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Old 05-11-2012, 09:53 AM
Dierna23's Avatar
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I see what you mean, Marc. But compared to Catherine, who adapted the lifestyle of the country she ruled over and where she spent the most time of her life, Princess Michael is at least half Austrian-Hungarian, was raised by her Austrian-Hungarian mother and speaks German with an unmistakable Austrian accent. As her father was foremost Silesian it is not that easy to call them German IMO. I do know Silesians myself and I can assure that they first of all consider themselves Silesian and not German or Polish (which is, BTW, difficult for Silesians, as they aren't seen as Germans in Germany or Poles in Poland either). I'm not an expert when it comes to Silesia, but its history is difficult. I know that one of Princess Michael's biographies stated that she is in fact only one quarter German (dunno if that's correct) and in this interview she more or less says that her father's Silesia was the one who was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire:

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Desert Island Discs, HRH Princess Michael of Kent

It's an interesting interview by the way - a 40 minutes conversation.

It's all pretty tricky I think. I come from a part of Germany where most people feel more French than German (and by blood we are more French/Celtic for sure), yet, through political decisions, we belong to Germany now, speak German and count as German.

I'm not sure, but I believe that Günther von Reibnitz' first language must have been German. People from that area in Silesia also spoke a dialect, known as "wasserpolnisch" (a mixture between Polish, Czech and German). His background and family history are quite complicated - wasn't his German maternal grandmother in fact Jewish? One of the bios says that Ida Crone, who married von Reibnitz' maternal grandfather, was Jewish...

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Old 05-11-2012, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by NoorMeansLight View Post
In fact, German & Austrian are two different ethnicities.

Different ethicities? Not really ... Or then you have to differentiat also between Bavarians and Franks (Franken not Franzosen) and Hessen and Allemannen and so forth ...

This whole area in one sense has different 'tribes', but in an broader context there is not a difference between the people in Bavaria or Vorarlberg or Tirol or some parts in Switzerland.

The boarders don't follow 'tribes-land-boarder' but shifted for politically, marriage and a lot of other reasons, and where constituted (more or less) after Napoleon times ... so no there are NOT ethnically different.

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Old 05-12-2012, 09:40 AM
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Marc23, I know what the British people think about Princess Michael's background. The same stories in the press have been going on and on forever. You will kindly allow me to think out of the box.

Nice Nofret, thank you for the correction. What I intended to write was 'two different nationalities'. These days an Austrian doesn't identify him/herself as a German too, and vice versa. Anyway, my main point was that I strongly disagree with Auntie's pattern of thought.

Dierna23, thanks for providing such precious info! Nice conversation everyone!
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NoorMeansLight View Post
Marc23, I know what the British people think about Princess Michael's background. The same stories in the press have been going on and on forever. You will kindly allow me to think out of the box.
Of course,as Germans and Austrians differ among themselves in PM's case it's all the same when British Press is concerned...they are not too enthusiastic about her,so they don't even bother to make proper informations available

I don't want to tell you what you should think,but I just stated what majority in Britain think about her,mainly due to bad press she received over the years!
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Diarist View Post
Princess Michael herself was aware of the rumours about her [alleged] nicknames, and once told a magazine that they were completely untrue, as the Queen calls her 'MC' for Marie Christine.

This is true...The Queen calls her indeed "MC" Marie-Christine.

You can hear that at 6:43min. when she presented the Princess,during the Poland state visit to the Polish president:

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Old 07-16-2014, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CarolinaLandgrave View Post
Very interesting thread.... I had no idea of Princess Michael of Kent's background. I just assumed she came from some some obscure, yet noble, Continental family.
Well,apart from her grandfather Friedrich,who was an Austrian ambassador in Russia before the WWI,her great-grandfather Alfred was the Prime-Minister of the Austro-Hungarian Empire...
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Dierna23 View Post
You're welcome, Lenora! There's a biography about Princess Michael by Barry Everingham and it has a portrait from her as a teenager in it. Her paternal grandmother was Ida von Eichstedt whose father was German and her mother, Ida Crone, was the daughter of a Jewish merchant. I know nothing about the Crone's origin and if there's a Russian link. Perhaps someone can help us here? I believe I've read something similar and Princess Michael told that one of her grandfathers had lived and served in Russia. But I'm not sure, I'm sorry!
I have read about Krohn family history...It is said that the earliest known Krohn was Niclaus Krohn,died in 1617 whose grave can be found in the Richtenberg city church from which the Krohn family originated from...there is no mention of any Jewish connection.

Indeed,the Krohn family ancestor of Princess Michael of Kent moved from Germany to Sankt Peterburg where his uncle was Kappelmeister at the Court of Empress Catherine the Great...

Is is said that he was a tall,good-looking man and as such soon became lover of the Empress...As a present,she gave him the land beside Newa river and the money of 30.000 rubles to start his own brewery...Today,this brewery is called Stepan Razin brewery and is one of the biggest in Russia...

Anyway,his granddaughter was Ida Nadezda Krohn,born in Sankt Peterburg(Russia),daughter of his son Friedrich.She married Baron Hugo von Eickstadt and died in castle of Gross Grauden(I posted pictures of the castle some of my posts earlier).She is a great-grandomother of Princess Michael of Kent through her paternal side,so she may thought of her when she mentioned one of her ancestors from her father's side was "Russian"...

Still today Krohn family descendants still posses a snuff box decorated with pearls,precious stones decorated with initials of Empress Catherine the Great...

Btw,Krohn family also owned beautiful manor house in Finland:

It came into Krohn family through the marriage to the heiress of the Dannenberg family...

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