Famous Stones: Dresden Green Diamond

We continue our Famous Stones Series with another breathtaking gem – the Dresden Green Diamond.

Dresden Green Diamond

Dresden Green Diamond

The Dresden Green Diamond is one of the most famous and extraordinary stones out there. The pear-shaped stone of exceptional quality weighs 40.7 carats and is the largest and finest natural green diamond ever found. The diamond derives its name from Dresden, the capital city of Saxony in Germany. King Frederick Augustus II bought the diamond in 1741 and the stone remained in Dresden for most of its history.

(more…)

Advertisements

Day in History – January 18: King Naresuan of Siam defeats Crown Prince Minchit Sra of Burma in a personal battle

Naresuan the Great

Naresuan the Great

On 18 January 1591, King Naresuan the Great killed Prince Minchit Sra of Burma in a single elephant combat, marking the end of Burmese invasion. The battle is one of the epic moments in Thai military history and the day is now commemorated as Royal Thai Armed Forces Day.

Naresuan was born as Prince Naret on 25 April 1555, the son of King Maha Thammarachathirat and Queen Wisutkasat (herself daughter of a prominent noble, Maha Chakkrapat and Queen Sri Suriyothai). Growing up, the Prince was very close to his younger brother and elder sister. The three royal children had very different personalities, however; Naret was nicknamed The Black Prince for his strict character and devotion to discipline, Ekathotsarot (the younger brother) was known as The White Prince for his kind and considerate character, while Suphankanlaya (their elder sister) is remembered as the Golden Princess for her fair character and adherence to chivalric honour. The warm relationship between the three of them would be maintained for the rest of their lives; Naret and Ekathotsarot especially were not only brothers but friends and allies. (more…)

Peter II and Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia

As news surfaced Peter II is to be reburied in Serbia, let’s have a look at the life of a man who was the last King of Yugoslavia.

Peter II with his younger brothers, Andrej and Tomislav

Peter II with his younger brothers, Andrej and Tomislav

Peter II was the eldest son of Alexander I and Queen Maria of Yugoslavia. He had two younger brothers – Prince Andrej and Prince Tomislav. Peter ascended to the Throne in 1934, upon the assassination of his father, aged just 11. Until he came of age, regency was established with Prince Paul of Yugoslavia acting as the country’s Regent.

At the start of World War II commenced, the young King was strongly against the Nazi Germany. However, Prince Paul felt the only way to save Yugoslavia from horrors of the war was to join the Tripartite Pact, which the country did on 25 March 1941. Two days later, on 27 March, the 17-yeaar-old King was proclaimed of age and led the British-supported coup d’état against the Pact. Germany’s response was swift and ruthless; within a week the joint troops of Germany, Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria invaded Yugoslavia, forcing Peter’s Government to surrender. Peter II had to leave the country; he settled in England where he led the Yugoslav Government-in-exile. During the time, the young Monarch joined the Royal Air Force to be of practical help, as well as worked to raise the morals his people.

Peter II and Princess Alexandra

Peter II and Princess Alexandra

Despite the constant worries about his country and people, Peter found happiness in those years; soon after arriving in London in 1941, he met the beautiful Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark, the only daughter of King Alexander of Greece and Aspasia Manos. The two teens immediately bonded over the tragic loss of their fathers (Peter’s father was killed by an assassin, while Alexandra’s father had died of blood poisoning after being bitten by a monkey).

(more…)