Date Announced for the State Funeral for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia

The official website of the Serbian Royal Family announced today that the state funeral for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej will take place on May 26 of this year.

Queen Maria (left), Peter II (second left), Prince Andrej (second right), and Queen Alexandra (right)

Queen Maria (left), Peter II (second left), Prince Andrej (second right), and Queen Alexandra (right)

The late Yugoslavian Royals are to be re-buried in the Royal Family Mausoleum in Oplenac. Before the reburial, they will lay in the Royal Chapel of the Royal Palace in Belgrade. The surprising news that the two Yugoslavian Queens and Prince Andrej are to be reburied as well was officially announced only today, along with the announcement of the date.

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Queen Alexandra, Queen Maria and Prince Andrej to be reburied in Serbia together with Peter II

It was announced today that the remains of Queen Maria and Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia will be moved to Serbia. The State Funeral for the two Queens as well as Peter II of Yugoslavia will take place on May 26, 2013.

All three will be reburied in St George’s Church in Oplenac. It’s a somewhat surprising development because although the reburial of King Peter has been known for quite some time now, there were only unconfirmed reports about the reuburial for the other members of the Royal Family: back in January, adviser to President Nikolic confirmed that the delay with Peter II’s reburial was in connection with the expected transfer of the remains of of three more family members, all to be buried with the King.   (more…)

Day in History – February 5: Jean Baptiste Bernadotte Becomes King of Sweden and Norway

On February 5, 1818 Jean Baptiste Bernadotte became King of Sweden and Norway as Charles XIV and II. Among all of Napoleon’s family members and generals, the dynasty he established is the only one that still reigns.

Jean Baptiste Bernadotte who became King of Sweden and Norway as Charles XIV and III

Jean Baptiste Bernadotte who became King of Sweden and Norway as Charles XIV and III

The future Swedish Monarch was born on January 26, 1763 in Pau, France. His parents were Jean Henri Bernadotte and Jeanne de Saint-Vincent. To distinguish from an elder brother (also called Jean), the boy was known as Jean Baptiste. He came from a family of lawyers and was expected to continue the tradition; however, Jean Baptiste rebelled and joined the Army.

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Richard III’s Facial Reconstruction Unveiled

Today, the Richard III Society officially unveiled the facial reconstruction of Richard III by the University of Dundee craniofacial identification team. The finished result is perhaps most amazing in one aspect – just how much it looks like the portraits of the late King.

The facial reconstruction (left) and a non-contemporary portrait of Richard III (right)

The facial reconstruction (left) and a non-contemporary portrait of Richard III (right)

The facial reconstruction is highly significant because there are no surviving contemporary portraits of Richard III. The reconstructed face has a slightly arched nose and prominent chin, quite similar to the portraits that were appeared years and centuries after Richard III’s death. According to Dr Ashdown-Hill, the fact most of the surviving portraits of the King are so alike in every detail (not to mention resemble the reconstructions), suggests all of them were based on a single contemporary portrait painted in the King’s lifetime.

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DNA tests confirm remains found in a Leicester car park belong to Richard III

Forensic test results announced on Monday confirmed the skeleton that had been found in a Leicester car park does indeed belong to Richard III who died in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley, from the University of Leicester, told a press conference to applause: “Beyond reasonable doubt it’s Richard.”

Philippa Langley in one of the trenches where the remains were found

Philippa Langley in one of the trenches where the remains were found

Series of tests were carried out to determine whether the bones found buried under the floor of a medieval church belonged to the late King. The tests, along with DNA results and the collective decision of the experts, conclusively proved that the remains are indeed those of Richard III. Scientists have compared DNA sample from the bones with the mitochondrial DNA of Michael Ibsen, a Canadian-born carpenter who currently resides in Britain. Mitochondrial DNA can be inherited solely down the maternal line, and Ibsen is a direct matrilineal descendant of Anne of York, Richard III’s sister.

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Richard III: A Villain or a Victim of a Successful Propaganda?

On Monday, scientists from the University of Leicester are to finally reveal the results of DNA that will tell us whether the bones discovered in a Leicester car park last year belong to Richard III. But while we are waiting for the results, perhaps we could have another look at the King and reassess his reign and personality.

And indeed, what do we know about the last Plantagenet Monarch? And what of we know is accurate or just a plain character assassination? Was he a monster depicted in Shakespeare’s famous play? Did he kill his young nephews and usurp the Throne? Why did he lose the Battle of Bosworth Field and how did he die? Unfortunately, none of those questions could actually be answered conclusively but I will try to draw as unbiased a portrait as possible.

Richard III and his wife, Anne Neville

Richard III and his wife, Anne Neville

Richard was born as the eighth and youngest child of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville both of whom had strong claims to the Throne of England. From an early age, Richard was a staunch supporter of his brother’s quest to claim the Crown. After Edward finally ascended to the English Throne (for the first time) in 1461, Richard was named the Duke of Gloucester.

Of all their siblings, it is indisputable Edward IV had the most trust in his youngest sibling, and the latter never disappointed him; throughout Edward’s reign, he was a loyal, caring and dedicated brother. Perhaps even more importantly, he proved to be an able commander; Richard played crucial roles in the battles of Tewkesbury and Barnet that resulted in Edward reclaiming the Throne from Henry VI.

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Inaki Urdangarin Corruption Case: Will the Borbons survive?

General Details about the corruption scandal

As the Duke of Palma de Mallorca took part in the National Day on 12 October 2011, dashing and charming as always, few could have guessed that was his very last appearance in an official capacity as a member of the Spanish Royal Family, and that soon Inaki’s name will be on everyone’s lips for all the wrong reasons.

Less than a month later, on 7 November 2011, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor recorded Noos headquarters in Barcelona in connection with the ongoing “Palma Arena” corruption case. Specifically, they were looking into the dealings of The Noos Institute for the period of 2004-2006 – the time Urdangarin was its Executive President.

Inaki Urdangarin arriving for a court hearing

Inaki Urdangarin arriving for a court hearing

The news shocked Spain, especially as the true extent of the embezzlement and Inaki’s involvement were gradually made known; Spain was experiencing one of the worst financial crises in history and the revelation the King’s son-in-law has effectively stolen millions of public money enraged the public. At the early stages of the investigation, the Duke denied any wrongdoing and loudly maintained his innocence and resolution to defend his “honour”. Soon, however, new details emerged that forced even his most ardent supporters to doubt his word.

Newspapers released several suspicious budget documents for the period the Noos Institute was managed by Urdangarin. They appeared to show that Urdangarin convinced Spanish public administrations to sign agreements with the company (which was supposed to be a non-profit organisation anyway) for works that were never done. Works that were done were dramatically over-budgeted. Among other, the Noos Institute was given an enormous €2.3 million by the Balearic Islands’ regional government to organise two conferences on tourism and.  Once the contracts were obtained, Noos subcontracted the work to companies owned by Urdangarin and Torres.

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