9th granchild for Infanta Pilar: Don Juan and Winston Carney expecting a child

While the Spanish Royal Family is still trying to assess the damage done by the Inaki Urdangarin (and the injury that can still be caused by more harmful revelations), there are some good news as well.

His Excellency Don Juan Gomez-Acebo y de Borbon, Viscount de la Torre – the eldest son of Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz – has announced he is expected his first child with his long-time partner, Winston Carney.

Winston Carney and Don Juan

Winston Carney and Don Juan

Although Don Juan, 43, and Miss Carney, 39, are not married, they have been dated for a number of years now. The child will be born at the end of April in California where Carney resides. The child will be the 9th grandchild for Infanta Pilar. The Infanta is the older sister of King Juan Carlos and Infanta Margarita of Spain.

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Queen Beatrix’s Abdication: Changes and Traditions

With the announcement Her Majesty Queen Beatrix will formally abdicate, let’s have a look at the changed the Dutch Monarchy will undergo as an immediate result of the abdication.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

Her Majesty the Queen will sign the Instrument of Abdication at the Royal Palace, Amsterdam  on April 30, 2013 – the 33rd anniversary of her reign. Abdication itself is nothing new or unusual for the Dutch Royal Family; in fact, Her Majesty will be the third successive Dutch Monarch to voluntarily abdicate the Throne, following her grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, and her mother, Queen Juliana.

The most obvious change is of course the fact the Netherlands will have a new Monarch – the first King in 122 years (Queen Beatrix had succeeded her mother, Queen Juliana, who herself had succeeded her own mother, Queen Wilhelmina). The current Prince of Orange will reign as King Willem-Alexander, and not King Willem IV as had been expected. His wife, Princess Maxima, will be his Queen– the first Dutch Queen Consort since Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont.

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Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands Announces Abdication

At 17:00 (Dutch time) it was made known Her Majesty Queen Beatrix will make an announcement two hours later in a special broadcast on television and radio. No information was given about the content of the announcement but immediately rumours circulated Her Majesty will formally announce her abdication in a message that had been recorded earlier in the day.

Rumours proved to be correct and on 28 January 2013, at 19:00, the Queen announced her intention to abdicate on 30 April (Queen’s Day) – the day that will also mark the 33rd anniversary of her accession to the Throne.

Queen Beatrix and Prince Willem-Alexander

Queen Beatrix and Prince Willem-Alexander

The broadcast was followed by a statement from Prime Minister Mark Rutte who paid tribute to the Queen, saying “Since her accession to the throne in 1980, she dedicated her heart and soul for Dutch society”. The Prime Minister expressed his respect and admiration for the Queen, and called her “an icon of the Netherlands”.

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Famous Stones: Cullinan – The Word’s Largest Diamond Ever

On January 26, 1905 the world’s largest diamond was found at the Premier Mine in South Africa. The uncut Cullinan weighted an amazing 3,106.75 carats (0.62135 kg)!

Replica of the original, uncut Cullinan Diamond

Replica of the original, uncut Cullinan Diamond

Late in the afternoon of January 26, Frederick Wells was making a routine inspection of the Premier Mine – part of his job as superintendent of the mine. Suddenly, something caught his attention: rays of the setting sun reflected off something shiny about 18 feet below the surface of the earth. Wells stopped to investigate.

After about half an hour of digging work, he managed to free the object and, after washing the stone, felt a bit annoyed at all the wasted time. For what he found looked like a diamond but it was so huge that he felt there was no way it could be real: surely it was made of glass and the workers were playing a trick on him! Nevertheless, Wells was a professional and automatically sent the stone to be analysed – and was astounded to find out that it was indeed a gem-quality diamond. And not just any diamond – the largest ever discovered.

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Day in History – January 23: James Stewart is Murderd in the First Recorded Assassination by a Firearm

James Stewart, Earl of Moray

James Stewart, Earl of Moray

On January 23, 1570 the first recorded assassination by a firearm took place. The victim was James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray – the Regent for the infant James VI of Scotland.

James Moray was born in 1531 as the illegitimate son of James V of Scotland and his favourite mistress, Lady Margaret Erskine. Acknowledging out-of-wedlock children and granting them peerage titles was pretty common in the Scottish court of the time; indeed, one of James V’s half-brothers (the illegitimate son of James IV and Janet Kennedy) had held the title Earl of Moray in its 1st creation until his death in 1544. It wasn’t James V who granted his son titles though; Moray was created Earl of Moray and Earl of Mar in 1562 by his half-sister Mary, Queen of Scots.

Moray’s relationship with Mary was a complicated one. At first, they were reasonably close; James was fond of his sister and held a prominent place in the court. He also attended Mary’s first wedding to the Dauphin of France in 1559. However, James was a keen supporter of the Scottish Reformation while Mary was a devoted Catholic. At first, they managed to overcome those difficulties and Moray even became Mary’s chief advisor after her return from France in 1561. (more…)

Announcement: A Little Reorganisation

Hello, everyone.

Just a quick announcement on a little reorganisation of my blogs. This blog will now be dedicated only to history, historical and contemporary royals, protocol and etiquette  and other similar questions dealing with various aspects of royalty. Posts like Day in History or Coronation Ceremonies will continue to be made here. On the other hand, posts about jewellery will now be made in my other blog – Artemisia’s Royal Jewels  (which was previously dedicated to British Royal Jewels only).

At the same time, I also made some changes here to make browsing the blog an easier and a more pleasant experience. At the top of the blog, you will see several Pages: these pages include links to relevant posts. To see how it will work, have a look at Historical Royals page; it contains titles of all the posts on historical royals, along with links to relevant posts. The pages are:

  • The Den (the place where you can read about the rules and announcements)
  • Royal News (for news on contemporary and historical royals from reigning and non-reigning houses alike)
  • Historical Royals (posts on royals of the past, including the “Day in History” posts)
  • Titles and Styles (posts on titles, styles, precedence and ranking)
  • Coronations (posts on Coronations, Enthronements and Inaugurations)
  • Weddings (posts on Royal and Noble weddings, past and present)
  • Births and Christenings (posts on Royal and Noble births and christenings)
  • Musings (posts on various aspects of royal life, traditions and history)
  • Other (a miscellaneous category)

You can also find the relevant information using the Categories option on the right (which is based on Royal Houses or separate topic) or simply suing the Search the Den option. I hope the changes will not cause inconvenience to you. As usual, if you have any questions or issues, just leave a message: I will most definitely respond.

Hope to see you all here as often as possible!

Artemisia

Dutch Jewels: Queen Juliana’s Aquamarine Parure

Because of a little (well, OK, major) reorganisation, I’ve moved posts about jewellery to my other blog – Artemisia’s Royal Jewels. The article on this parure can be found here: Dutch Royal Jewels: Queen Juliana’s Aquamarine Parure

You can read more about the reorganisation in this post.

Dutch Jewels: The Pearl Button Tiara

Because of a little (well, OK, major) reorganisation, I’ve moved posts about jewellery to my other blog – Artemisia’s Royal Jewels. The article on this parure can be found here: Dutch Royal Jewels: The Pearl Button Tiara.

You can read more about the reorganisation in this post.

Coronation of The Queens Consort: History and Ceremony

The Coronation of the British Monarch is an elaborate and relatively well-known ceremony. Every detail of the service is full of tradition and symbolism, every element is carefully thought through and has a deep meaning. Yet very little information exists on the coronation of the Queens Consort; their simple ceremonies are simply lost in the midst of splendour of the King’s coronation.

Uncrowned Queens of England and Britain

Uncrowned Queens of England and Britain

Before the Norman conquest of England, few Queens were actually crowned. In fact, the only Anglo-Saxon Queen Consort who is known to have had a coronation was Aelfthryth, the wife of Edgar the Peaceful. After William the Conqueror came to power and established a new Royal House new traditions appeared as well, including a coronation ceremony for his wife, Matilda of Flanders. Since then, only eight Queens Consort had no coronations, and four of them were married to the same man: Margaret of France (second wife of Edward I), Jane Seymour (third wife of Henry VIII), Anne of Cleves (fourth wife of Henry VIII), Catherine Howard (fifth wife of Henry VIII), Catherine Parr (sixth wife of Henry VIII), Henrietta Maria of France (the wife of Charles I), Catherine of Braganza (the wife of Charles II), Caroline of Brunswick (the wife of George IV). (more…)

Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie Welcome Twin Sons

Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie

Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie

The Prince and Princess of Prussia are now proud parents of two boys. The twins were born on January 20 in Bremen, Germany. A statement released by Prince Georg Friedrich today announced the births with “great joy and gratitude”. The mother and children are all doing well.

The elder twin is named Carl Friedrich and the younger one – Louis Ferdinand. Carl Friedrich is the Heir Apparent to the headship of the House of Hohenzollern. The names have strong history in the family; it is also possible the eldest boy was named in honour of Karl Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern (head of the Princely House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen). The younger boy is named after Prince Georg’s father – Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia.

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