back side of the headstone you can actually spot Olav Duun's childhood home.


The first church at Dun was consecrated in 1900. It burnt down in 1944. The present church was consecrated 5 years later.

All photos: © 2015 Dag Trygsland Hoelseth. 

6 September 2017

Denmark: Prince Henrik suffers from dementia

The Danish Royal Court issued today the following press statement concerning Prince Henrik's health:
It is with deep regret that Her Majesty The Queen has asked the Lord Chamberlain to announce:

Following a longer course of investigation, and most recently, a series of examinations conducted during late summer, a team of specialists at Rigshospitalet has now concluded that His Royal Highness Prince Henrik suffers from dementia.

The diagnosis implies a decline in The Prince’s cognitive functional level. The extent of the cognitive failure is, according to Rigshospitalet, greater than expected considering the age of The Prince, and can be accompanied by changes in behaviour, reaction patterns, judgement and emotional life and may therefore also affect the interaction with the outside world.

As a consequence of the diagnosis, The Prince will further downgrade his future activities, just as patronages and honorary memberships will be considered.

It is the wish of The Queen and the Royal Family that The Prince will have the peace and quiet as required by the situation. 
During her new year's speech in 2015, Queen Margrethe announced that Prince Henrik had decided to retire from his official duties as of January 2016. A few months later he decided to stop using his title «Prince Consort» and reverted to being «just» Prince Henrik. On 3 August 2017 the Danish Royal Court informed that the prince had requested «not to be buried in Roskilde Cathedral as otherwise planned». The reason for his rather surprising decision was that he felt he was discriminated against because he had not received the title of king (consort) and thus felt he was not on equal foot with his wife the queen. Following the press release, he made comments to the media saying among others that the queen had made a fool of him. Prince Henrik has been occupied with the idea of being titled as king consort for quite some time, but his rather erratic behaviour in August made many observers feel that something was wrong with him. Although one could understand the reasoning behind his demands, his way of punishing his wife was uncalled for. In other words, today's press release doesn't come as a big surprise, and his health situation obviously explains his behaviour to a large extent. It is just sad that the court didn't protect him better back in August, and equally sad that the media didn't follow the Danish set of principles concerning press ethics, as it was obvoious to most people that the prince needed to be protected against himself.

I also hope not only that the media now will respect Prince Henrik's need for peace and quiet, but also that the public will also remember his many years of tireless work for the good of Denmark.



4 September 2017

UK: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child

Just before the name of Prince Gabriel of Sweden was announced in the Council of State at Stockholm Palace today, the British Royal Court at Kensington Palace informed that Catherine, the wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, was pregnant again:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child.

The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.

As with her previous two pregnancies, The Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Her Royal Highness will no longer carry out her planned engagement at the Hornsey Road Children's Centre in London today. The Duchess is being cared for at Kensington Palace.
As far as I know no information has been revealed about the due date, but obviously the duchess is less than 12 weeks pregnant, so the baby will be born some time in the spring of 2018.

The ducal couple's first child, Prince George, was born in 2013, while the second child, Princess Charlotte, arrived in 2015.

Postscript 19 October 2017: Kensington Palace released the following statement via its Twitter account on 17 October 2017: «The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2018.»

Updated on Thursday 19 October 2017 at 10 p.m. (postscript added).


Sweden: HRH Prince Gabriel Carl Walther, Duke of Dalarna

In the Council of State held at Stockholm Palace today it was announced (*) that Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia's son, who was born on Thursday 31 July 2017, had received the name Gabriel Carl Walther. It was also announced his first given name Gabriel was to be his call name. He had also received the title Duke of Dalarna.

When I commented on the name possibilities on Thursday, I said that everything was possible. That was why I argued, with my tongue in cheek, that Alfred was a good alternative for the newborn prince. It would go well together with his brother Alexander's name  as well. I was certain, however, that Folke would be one of the names, as the three earlier princes of the present generation – Nicolas (Paul Gustaf), Oscar (Carl Olof) and Alexander (Erik Hubertus Bertil) – all had got one of their names from their grandfather King Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus. But I was wrong on that as well.

In the end no-one had guessed Gabriel for the baby prince's call name. No members of the Bernadotte family have the name Gabriel. But in the European Royal Family we have Prince Gabriel of Belgium – second child of King Philippe – and Prince Gabriel of Nassau, eldest son of Prince Louis. So in other words not a tradtional Swedish royal name, but something the parents opted out of personal preference. They might have felt that as Prince Gabriel was far down in the line of succession, they were less bound by tradition. Then again, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel were not so committed to royal traditions when they named their first child Estelle... Prime minister Stefan Löfven said that the prince «without any doubt was a little Gabriel», whatever he meant by that.

Gabriel is a common name in Sweden, but not among the most popular names. According to Statistiscs Sweden, 341 boys received the name Gabriel last year, which resulted in a 42nd place. All in all 17 709 men in Sweden have the name Gabriel, while 10 297 men has Gabriel as their call name.

It should be added that there have been a few surprises earlier as well. Just think about Prince Sigvard and Prince Lennart. The name Gabriel, even though it is not a traditional Swedish royal name, will work well, and it goes well together with Alexander too, I think.

The second name Carl is of course a very popular royal name in Swedish history. It is part of the current king's name, and is also the second name of Prince Gabriel's first cousin Prince Oscar. The third name Walther obviously comes from Queen Silvia's father Walther Sommerlath (1901–1990). One of her brothers also has the name Walther.

Many had guessed that Prince Gabriel would receive the ducal title of Dalarna, because his mother Princess Sofia grew up there. Then again, so did many before Prince Alexander's title was announced. As Trond Norén Isaksen pointed out in his blog article today, it was actually «the first time that such personal connections are taken into consideration for the choice of dukedom». Isaksen wrote, by the way, an excellent article on Swedish Royal Dukedoms in Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 2, 2016.

Prince Gabriel is the third member of the Bernadotte dynasty to receive the title Duke of Dalarna. Previous dukes of Dalarna were Prince August (1831–1873) and Prince Carl Johan (1916–2012) until he lost his titles in 1946.

Following the birth of Prince Gabriel, the line of succession to the Swedish throne is as follows:
  1. Crown Princess Victoria (1977)
  2. Princess Estelle (2012)
  3. Prince Oscar (2016)
  4. Prince Carl Philip (1979)
  5. Prince Alexander (2016) 
  6. Prince Gabriel (2017)
  7. Princess Madeleine (1982)
  8. Princess Leonore (2014)
  9. Prince Nicolas (2015)
(*) English version of the announcement.

Updated on Tuesday 5 September 2017 at 09.30 (subject title standardization).

31 August 2017

Royal birth in Sweden: A son for Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia

The second child of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia was expected to take place in September, but arrived already today. The Marshal of the Realm released the following press statement earlier today:
Announcement from the HE The Marshal of the Realm

The Office of The Marshal of the Realm is delighted to announce that HRH Princess Sofia gave birth to a healthy child Thursday the 31 August 2017 at 11.24am at Danderyd Hospital.

Both mother and child are in good health.

Svante Lindqvist
Marshal of the Realm
Just like when the newborn baby's brother Prince Alexander was born, the sex of the child was not revealed until Prince Carl Philip held a press conference. That event took place at Danderyd Hospital around 3 p.m., and the court released another press statement:
Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia have had a son

On Thursday 31 August at 11.24 am, Princess Sofia gave birth to a son at Danderyd Hospital in Stockholm.

Weight: 3.400 gram
Length: 49 cm

Both mother and child are in good health.

Prince Carl Philip was present at Danderyd Hospital throughout the birth. In the afternoon, Prince Carl Philip met the media at Danderyd Hospital.
Just like when Prince Alexander and Prince Nicolas (the second child of Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill) were born, midwife Anna Ståhl and birth doctor Sophia Brismar Wendel assisted the birth.

The newborn prince is no. 6 in the line of succession to the Swedish throne, after his brother Prince Alexander, but before his aunt Princess Madeleine. The prince is King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia's fourth grandson and sixth grandchild.

The happy event was marked by a salute – 21 shots – from the salute stations in Boden, Härnösand, Karlskrona and Gothenburg at 6 p.m.

The court has also informed that a Council of State, in which the name and ducal title will be announced, and a service of thanksgiving («Te Deum»), will take place on Monday 4 September 2017 at the Royal Palace.

The name guessing has of course already started. It has been rather difficult to predict the names of the royal babies in Sweden. Prince Oscar, the son of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel, was perhaps the exception. So it is not easy to say what to expect. Everything is possible! I have said many times before that my personal preference would be a traditional Swedish royal name – and now I am first of all thinking about the name to be used daily – or at least a traditional European royal name. Alternatively a name with Swedish/Norse roots. So I was actually quite pleased with choice of the name Alexander for Prince Carl Philip's eldest son. I have read that many have mentioned William – or Wilhelm – as a possibility. I agree that the name would go well together with Alexander. In the Facebook group Royalty Digest Quarterly I suggested – just for fun, mind you – the name Alfred and the ducal title Dalarna. At least Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, was a distant relative of the newborn baby. And I think Alfred would go well with Alexander. I am confident, however, that I will be wrong on at least one of the guesses, probably on both accounts.

What about the other names? An interesting point, as made by Robert Warholm at the Facebook group Kungligt forum back in 2016, is that the three earlier princes Nicolas (Paul Gustaf), Oscar (Carl Olof) and Alexander (Erik Hubertus Bertil) all have got one of their names from their grandfather King Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus. So I think that we can expect Folke as one of the given names. Princess Sofia's grandfathers were named Stig and Janne Herbert, just to mention it. So, how about Alfred Wilhelm Herbert Folke?!

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia could be influenced by the current trends. According to Statistics Sweden, these were the most popular names for the boys born in 2016:
  1. Oskar 879
  2. Lucas 864
  3. William 850
  4. Liam 790
  5. Oliver 700
  6. Hugo 688
  7. Alexander 668
  8. Elias 664 
  9. Charlie 650 
  10. Noah 627

27 August 2017

Sweden: Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill to become parents for the third time

The Swedish Royal Court announced today that Princess Madeleine and her husband Christopher O'Neill are expecting their third child in March 2018:
HRH Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill are expecting a child

HRH Princess Madeleine and Mr. Christopher O'Neill are delighted to announce that The Princess is expecting their third child.

The Princess is feeling well and the birth is expected to take place in March 2018.
The couple's first child, Princess Leonore, was born in New York City on 20 February 2014. The second child, Prince Nicolas, was born on 15 June 2015.

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia are expected to become parents again for the second time in September, which means that the March child will become King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia's seventh grandchild.

In other words, the Swedish royal house is blessed with many princes and princesses. The king has decided that all his grandchildren will receive the title of Prince or Princess as well as a ducal title. In the next generation I expect that the royal titles will be reserved for the grandchildren of Crown Princess Victoria.

13 July 2017

Romslektenes hærverk på gravminner i Oslo

Sist søndag kveld skrev jeg en kort bloggartikkel etter besøket mitt på Alfaset gravlund i Oslo tidligere på dagen. Under besøket passerte jeg gravfeltet til romslektene i Norge og oppdaget at graven til Marina Jansen var blitt utsatt for hærverk. Jeg har siden forsøkt å få klarhet i når dette kan ha skjedd, men har ikke fått noen svar. Jeg nevnte at også Karoli-graven på Vestre gravlund  var blitt utsatt for hærverk ved minst et par anledninger, og at jeg kanskje ville komme tilbake til dette ved leilighet. Her følger noen bilder fra Vestre gravlund tatt med års mellomrom samt bilder fra Alfaset gravlund tatt i 2016 og i dag.

 01. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, august 2005.

 02. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, august 2005.

 03. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, april 2007.

 04. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, mai 2015.

05. Dronningkrone skal det være! Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, mai 2015.

 06. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, juli 2017.

 07. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, juli 2017.

 08. Graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, juli 2017.

 09. Malepenselen lå igjen etter gravskjendningen på graven til Polykarp og Lola Karoli, Vestre gravlund, Oslo, juli 2017.

 10. Graven til Milos og Lisa Jansen, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, april 2016.

 11. Graven til Milos og Lisa Jansen, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, april 2016.

 12. Graven til Milos og Lisa Jansen, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, 12. juli 2017.

 13. Graven til Milos og Lisa Jansen, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, 12. juli 2017.

 14. Graven til Marina Josef, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, 12. juli 2017.


15. Navneplaten på graven til Marina Josef, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, 12. juli 2017.

 16. Gravplaten på graven til Marina Josef, Alfaset gravlund , Oslo, 12. juli 2017.

17. Graven til Frans Josef (1919–1989), Alfaset gravlund, Oslo, 12. juli 2017.

Den såkalte sigøynerdronningen, Lola Karoli, f. 1929, døde i 1996 og ble gravlagt på Vestre gravlund i et eget gravkammer. Ifølge romfolkets gravtradisjon kan ikke kisten berøre jord og derfor har romfolket fått tillatelse til å bygge egne gravkamre. Lolas ektefelle, Polykarp Karoli, på gravplaten (se for eksempel bilde 02), stod det forresten Polikina, døde i 2001 og ble gravlagt samme sted. Man kan se bilder fra begravelsen blant annet i en reportasje TV2.no skrev etter gravskjendingen i 2010. Lola og Polykarp var forresten folkeregistrert under navnene Eva og Pål Karlsen, jf. Gravferdsetatens offentlige register (Begravdeioslo.no).

Under studietiden jobbet jeg en sommer som gartner på Vestre gravlund, men det var før Lola Karoli døde. Senere har jeg besøkt gravlunden med jevne mellomrom for å ta bilder for diverse slektsartikler og andre slektsforskningsprosjekter, samt for å besvare såkalte «photo requests», bildeønsker, på nettsiden Findagrave.com. Jeg har derfor passert og/eller stukket innom Karoli-graven flere ganger.

Natt til 17. mai 2010 ble gravmonumentet utsatt for hærverk. Som man kan se av TV2.no's reportasje ble «gravhodet» revet over ende og tilsølt med maling. Ifølge reportasjen skal et motiv for udåden ha vært at «gravrøvere ville plyndre sigøynerdronningen», ettersom ryktet gikk på at Lola «skal ha hatt gull og diamanter for mellom to og tre millioner kroner i kisten da hun ble gravlagt». Jeg er nok litt skeptisk til disse påstandene, men når noe blir gjentatt ofte nok, ender de som regel opp med å bli en vedtatt sannhet. Den eller de som stod bak gravskjendingen lyktes ikke i sitt forehavende, men sørget altså for betydelige ødeleggelser.

«Romfolket mener å vite hvem som står bak gravskjendingen – en tidligere straffedømt mann som tilhører en konkurrerende romfamilie», kunne TV2.no fortelle. Om dette gjaldt et medlem av Jansen-familien, dvs. etterkommere etter Polykarp Karolis yngre bror Milos Jansen (1928–2001), eller et medlem av Josef-familien, har jeg ikke fått klarhet i. Konfliktene, som flere ganger har utartet seg til voldelige sammenstøt mellom de nevnte familiene, har som kjent pågått i mange år.

Når det gjelder gravmonumentet, så passerte jeg det under minst ett gravlundsbesøk mens gravhodet fortsatt lå ved siden av, men jeg tok dessverre aldri bilde av det. Bildene tatt i 2015 dokumenterer i hvert fall at fotoet av Lola Karoli, fotoet av Polykarp Karoli og et fellesfoto var borte, det samme var gravplaten med navnet til Polykarp. Som overhode for Karoli-familien var han en omstridt person, og man tenkte kanskje at det å fjerne navneplaten ville virke preventivt.

16. juni 2017 ble gravmonumentet utsatt for hærværk nok en gang, noe både NRK.no/Østlandssendingen og Aftenposten har skrevet om. Jeg tok bilder av gravmonumentet i går. Som man kan se lot gjerningspersonene malepenselen ligge igjen. Ifølge en representant for Jansen-familien skal hærværket ha vært en hevnaksjon for at farens gravstein var blitt tauet bort. Han vistge altså til gravmomumentet til Milos Jansen på Alfaset gravlund. Jeg må innrømme at jeg ikke la merke til at noe hadde skjedd med Jansen-graven på Alfaset da jeg besøkte gravlunden sist søndag, mest fordi gravskjendingen av Marina Josefs grav var så iøynefallende. Jeg besøkte Alfaset igjen onsdag ettermiddag og så nå at gravhodet var blitt revet ned, men det skulle ikke være noe stort problem å få det på plass igjen. Jeg vet ikke når dette bortauingsforsøket fant sted, men antar at det skjedde i våres en gang. Bilde 10 og 11 over viser hvordan gravmonumentet så ut i april 2016. Den gangen var det faktisk et gravhode tilhørende et annet medlem av Jansen-familien som var blitt revet ned, men jeg lar det ligge nå.

Jeg vet fortsatt ikke hva som ligger bak gravskjendingen av Marina Josefs grav. Det kan godt tenkes at også hun var blitt utsatt for en hevnaksjon som følge av konflikten(e) mellom familiene, men slik jeg har forstått hadde det ikke sammenheng med den pågående konflikten mellom Karoli- og Jansen-familiene. Kanskje vi får vite mer etter hvert.

Noen har besøkt Josef-graven etter at jeg skrev om gravskjendingen søndag, for da jeg var der onsdag ettermiddag var det delvis ryddet opp. Så får vi håpe at familiene nå besinner seg. Det er ille nok at de har latt stridighetene pågå i så mange år, men det er uverdig at de også skal gå løs på gravminnene. Det må det bli slutt på!

Postskript 13. juli 2017 kl. 19.05, endret 14. juli 2017 kl. 09.55. Diverse søk på ulike nettsider og sosiale medier har ledet meg til å tro at hærverket som gravmonumentet til Marina Josef er blitt utsatt for må ha skjedd nokså nylig, kanskje så sent som lørdag kveld. Man kan ellers undre seg litt over at gravskjendingen ikke har fanget nyhetenes interesse på samme måte som tilsølingen av Karoli-graven på Vestre gravlund gjorde, men nå er det vel så at Karoli-slekten er bedre kjent i norsk media enn Josef-slekten, og Vestre gravlund er litt nærmere «begivenhetenes sentrum» enn det Alfaset gravlund er.

De tre største norske romslektene – Karoli, Jansen og Josef (Karoli og Jansen utgår fra to brødre, så de kan også regnes som én slekt) – teller rundt 5–600 medlemmer (jeg har også sett tallet 800), så det er ikke like enkelt å få god nok oversikt over familiene. Det gjør det heller ikke lettere at de norske romer ofte opptrer med forskjellige navn – de folkeregistrerte navnene er ikke nødvendigvis de samme som de bruker innad i miljøet, og i tillegg kommer eventuelle kallenavn. Polykarp Karoli var folkeregistrert som Pål Karlsen, og mange medlemmer har skiftet folkeregistrerte navn én eller flere ganger. Den avdøde Čugurka Karoli, broren til Polykarp og Milos, hadde barn med helt andre etternavn. Med andre ord, det er ikke lett å plassere Marina Josef, og uten godt nok kildebelegg vil jeg ikke spekulere for mye utad, men jeg kan ikke lenger si at det er umulig at gravskjendingen av Marinas grav ikke hadde forbindelser til tilsølingen av Karoli-graven.

Det er ikke annet ennå forsøke å nøste opp i havet av kilder som tross alt finnes og se om det er mulig å skaffe seg en bedre oversikt etter hvert. Jeg har i mange år vært interessert i de norske romslektenes historie, både fra eldre og nyere tid, og har samlet mye materiale opp gjennom årene, men har ennå ikke gått så systematisk gjennom det. Jeg vet at også andre historikere og slektsforskere har jobbet mye og godt med slektshistorien. Jeg har drevet med slektsforskning i mange år, og har de siste årene også fungert som administrator for og bidragsyter til Slektshistoriewiki. Hovedutfordringen min har lenge vært at jeg synes de aller fleste slektene er interessante og spennende, det være seg fyrsteslekter, adelsslekter, egne slekter, arbeiderslekter eller romslekter, for å gi noen eksempler. Derfor jobber jeg litt for ofte med litt for mange prosjekter på én gang. Men noe har jeg da fått fullført, og mer kommer ...

Når det gjelder gravskjendingen på Vestre gravlund i 2010, så skrev TV2.no vel 3 år senere at hærverket ikke hadde angivelig nedgravne edelstener som motiv, men skyldtes konflikten mellom Karoli- og Josef-slektene.

Oppdatert torsdag 13. juli 2017 kl. 13.30 (et par, tre ortografiske feil); torsdag 13. juli 2017 kl. 19.05 (postskript); sist gang fredag 14. juli 2017 kl. 09.55 (retting av ortografisk feil, tilføyelse av avsnitt). 

10 July 2017

Longest reigns page updated

On 21 June 2017 the King of Saudi Arabia issued a decree relieving his nephew Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, b. 1959, of his duties as among others Crown Prince and replaced him by his own son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, b. 1985.

I had of course meant to update the Longest reigns page much earlier, but other tasks had to come first. I have also corrected the information about the heir to the throne of Bhutan, as Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck replaced his uncle, Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, when he was born on 5 February 2016. I follow the news of the King of Bhutan and his family through his Facebook page, but still failed to act on the royal birth at the time. But better late than never, as they say.

Hopefully the Longest reigns page is in better shape now. Please tell, either here or by e-mail, if you find other mistakes. The biggest challenge tonight is that my CoffeeCup html editor doesn't work properly, as it refuses to give me previews of the changes I make. I hope I will not have to update my website too many times tonight ...

Royalty Digest Quarterly no. 2, 2017

Historical tidbits of the royal houses of Sweden and Denmark dominate the latest issue of Royalty Digest Quarterly (no. 2, 2017). The front cover shows a painting of King Frederik VI of Denmark and Queen Marie Sophie with their daughters Wilhelmine (in the middle) and Caroline. The same image can also be found on page 25. In other words, Denmark has made it to the traditional Family Album this time, as always presented by periodical's historical consultant Charlotte Zeepvat. This album focuses on the history from the vikings to the House of Oldenburg, so I suppose that the House of Glücksburg will be covered in a later issue. The album contains, besides the introduction, a collection of all in all 85 images as well as three pages with genealogical surveys, covering the descendants of Frederik V.

The album is followed up by another article by Charlotte Zeepvat, A King for Denmark, where she makes a good effort in explaining the rather complicating history leading up to the election of Prince Christian of Glücksburg as heir to the Danish throne.

The first article in the present issue, howver, is titled Prince Gustaf Adolf - the lost generation and is written by Roger Lundgren. Prince Gustaf Adolf was of course the father of the present King Carl Gustaf of Sweden. Lundgren is know for among other things his biography on Prince Gustaf Adolf's wife Princess Sibylla, published in 2007.

The fourth Scandinavia-related article, Jomfru Fanny, is written by the editor Ted Rosvall himself.  Rosvall tells the story about the psychic Franziska Caroline Elise Enger (1805–1881), the daughter of an huntsman at the Mecklenburg estate of Vietow, Friedrich Enger, og the unmarried seamstress from the same estate, Christine Maria Margretha Heise. But was Friedrich the real father? Some wants to believe that she was the daughter of the then Prince Christian Frederik, later King Christian VII, and his then fiancée Princess Charlotte Frederikke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin ...

Normally the World Wide Web of Royalty column, bringing the latest genealogical news, comes at the end of the issue, but this time the editor has made an exception! More importantly, we are presented with news from  Austria and Hungary, Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst, Luxembourg,  Mountbatten, Russia, Sweden, Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Württemberg.

Following the genealogical news, Coryne Hall tells the story of Princess Maud of Fife in the series Little-known royals, before David Horbury presents the part 4 of letters from John Wimbles' collection of material from the Romanian National Archives and other sources.

Finally the readers are treated with a book review again. Hurray! Charlotte Zeepvat gives her thoughts on the book Royal Wills in Britain from 1509 to 2008 by Michael L. Nash (Palgrave Macmillian, 2017, ISBN 978-1-137-60144-5 (hardcover), 978-1-137-60145-2 (e-book). The book seems to be very interesting. But I wonder how well the book will sell, considering that it is priced at GBP 83,29 (e-book)/GBP 99,99 (hardcover).

Information on Royalty Digest Quarterly can be found at its editor's website Royalbooks.se. See earlier presentation of RDQ here. See also its Facebook page.

9 July 2017

Ramponert Josef-grav, Alfaset gravlund, Oslo

 Graven til Marina Josef, Alfaset gravlund, april 2016.
 Graven til Marina Josef, Alfaset gravlund, april 2016.
 Graven til Marina Josef, Alfaset gravlund, juli 2017.
 Graven til Marina Josef, Alfaset gravlund, juli 2017.

Graven til Marina Josef, Alfaset gravlund, juli 2017.

Flere medlemmer av de norske romslektene Karoli og Josef med flere ligger gravlagt i et eget felt (001) på Alfaset gravlund i Oslo. Jeg har tatt bilder av gravene flere ganger – med gammelt og nytt kamera.

De to øverste bildene ble tatt i april 2016 av graven til Marina Josef (1960–2015). De tre nederste bildene ble tatt under dagens besøk, og som dere kan se er graven fullstendig ramponert. Jeg vet dessverre ikke når dette kan ha skjedd, men det gjør meg opprørt. Sannelig har det vært konflikter både mellom og innad i de norske romslektene, men at man tar med seg konflikten etter at en har gått bort er både trist og uakseptabelt. Som noen kanskje husker er også Karoli-graven på Vestre gravlund blitt ramponert minst et par ganger – i 2010 og i 2017. Etter gravskjendingen i 2010 ble gravmonumentet reparert, men samtidig ble Polykarp Karolis navn fjernet, slik at bare kona Lolas navn stod igjen. Jeg kan ev. komme tilbake med bilder av Karoli-graven tatt før og etter 2010 i en egen bloggartikkel.

Jeg har foreløbig ikke god nok oversikt over Josef-familien, så jeg kan ikke identifisere Marina Josef nærmere. Jeg antar dog at hun var enten en yngre datter, ev. barnebarn eller svigerdatter til Frans Josef (1919–1989). Ifølge boken En for hverandre. Sigøynerne Milos Karoli og Frans Josef forteller fra 1978 giftet Frans seg i 1940 med en jente ved navn Maria (av Modest-slekten? – her er ikke boken like klar) og fikk 13 barn med henne.

Postskript torsdag 13. juli 2017 kl. 19.10: Se også min senere artikkel publisert 13. juli 2017.

 Oppdatert torsdag 13. juli 2017 kl. 07.50 (presisering av mulige slektsforhold); torsdag 13. juli 2017 kl. 19.10 (siste avsnitt strammet inn, postskript tilføyd).

14 June 2017

Photo of King Harald V of Norway and the President of Palau

The Office of the President of Palau has heard my cry for help. As I wrote in late May, King Harald V of Norway granted the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, Jr., an audience at the Royal Palace in Oslo on 30 May 2017. President Remengesau was in Oslo in connection with a summit on illegal fishing. He also had a meeting with the Norwegian minister of foreign affairs Børge Brende. The two dignitaries signed an agreement on opening diplomatic relations between the two countries.

According to Royal Court's information department, the news/photo agency NTB Scanpix took photos in connection with the audience, but so far no newspapers or other media have published them. A pity, I thought, as the meeting between the two heads of state was after all an historic event.

But yesterday the Office of the President of Palau published a photo of the king and president at its Facebook page.The photo is taken in the Bird Room at the Royal Palace.

Thanks to the President for being so helpful. In connection with the blogging on the President's visit to Norway, I have read lots of information about Palau and its tourist sights and have become more and more determined to visit the islands one day!

9 June 2017

President of Palau once more

Last week I wrote about the President of Palau's visit to Norway in connection with a summit on illegal fishing. President Tommy Remengesau was received in audience at the Royal Palace on Tuesday 30 May. When preparing for the article, I learnt that NTB Scanpix had taken photos of the president together with King Harald, but still I haven't seen any photo of the event published anywhere.

Fortunately the Norwegian Foreign Office had a better understanding of the historic event as a photo of President Remengesau and minister of foreign affairs Børge Brende was published on 1 June 2017 after their meeting earlier in the week. Thre press release told that Norway and Palau had signed an agreement to open diplomatic relations. Brende said: – We have many common spheres of interest, among others international co-operation on climate, environment and sea management.

In addition to King Harald and minister of foreign affairs Brende, President Remengesau also met President of the Storting (Parliament) Olemic Thommesen and Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen.

The above-mentioned summit was the first summit between the parties which had signed and ratified the Agreement on port state measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (the Harbour State Agreement) (text at Lovdata.no). According to the press release Palau has problems with illegal fishing in its exclusive economic zone. The president has personally fronted the work to achieve better control and management of the important fishing resources, and to keep (protect) the island state's marine biodiversity. The latter is also important for the country's tourist industry.

See also Norway Today 2 June 2017, Linkedin.com as well as the President's official Facebook page.

30 May 2017

President of Palau in Norway

King Harald of Norway granted today the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, an audience at the Royal Palace in Oslo. According to Royal Court's information department, the news/photo agency NTB Scanpix took photos at the event, but as far as I know no newspapers or other media have published them, and I am not willing to pay a large fee in order to publish a photo on my blog.

No published photo from the historical event is a pity, I think, as it is not every day King Harald meets a head-of-state from such a far-away country.* There is at present no information about the visit at the president's own Twitter account or the official website of the Government of Palau. But according to the Norwegian Foreign Office, President Remengesau is in Norway in connection  with a summit on illegal fishing. The president spoke at the summit yesterday, as is shown in tweets from the UN Food & Agriculture Organization's Fisheries & Aquaculture Department and Christian Laborda, former Head of Oceanic Dpt. MOFA Chile (see here and here). There is even a photo of President Remengesau together with the Norwegian Minister of Fisheries, Per Sandberg (Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department FAO, is also in the photo).

So what is to tell about President Thomas E. «Tommy» Remengesau? According to the official website he is in his fourth period as President. He was Vice President of Palau from 1993 to 2001, then President from 2001 to 2009 and after a break, because in accordance with the Constitution of Palau one cannot be elected for more than two consecutive periods, he regained the top position in 2013. The president, who is born in 1956, is married and has four children and five grandchildren. His father, Thomas O. Remengesau, b. 1929, served as acting President of Palau in 1985 (then in the capacity as Minister of Justice as the Vice President was abroad and had to return to take the oath) and as President from 1988 to 1989 and was the country's Vice President from 1985 to 1988. The short presidential history of Palau is kind of brutal. The first president, Haruo Remeliik, was assassinated in 1985, while the third president, Lazarus Salii, commited suicide in 1988.

*One could argue that photos from official royal events in a public building as the Royal Palace is, should be taken by the court's own photographers and be permitted to be published freely as long as credit is given, but I guess that is just the grumpy old me ...

18 May 2017

Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Count Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth to divorce

The Danish Royal Court annunced today that HSH Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and her husband Count Jefferson-Friedrich von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth have decided to divorce.

Princess Alexandra is the second child and eldest daughter of the late Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Princess Benedikte of Denmark. Princess Alexandra married Count Jefferson at Gråsten Palace on 6 June 1998. They have two children together, Friedrich, b. 1999 and Ingrid, b. 2003. For the last three years the couple has lived in Germany.

In the press statement Princess Alexandra has given the following comment:
«Det er en utrolig svær beslutning. Vi har kendt hinanden i 30 år, men er kommet til et punkt, hvor vi må erkende, at vi er vokset fra hinanden. Vi afslutter ægteskabet, men forbliver sammen i forældreskabet. Hele familien, men naturligvis mest børnene, er – nu også efter min fars død – i en meget sårbar situation, og vi beder derfor om ro og respekt omkring den proces, vi skal igennem.»

(«It is a very difficult decision. We have known each other for 30 years, but have reached a point, where we must admit that we have grown apart. We are ending the marriage, but will stay together in parenthood. The whole family, but especially the children are – also after my father's death – in a very vulnerable situation, and we ask for quiet and respect for the process we are going through.»)
The couple has not yet made a final decision about where they will settle in the future, but the children will continue at their school in Schleswig-Holstein.

14 May 2017

President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated: Longest reigns website updated

Emmanuel Macron, who was elected President of France last Sunday, 7 May 2017, was installed as the new president in a ceremony at Élysée Palace in Paris today. At the same time Macron became the new Co-Prince of Andorra.

I have therefore updated my Longest reigns website accordingly.

11 May 2017

Funeral service for Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld

The funeral service for Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld, who died on 11 April 2017, 82 years old, took place today at Erska Church at Sollebrunn in Alingsås municipality.

Attending the service were of course the late baron's widow Princess Désirée, Baroness Silfverschiöld and her immediate family. King Carl Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia came directly from the celebrations in Oslo, and they were accompanied by Princess Märtha Louise, who represented the Norwegian royal house.

The Swedish Princesses Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler, Princess Birgitta and Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson and her husband Tord Magnuson and other family members were also present for the funeral service. According to Svensk Damtidning, the Danish Royal House was represented by Princess Benedikte. Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris O'Neill are currently in Florida, USA, and where thus unable to attend.

After the funeral service a reception took place at Koberg Palace.

So far it has not been revealed where Baron Niclas Silfverschiöld will be buried. One possibility is the Royal Burial Ground at Haga outside Stockholm. Another possibility is the Silfverschiöld family grave in Sahlgrenska gravkoret (the Sahlgren Grave Chapel) at Tölö Cemetery at Kungsbacka south of Gothenburg. Svensk Damtidning seems to suggest the latter in an article published today: «De närmaste fortsatte sedan till familjegraven för gravsättningen och just nu pågår mottagningen hemma hos familjen Silfverschiöld på Koberg.» («The closest [family members] continued to the family grave for the funeral and just now a reception is taking place at the Silfverschiöld's home at Koberg.») It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes from Sollebrunn to Kungsbacka.

Updated on Thursday 11 May 2017 at 21:25 (more people in attendance were added, as well as information about the burial place).

9 May 2017

Official celebrations of the King and Queen of Norway


The official celebrations of the King and Queen of Norway, who both turn 80 this year, take place on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th of May 2017. The celebrations include among others a gala banquet at the Royal Palace on Tuesday evening, a cruise with the royal yacht on Wednesday and the Norwegian Government's dinner at the Opera House on Wednesday evening.

The Royal Court has released the following list of heads of state and royals attending the celebrations:

Norway
  • Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit
  • Princess Märtha Louise
  • Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner
Denmark
  • Queen Margrethe II
  • Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary
  • Prince Joachim and Princess Marie (10 May only)
Sweden
  • King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia
  • Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel
  • Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia
**
  • Madeleine Kogevinas and Bernhard Mach
  • Desirée Kogevinas and Carlos Eugster
Luxembourg
  • Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa
  • Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie
Monaco
  • Prince Albert II
The Netherlands
  • King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima
  • Princess Beatrix
  • Prince Constantijn (9 May only) 
**
  • Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau
Belgium
  • King Philippe and Queen Mathilde
Spain
  • King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia (10 May only)
United Kingdom
  • HRH The Countess of Wessex
**
  • Lady Elizabeth Shakerley
Greece
  • Queen Anne Marie
  • Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal
  • Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana
Finland
  • President Sauli Niinistö and Jenni Haukio
Iceland
  • President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and Eliza Reid
All in all 183 guests were present at the Royal Palace on Tuesday. When the royals greeted the people from the balcony, all the grandchildren of the king and queen were present - Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Prince Sverre Magnus, Maud Angelica Behn, Leah Isadora Behn and Emma Tallulah Behn. They were also included in the official photo which was published on Tuesday night.

In addition to the royals and dignitaries above also representatives of the official Norway were present, and surely also other family members of the king and queen. I wasn't able to watch TV when the guests arrived, so I am not able to give more details at present. Further details about the celebrations can be found at the official website. For photos of some of the guests, go here.

Updated on Wednesday 10 May 2017 at 00:05 (one link replaced).