August 2009 Newsletter: The 1960s
This month’s newsletter focuses on the Swinging Sixties, the age of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the age of Pop Art and hippies. No less than 32 African countries gained independence, while African American communities mobilized to demand their civil rights to be acknowledged and respected. Student protests in Europe and the States immobilized those countries, while the Vietnam War was raging in the former Indochina.
But even in the age of Che Guevara and Martin Luther King, while the space race was attracting everyone’s attention and the Kennedy’s became legends, the royal families around the globe had their duties to attend to and their countries to lead. This newletter takes you through the births, deaths, marriages and other major events in the lives of the royals of the 1960s.
LadyLeana, Lady Jennifer, and Zonk (newsletter editors)
We have a few major changes to the team this month. Empress has decided to step down from the admin and moderation team to concentrate on her real life, which has recently involved a cross-country move, a new business that she’s starting up, and last but not least, her new baby (born last December). Kimebear is also stepping down from the team at this point, after taking a few months away to concentrate on her real life. We wish them both well and hope they’ll continue to visit the forums and share their royalty expertise with the rest of us.
The admin team is very pleased to welcome Lady Leana as the latest TRF administrator. She adds some European influence to the team, as well as experience in management and coordination and the ability to speak several languages. The current administrators are looking forward to working with her on issues relating to the forum, blog, articles, and PoM polls.
Picture of the Month
Don’t forget to vote for July’s Picture of the Month. There are two polls this month. The official poll highlights the official side of royalty and is here. The unofficial poll features Favourite Children’s Or Candid Photos and is here.
The Royal Forums Blog
The Royal Forums blog continues to thrive. We have over 40 bloggers, including 18 regular contributors also known as Royal Bloggers. Our latest Royal Blogger is Marsel, who is blogging about Russian royalty and general historical royal topics.
The blog editors are very pleased to announce that the blog has recently passed the 1,000-post mark and is well on its way to the next thousand. Many thanks to all the bloggers who contributed to the posts and to everyone who’s been reading the blog and giving feedback. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the blog via RSS feed.
The Royal Articles
Our article site, The Royal Articles, is for members to write longer and more general articles than are found at the blog. At present the articles site is not publishing articles because we are looking to switch the software that hosts the articles. We expect to resume article publication in the next two or three months.
Since we are unable to use professional photos to illustrate the articles, the editors are very interested in hearing from any members who have taken photos of royals and would be willing to have their photos used in the articles. Also, anyone who would like to try their hand at writing an article should contact one of the editors. The editors are Elspeth, Mandy, Marengo, and TheTruth.
Major royal events in August
4th-6th: Official visit to Iran by Sultan Qaboos (blog)
21st-26th: Official visit to The Netherlands by Prince and Princess Akishino (thread)
25th-26th: Official visit to Finland by Carl VI Gustaf and Queen Silvia (thread)
30th: Celebration of the wedding anniversaries of members of the royal family (thread)
23 February 1960:Prince Naruhito is the eldest son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. He is first in line to the Chrysanthemum throne. He has one brother and one sister. He studied at Gakushuin University in Tokyo and Oxford University in England. The prince married Masako Owada on 9 June 1993. The couple has one daughter, Princess Aiko (b. 2001). (See Masako Owada below.)
15 April 1960:Prince Philippe of Belgium is the eldest son of King Albert II of Belgium and Queen Paola. He has one sister and one brother. He attended universities in the UK (Oxford) and USA (Stanford), obtaining a Master of Arts in Political Science from the latter in 1985. He married Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz on 4 December 1999. They have four children, Princess Elisabeth (b. 2001), Prince Gabriel (b. 2003), Prince Emmanuel (b. 2005) and Princess Eléonore (b. 2008). As heir apparent to the Belgian throne, he is also known as Duke of Brabant.
4 February 1962: Prince Abdullah of Jordan (later Abdullah II) is the son of King Hussein (then Crown Prince Hussein) and Princess Muna Al Hussein. He studied at the Islamic Educational College in Amman, and later attended schools in England and the USA. In 1980, he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to start his military training. A year later, he received his commission as a 2nd LT and remains a member of the military to this day. He married Rania al Yassin on 10 June 1993. They have four children, Prince Hussein (b. 1994), Princess Iman (b. 1996), Princess Salma (b. 2000) and Prince Hashem (b. 2005). He ascended the throne on 7 February 1999 after the death of his father, King Hussein. King Abdullah II has tried to maintain the same policies as his late father
4 February 1962: Moulay Mohammed of Morocco (later Mohammed VI) is the son of the late King Hassan II and his wife Lalla Latifa Hammou. He has one brother and three sisters. Mohammed received a B.A in law at the College of law of the Mohammed V University in Rabat in 1985 and in 1993 he obtained his PhD from the French University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. He ascended to the throne 23 July 1999. In a televised address to the people, King Mohammed VI promised to fight poverty and corruption while creating more jobs and improving human rights. In 2004, he enacted a new family law which gave more power to women. King Mohammed VI married Salma Bennani on 21 March 2002, giving her the title of Princess because the constitution does not allow for a Queen consort. The couple has two children, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan (b. 2003) and Princess Lalla Khadija (b. 2007).
9 December 1963: Masako Owada (later Princess Masako) is the daughter of Hisashi Owada, a senior diplomat and President of the International Court of Justice. She has two sisters. Masako attended various foreign schools while accompanying her parents on their missions. As a result, she is fluent in Japanese, French and English and is able to converse in Russian, German and Spanish. Masako attended Oxford and Harvard Universities. Although Masako wished to pursue a career with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she was instead persuaded to marry Prince Naruhito. The couple wed on 9 June 1993. After eight years of marriage and miscarriages, Masako give birth to a daughter, Princess Aiko (b. 2001). In 2003, Princess Masako began looking like a shadow of her former self and had to reduce the number of activities she was performing. Prince Naruhito had to publicly admonish the IHA before they would admit that Princess Masako was suffering from a psychological illness they termed ‘adjustment disorder’ which they attributed in part to the pressures of life at the palace. Another stress factor was Masako’s inability to conceive a male heir. It is difficult to assess what part Kiko’s pregnancy and the shelving of the equal primogeniture law in 2006 played in Masako’s illness. Nonetheless, with appropriate treatment and her husband and daughter’s support and encouragement, Princess Masako slowly recovered from her illness to start resuming her official duties in January 2009.
30 November 1965: Prince Fumihito (later Prince Akishino) is the second son of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. He has one brother and one sister. Akishino studied at Gakushuin and Oxford Universities and has a Ph.D in Ornithology. On 29 June 1990, Prince Fumihito married Kawashima Kiko, the daughter of Kawashima Tatsuhiko, professor of economics at Gakushuin University and his wife, Kazuyo. Upon his marriage, he received the title, Prince Akishino. They have three children, Princess Mako (b. 1991), Princess Kako (b. 1994) and Prince Hisahito (b. 2006). Prince Akishino spoke out against the Crown Prince when Naruhito defended and supported Masako during her illness. It is widely perceived that Kiko received in vitro fertilization so the couple could produce a male heir, and shortly after Kiko’s pregnancy was announced, plans to change the succession law were canceled. Since the birth of Hisahito (third in line to throne), Prince Akishino has been viewed as receiving preferential treatment from the IHA and given assignments fit for a crown prince.
11 September 1966: Kiko Kawashima (later Princess Kiko) is the daughter of Kawashima Tatsuhiko, a professor of economics at Gakushuin University and his wife, Kazuyo. Kiko learned English and German as a young girl while her father was studying and doing research abroad. She attended Gakushuin University where she met Akshino. She completed her studies after they were married, receiving an MA in Psychology in 1995. Kiko was chosen as one of the Young Global Leaders for 2007. (See Prince Fumihito above.)
27 April 1967: Prince Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands (later Prince of Orange) is the son of Queen Beatrix and the late Prince Claus (1926-2002). He has two brothers. He became Prince of Orange when his grangmother, Queen Juliana abdicated on 30 April 1980 and his mother, Beatrix, became Queen regnant. Prince Willem-Alexander is an honorary member of the World Commission on Water, a patron of the Global Water Partnership and a member of the IOC. On 2 February 2002, he married MÃ¡xima Zorreguieta Cerruti. They have three daughters, Princess Catharina-Amalia (b. 2003), Princess Alexia (b. 2005) and Princess Ariane (b. 2007).
29 October 1967: Princess Sophie of Bavaria (later Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein) is the daughter of Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria, and Swedish Countess Elisabeth Douglas. Princess Sophie, Duchess in Bavaria married Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein (see below) on 3 July 1993 at St. Florin’s in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. They have four children, Prince Joseph Wenzel Maximilian Maria (b. 1995), Princess Marie-Caroline Elisabeth Immaculata (b. 1996), Prince Georg Antonius Constantin Maria (b. 1999) and Prince Nikolaus Sebastian Alexander Maria (b. 2000).
30 January 1968: Infante Felipe of Spain (later Prince of Asturias) is the son of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. He has two sisters. As heir apparent to the throne he became known as Prince of Asturias in 1977. He attended schools in Spain, Canada and the USA. He studied economics and foreign service. He participated in military exercises in all three branches of the service. He married TV reporter, Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, on 22 May 2004 in Madrid. They have two daughters, Infanta Leonor (b. 2005) and Infanta SofÃa (b. 2007).
26 May 1968: Prince Frederik of Denmark is the son of Queen Margrethe II (then the Crown Princess of Denmark) and Prince Henrik. He has one brother. On 14 January 1972, he became Crown Prince Frederik when his mother acceded to the throne as Queen Margrethe II. He studied political science at Harvard University. He received an MSc in Political Science from the University of Aarhus. He has completed extensive studies and training in all three branches of the military and remains active in the service. On 14 May 2004, Prince Frederik married Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, a marketing consultant from Tasmania whom he met during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. They have two children, Prince Christian (b. 2005) and Princess Isabella (b. 2007).
11 June 1968: Prince Alois of Liechtenstein is the eldest son of Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein and his wife/cousin Marie Aglae, Countess Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau. In 1993, he earned a Masters degree in law from the University of Salzburg. In May 1996, he settled in Vaduz to manage his father’s finances and to take a more active role in his princely duties. Prince Alois married Princess Sophie, Duchess in Bavaria (see above) on 3 July 1993. They have four children, Prince Joseph Wenzel Maximilian Maria (b. 1995), Princess Marie-Caroline Elisabeth Immaculata (b. 1996), Prince Georg Antonius Constantin Maria (b. 1999) and Prince Nikolaus Sebastian Alexander Maria (b. 2000). Prince Alois has been regent of Liechtenstein since 15 August 2004.
Royal Marriages and Anniversaries
15 December 1960: Baudouin I of Belgium and Fabiola de Mora y AragÃ³n (later Queen Fabiola). Prince Baudouin of Belgium was born on September 7, 1930, the son of then Duke and Duchess of Brabant, Prince Leopold of Belgium and Princess Astrid of Sweden. Dona Fabiola de Mora y Aragon was born on June 11, 1928, the daughter of Gonzalo de Mora y Fernandez, Riera y del Olmo, Marquess of Casa Riera, 2nd Count of Mora, and his wife, Blanca de Aragon y Carrillo de Albornoz, Barroeta-Aldamar y Elio. Baudouin’s father, became King of the Belgians in 1930, and his mother died in 1931 following a car accident. During WWII, Prince Baudouin lived in France and Spain. As a result of the political turmoil in Belgium, King Leopold was forced to abdicate and Baudouin became King of the Belgians in 1951. On December 15, 1960, King Baudouin married Dona Fabiola (who upon her marriage became Queen Fabiola of Belgium). The couple would remain childless. After a long and fruitful reign, King Baudouin I of the Belgians died in 1993. Queen Fabiola remains a popular figure in Belgium today.
6 May 1960: Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones (later Earl of Snowdon). Princess Margaret Rose of York was born August 31, 1930, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Following the abdication of her uncle, King Edward VIII, her father succeeded as King George VI. Antony Armstrong-Jones was born on March 7, 1930 the son of Ronald Armstrong-Jones and Anne Messel (later the Countess of Rosse). On May 6, 1960, Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones (who was created the Earl of Snowdon by the bride’s sister, Queen Elizabeth II). They are the parents of two children: David, Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto. The marriage was unsuccessful, and they divorced in 1978. The Earl of Snowdon, remarried Lucy Lindsay Hogg, who became the Countess of Snowdon, and fathered another daughter, Lady Frances Armstrong-Jones, before divorcing in 2000. The Earl of Snowdon is a respected photographer and Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker. Princess Margaret did not remarry and died on 15 February 2002.
25 May 1961: Hussein I of Jordan and Antoinette (Toni) Gardiner (later Princess Muna al-Hussein). Hussein bin Talal (later Hussein I of Jordan) was born on November 14, 1935, the son of Talal bin Abdullah of Jordan and Zein al Sharaf Talal. Antoinette (Toni) Gardiner (later Princess Muna al-Hussein of Jordan) was born on April 25, 1941, the daughter of Walter & Doris Gardiner. Prince Hussein survived an assassination attempt in 1951, in which his grandfather, King Abdullah I of Jordan, was killed. His father became King, but abdicated in favour of his 16-year old son, Prince Hussein, who became King in 1953. On May 25, 1961, a divorced King Hussein married Toni Gardiner, who converted to Islam and changed her name to Muna al-Hussein. Muna and King Hussein had four children together: Prince Abdullah (currently King Abdullah II of Jordan), Prince Faisal, Princess Aisha and Princess Zein. Muna and King Hussein divorced in 1971. King Hussein would remarry two more times prior to his death in 1999. In addition, to his son, King Abdullah of Jordan, King Hussein was the father of eleven children. Princess Muna al-Hussein remains popular in Jordan and continues to support her son, King Abdullah II.
14 May 1962: Infante Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sofia of Greece (later Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia). Infante Juan Carlos of Spain (later King Juan Carlos), was born on January 15, 1938, the eldest son of Juan de Borbon, Count of Barcelona, and Maria de las Mercedes van Bourbon-Sicilia, while his family was in exile during the Spanish Civil War. Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark was born November 2, 1938, the daughter of King Paul of Greece and Queen Frederika. Her family was also exiled from Greece. On Mary 14, 1962, Infante Juan Carlos married Princess Sofia. The couple are the parents of three children: Infanta Elena, Infanta Cristina and Felipe, Prince of Asturias. In 1975, Juan Carlos was appointed by Franco as King of Spain and was expected to be a puppet of the regime, but soon after the death of Franco, the King decided to choose a different course, and he successfully reinstated democracy in Spain.
29 April 1964: Princess Irene of The Netherlands and Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma, Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne. Princess Irene, was born on August 5, 1939, the daughter of Princess Juliana (later Queen Juliana) of the Netherlands and Prince Bernhard. During WWII, the Dutch royal family first fled to London, and then moved on to Canada. Prince Carlos Hugo was born on April 8, 1930, the son of Xavier, Duke of Parma and Madeline de Bourbon-Busset. In 1963, Princess Irene secretly converted to Roman Catholicism, and her impending marriage was met with great controversy in the Netherlands (as she had not sought the approval of the Dutch government). The couple married on April 29, 1964, and Princess Irene gave up her succession rights, no Dutch relatives attended the wedding in Rome and the Princess also agreed to live outside of the Netherlands. They are the parents of four children: Prince Carlos, Princess Margarita, Prince Jamie and Princess Maria Carolina. The couple divorced in 1981.
18 September 1964: Constantine II of the Hellenes and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark. Prince Constantine of Greece (later Constantine II) was born on June 2, 1940, the only son of the late Paul I of Greece and Frederika of Hanover. Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark, the daughter of the late Crown Prince Frederick (King Frederick of Denmark) and Crown Princess Ingrid (formerly a Princess of Sweden) was born on August 30, 1946. The couple initially met when Princess Anne Marie was thirteen years old, met again at the wedding of Princess Sofia of Greece and Infante Juan Carlos of Spain, and married two weeks after her 18th birthday on September 8, 1964. They are the parents of five children: Princess Alexia, Crown Prince Pavlos, Prince Nikolas, Prince Philippos and Princess Theodora. In December 1967 King Constantine II was forced to flee Greece after a failed counter-coup against the junta. He remained King until the monarchy was officially abolished in 1974.
10 March 1966: Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands and Claus von Amsberg (later Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus). Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands (later Queen Beatrix) was born on January 31, 1928, the daughter of Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands and Prince Bernhard. Claus van Amsberg was born on September 6, 1926, the son of Klaus Felix von Ambserg and Gosata Julie Adelheid Marion Marie Baroness von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen. During WWII, the Dutch royal family first fled to London, and then moved on to Canada. In 1945, they returned to the Netherlands, and in 1948, Princesss Juliana became Queen. On March 10, 1966, Princess Beatrix married Claus von Amsberg, which as a result of German occupation during the war was viewed as unpopular. However, Prince Claus became a popular member of the Royal family as time went by. The couple are the parents of three sons: Crown Prince Wilhem-Alexander, Prince Friso and Prince Constantijn. In 1980, Beatrix became Queen of the Netherlands upon the abdication of her mother, Queen Juliana. Prince Claus died in 2002.
10 June 1967: Princess Margrethe of Denmark and Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat (later Margrethe II and Prince Henrik). Count Henri de Laborde de Monpezat was born on June 11, 1934, the son of Count André Laborde de Monpezat and Countess Renée de Monpezat. Princess Margrethe of Denmark, the daughter of the late Crown Prince Frederick & Crown Princess Ingrid (later King Frederick and Queen Ingrid) was born on April 16, 1940. Margrethe was not born to be Queen of Denmark, but starting in 1947 the process of changing the constitution had begun to allow for women to succeed to the throne. The Danish Act of Succession was approved in 1953 & Margrethe became the Heiress Presumptive. Princess Margrethe of Denmark married Count Henri on June 10, 1967. Count Henri’s name was Danicized to Henrik, and he was given the title Prince of Denmark. They are the parents of two children: Crown Prince Frederick and Prince Joachim. Henrik became Prince Consort of Denmark in 1972, upon his wife’s accession to the throne.
30 July 1967: Prince Hans-Adam of Liechtenstein and Marie Aglae, Countess Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau. Marie Aglae, Countess Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau was born on April 14, 1940, the daughter of Count Ferdinand Carl Kinsky z Vchynic a Tetova and his wife Countess Henriette von Ledebur-Wicheln. Prince Hans-Adam of Liechtenstein, the eldest son of the late Franz Joseph II, Prince of Liechtenstein & his wife Countess Georgina von Wilczek, was born on February 14, 1945. On July 30, 1967, Prince Hans-Adam married Countess Marie, and they are the parents of four children: Prince Alois, Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein, Prince Maximilian, Prince Constantin and Princess Tatjanna. In 2004, Prince Hans-Adam turned over day-to-day governmental power to his son, Prince Alois, although he remains Head of State.
29 August 1968: Prince Harald of Norway and Sonja Haraldsen (later Harald V and Queen Sonja). Prince Harald of Norway was born on February 21, 1937, the son of Crown Prince Olav of Norway (later King Olav of Norway) and Crown Princess MÃ¤rtha of Sweden. Sonja Haraldsen was born on July 4, 1937, the daughter of Dagny Ulrichsen and Karl August Haraldsen. During WWII, Prince Harald and his sisters (both older than him) first fled to Sweden, but they were not really welcomed there, even though their mother was a Swedish Princess by birth. They later moved to Washington DC, where they stayed until the end of the war in 1945. After dating for nine years, Prince Harald proposed to Sonja Haraldsen. There was some opposition to the marriage as Sonja was a commoner but Prince Harald let it be known that if he didn’t marry her…then he wasn’t getting married. After receiving governmental approval, the couple was married on August 29, 1968. They are the parents of Princess Martha Louise and Crown Prince Haakon. Prince Harald became King of Norway in 1991, upon the death of his father.
20 April 1960: Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia. Grand Duchess Xenia was a daughter of Tsar Alexander III of Russia and Tsarina Maria Feodorovna (born Princess Dagmar of Denmark). In August 1894 she married a cousin, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, with whom she had seven children. In 1918, after the murder of her brother Tsar Nicholas II and his family, Xenia, her mother, and other members of the family were rescued from the Crimea by the British Navy. She settled in England, where she lived in grace-and-favour accommodation provided by George V. She died in April 1960, leaving a small legacy to her children, her husband having died many years earlier, in 1933.
24 November 1960: Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia. Olga was the younger sister of Grand Duchess Xenia (see above). In 1901 she married Duke Peter Alexandrovich of the Oldenburg branch of the family. This was not a happy marriage, and it was annulled in 1916. Olga then married Col. Nikolai Kulikovsky, with whom she had had a long-standing affair. After World War I she remained in Russia even though her mother and other family members had been evacuated, but in 1919 she fled to Denmark with her husband and children. In order to put more distance between herself and Stalin, she and her family emigrated to Canada after World War II; she remained there for the rest of her life.
26 February 1961: Mohammed V of Morocco. Mohammed V became Sultan of Morocco in 1927 on the death of his father, Yusef. He reigned until 1953, when he was deposed by the French, and did not return to the throne until 1955. He became styled as King in 1957, and reigned as such until his death in 1961 after minor surgery. He was succeeded by his son Hassan, father of the present King Mohammed VI.
28 November 1962: Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands. Wilhelmina became Queen at the age of 10 following the deaths of her three elder brothers and her father, William III. She married Hendrik of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, with whom she had one child, Princess Juliana. She was evacuated to Britain during World War II, where she coordinated the Dutch resistance after the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands. In 1948, after a reign of 58 years, she abdicated in favour of her daughter, who became Queen Juliana, while Wilhelmina reverted to the style of Princess. Princess Wilhelmina died in 1962 at the age of 82 and was buried in the Dutch royal family’s crypt.
6 March 1964: King Paul of Greece. King Paul was the third son of Constantine I of Greece. He succeeded to the throne in 1947 when his eldest brother George II died without children, and reigned until his death in 1964. He and his wife, Queen Frederika, had three children, including ex-King Constantine of Greece and the current Queen Consort of Spain, Queen Sofia. The King and Queen became increasingly unpopular as republican propaganda took hold in Greece. King Paul died of stomach cancer in March 1964 and was succeeded by his son Constantine, who reigned for less than 10 years before being deposed and exiled.
12 November 1964: Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg. Grand Duchess Charlotte was a daughter of Grand Duke William IV of Luxembourg; she was born in 1896, two years after her sister Marie-Adelaide. Marie-Adelaide succeeded her father on his death in 1914, since he had no sons. She was forced to abdicate in January 1919 after being perceived as too friendly toward Germany; she was succeeded by her younger sister, Charlotte. Charlotte married Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma in December 1919, and they had six children. The eldest, Prince Jean, succeeded his mother on her death in 1964 and reigned until his abdication in favour of his son Henri, in 2000. Grand Duchess Charlotte is buried in Notre Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg.
7 March 1965: Queen Louise of Sweden. Queen Louise was the second wife of Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden, whose first wife Princess Margrethe (born Princess Margaret of Connaught) had died of an ear infection while eight months pregnant. Louise was the younger daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria through Victoria’s second daughter, Alice. She was also the sister of Princess Alice of Battenberg (mother of Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh) and Lord Louis Mountbatten. She married Gustav Adolf in 1923. They had no children, although she gave birth to a stillborn daughter in 1925. She became Queen of Sweden in October 1950 on the accession of her husband, and she died in March 1965 following emergency surgery.
23 November 1965: Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians. Queen Elisabeth, known as the Red Queen for her visits to communist countries, was born into the Bavarian ruling family in 1876 and married Albert I of Belgium in 1900. Albert became King on the death of his father in December 1909 and reigned untl 1934, when he died in a mountaineering accident. Elisabeth continued her royal duties after being widowed, and is credited with helping to save many Jewish children from the Nazis during World War II. She died in November 1965, aged 89, and is buried in the royal vault of the Church of Our Lady in Brussels.
27 August 1968: Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. Princess Marina was a daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece and hence a first cousin to Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s consort, who was the son of Nicholas’s brother Andrew. Marina grew up in exile and relative poverty after the royal family was overthrown. In 1934 she married George V’s youngest son, George Duke of Kent, with whom she had three children. She was widowed in 1942 when her husband died in an air crash. She did not remarry but did continue to work as an active member of the royal family with duties and patronages. She was active until just before her death in 1968, shortly after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. A few weeks earlier, she had attended Wimbledon and presented the trophy to the ladies’ champion.
15 April 1969: Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain. Princess Victoria Eugenie (Ena) of Battenberg was the daughter of Princess Beatrice, youngest daughter of Queen Victoria, and her husband Prince Henry of Battenberg. She was born in 1887. In May 1906 she married King Alfonso XIII, narrowly escaping death from an assassin’s bomb during the wedding procession. The marriage was not happy, with Alfonso blaming her for introducing haemophilia into the Spanish royal family and criticising her pro-English outlook, and she was not popular in Spain. She went into exile with the rest of the Spanish royal family in 1931. During the exile, Queen Ena and King Alfonso separated, and Queen Ena divided her time between Britain and Switzerland. She visited Spain for the christening of her great-grandson Prince Felipe (currently Prince of Asturias), but did not attempt to return. She died in April 1969 and was buried in Lausanne. In 1985 her remains were reburied in the Royal Vault of the Escorial.
Accessions, Enthronements, Jubilees, and Abdications
3 March 1961: Accession of Hassan II of Morocco, upon the death of his father, Mohammed V. He reigned until his death in 1999, when he was succeeded by his eldest son Mohammed V
6 March 1964: Accession of Constantine II of Greece upon the death of his father, King Paul. His reign ended de facto in 1967, when he went into exile after a failed counter-coup. However, he remained nominally the reigning King of Greece until 1973, when the republic was proclaimed.
4 November 1964: Accession of King Faisal Ibn Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia upon the abdication of his brother, Saud bin Abdul Aziz. He reigned until his death in 1975, when he was shot by the son of one of his half brothers. He was succeeded by his half-brother Khalid.
12 November 1964: Accession of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg upon the death of his mother, Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg. He reigned until his abdication in 2000, when he was succeeded by his eldest son, Henri.
13 December 1967: Constantine II of the Hellenes went into exile after a failed counter-coup to try to depose the military junta. The King nominally remained Head of State until 1973, when the military junta abolished the monarchy and declared Greece to be a republic.
1 July 1969: Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. He was already created Prince of Wales in 1958.
Major World Events
Early 1960s: Start of the Vietnam War. After a previous war in the 1950s, Vietnam was divided in a communist north, supported by China and the USSR, and a liberal south, supported by the USA and other members of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). Communist groups within South Vietnam started a guerilla war against the established government, supported by North Vietnam troops. To prevent the communists from taking over South Vietnam, the US entered into the war. At first, they only sent advisors to support the South Vietnam army, but as the guerrilla war of the communist Vietcong became more successful, more and more American combat troops were sent to the area. The conflict escalated in the late 1960s, with the Tet Offensive of the North Vietnamese army. The war would continue until the early 1970s, and ended with the unification of Vietnam and the withdrawal of the foreign troops. Public opinion in the US rapidly swung from support to opposition. The anti-war movement resulted in massive street protests and sit-ins, mostly centered around universities and churches.
Early 1960s: Civil Rights Movement in the USA came into full swing. Already in the late 1950s, the African-American community in the USA began to oppose the institutional discrimination of their community with several acts of nonviolent protest, such as boycotts, sit-ins and marches. Most famous must be the civil disobedience of Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. This inspired a bus boycott of over a year in the city of Montgomery, which ended only when the buses were desegregated. This boycott also ensured the fame of Martin Luther King Jr., who organised the boycott and who became the public face of the movement. Several events like this resulted in administrative reforms which were to end the discrimination between black and white communities. The Civil Rights Act of 1968, issued a few days after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in his hotel in Memphis, dismissed any possible legal basis for discrimination and concluded this movement.
12 April 1961: Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into outer space, and the first to orbit the earth. He orbited the earth for 108 minutes and thus was the first to see what our globe looks like from above. This amazing achievement by the communist USSR was the incentive for the US to claim they would have a human on the moon before the end of the decade. Yuri Gagarin traveled the world to talk about his experience and promote the Soviet achievement. All astronauts/cosmonauts who traveled into outer space after him with the Russian space rockets still follow the exact same routine of events which happened to Yuri Gagarin before his space trip.
5 to 10 June 1967: Six-Day War between Israel and the surrounding Arab countries, Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Egypt had occupied the Sinai peninsula, closed the Straits of Tiran to ships sailing under Israeli flag and stationed troops at the Israeli border in May 1967. Israel reacted with an attack on Egypt’s air force, destroying most of the Egyptian fleet. The result was that Jordan now attacked Israel, along with Egypt and Syria. Other Arab states also delivered troops and arms. The result of the short war was that Israel gained control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. This war still affects the geopolitics in the region.
20 July 1969: First lunar landing of a manned space craft. On July 21, Neil Armstrong is the first man to set foot on the moon. He then spoke the legendary words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. He and his fellow astronauts, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, were followed on television by over 500 milion people worldwide. Their endeavour was one of the many great achievements spurred on by the space race between the USA and the USSR.
- January 2009 Newsletter: The 1890s
- February 2009 Newsletter: The 1900s
- March 2009 Newsletter: The 1910s
- April 2009 Newsletter: The Roaring 1920s
- May 2009 Newsletter: The 1930s