October 2007 Newsletter: Male Consorts
The ‘Consorts’ are usually associated with Females. The idea of Male Consorts is relatively more unusual.
Prince Henrik once mentioned that ‘in the eye of the public, the Prince consorts have no existence of their own, because we're only defined by our other half... The Queen's Husband’.
The Duke of Edinburgh once bitterly remarked that he is ‘the only father in the country unable to pass his name to his children’.
There are countries that didn’t have Male Consorts at all, whether because of Salic Laws (like in France), or simply because there were always male heirs.
While some Consorts, like Prince Albert, have managed to have their say in the History, others resigned to the fact that the public life of the Prince Consort cannot be separated from that of the Queen, so most of what he accomplished was tied to her accomplishments.
The position in which the Prince Consorts were and are placed by their marriages offers considerable difficulties. With the potential of more Prince Consorts in future (especially since many of Europe’s future heirs are females), we thought it would be interesting to have a look how Consorts of the Queen Regnants coped with their position in the past.
Some Male Consorts are missing because they were Monarchs of different countries in their own right, like Philip II of Spain, Consort of Queen Mary I of England. Some others are omitted simply because the size of the newsletter wouldn’t allow including every single Male Consort there had ever been.
Bearing in mind the recent 40th Wedding Anniversary of Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik, as well as upcoming 60th Wedding Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, our main focus is on these two remarkable Men, who’ve managed to handle their positions exceptionally well.
And finally, we wish you all a not too rainy and pleasant October! :flowers:
Norwegianne, Zonk and Avalon
Ysbel, our long standing Picture of the Month Polls Coordinator decided to have a little more spare time (and considerably less headache) and stepped down from her position of Coordinator. We all want to say a big Thank You to ysbel for her magnificent job, her patience and her great advices.
We would also like to welcome Empress as new Picture of the Month Coordinator and Lady Jennifer as Assistant Picture of the Month Coordinator. We are sure they will both do an excellent job.
Meanwhile, Mandy has returned to her old position of Picture of the Month Supervisor.
Don't forget about our new venture - if you are interested in writing an article about something royalty-connected, please contact ysbel, Mandy Ennyllorac, Elspeth or Avalon. We will be glad to discuss your ideas.
We already have very interesting articles and we hope to introduce you all to them fairly soon.
And lastly, remember that we are on constant lookout for new Moderators and Picture of the Month Committee Members.
If you are interested to become a Moderator, please send one of the Administrators (Warren, Mandy, norwegianne, Elspeth, Ennyllorac or Avalon) the information we ask in this thread.
If you want to become a Committee Member for any of the Picture of the Month Teams, contact one of the Picture of the Month Coordinators (Empress and Lady Jennifer), Picture of the Month Supervisor (Mandy) or the PoM Representative of the Committee you are interested to join.
September 1st - Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
September 3rd - Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia
September 5th - Pierre Rainier Stefano Casiraghi
September 6th - Prince Hisahito of Japan
September 7th - Prince Rudolf Ferdinand of Liechtenstein
September 8th - Duke Paul Marie of Oldenburg
September 11th - Princess Kiko of Japan
September 11th - Queen Paola of Belgium
September 11th - Prince Talal of Jordan
September 11th - Princess Iman of Iran
September 12th - Prince Mohammed of Jordan
September 13th - Princess Astrid of Liechtenstein
September 13th - Archduchesses Monika and Michaela of Austria
September 14th - Count Friedrich Richard Oscar Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
September 15th - Prince Henry of Great Britain
September 15th - Crown Princess Letizia of Austrias
September 15th - Princess Jalilah of Jordan
September 17th - Odysseas Kimon, Prince of Greece and Denmark
September 17th - Duchess Rixa Marie-Alix of Oldenburg
September 17th - Crown Princess Pavlos Marie-Chantal of Greece and Denmark
September 22nd - Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
September 23rd - Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna of Russia
September 25th - Prince Johan Friso van Oranje-Nassau
September 26th - Princess Salma of Jordan
September 27th - Princess Iman of Jordan
September 29th - Baroness Christina Louise Silfverschiold
September 29th - Juan Urdangarín y Bórbon
September 30th - Princess Maria-Esmeralda of Belgium
September 30th - Ari Behn
Sepember 4th - Donna Lavinia dei Principi Borromeo Arese Taverna & John Elkann 2004
September 7th - Prince Ali and Rym al-Brahimi: 8 September 2004
September 8th - Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg & Sibilla Weiller 1994
September 9th - Crown Prince Bilah of Brunei & Sarah Salleh - September 2004
September 10th - Archduchess Constanza of Habsburg & Prince Franz-Joseph Auersperg-Trautson 1994
September 10th - Tom Parker Bowles & Sara Buys 2005
September 11th - Archduke Sigismund of Austria-Tuscany & Lady Elyssa Edmonstone 1999
September 12th - Simoneta Gomez-Acebo & José Miguel Fernández Sastrón 1990
September 13th - Erbprinz Philipp zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg & Saskia Li Binder, 2003
September 15th - Prince Kyril of Bulgaria & Rosario Nadal, 15 September 1989
September 16th - Prince Hussain Aga Khan and Princess Khaliya: 16 September 2006
September 18th - King Constantine of Greece & Princess Anne Marie of Denmark 1964
September 18th - Beltrán Gómez-Acebo Borbón & Laura Ponte 2004
September 19th - Princess Anna of Bourbon-Two Sicilies & Count Rodolphe de Causans 2005
September 21st - Princess Margarita of Romania & Radu Duda 1996
September 22nd - Princess Astrid Of Belgium & Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este 1984
September 24th - Alvaro Fernandez de Araoz Gomez Acebo & Nathalie Picquot 2005
September 25th - Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy & Clotilde Courau 2003
September 25th - http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums/f31/duchess-elisabeth-bavaria-daniel-terberger-2004-a-3684.html
Sepember 27th - http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...a-de-borbon-do
September 29th - Prince Louis of Luxembourg and Tessy Antony: September 29, 2006
State and Official Visits
Queen Rania in China - September 4-7, 2007
State Visit from Brazil: 12-13 September 2007
State Visit from Brazil, 13 & 14 September, 2007
Official Visit to New York, 17-21 September, 2007
Mette-Marit's visit to the Red Cross Center in Sandvika
WA & Maxima´s Official Visit to Slovenia; 2-4 Oct. 2007
Crown Princess Victoria's Official Visit to China - September 2005
Photoshoot at Skaugum - 3/9-2007
HM King Carl XVI Gustaf's Enthronement
Princess Grace of Monaco dies 25 years ago
Prince Louis and Tessy have second son: Noah
Queen Paola´s 70th birthday; September 11, 2007
Infanta Leonor starts school - Photocall on September 7th, 2007
Crown Princess Mary establishes The Mary Foundation: 11 September 2007
Presentation of Infanta Sofia to the Virgin of Atocha - September 19th, 2007
October 1 - Birthday of Crown Prince Himani of Nepal
October 1 - Birthday of Prince Nicholaos of Greece
October 4 - Birthday of Prince Emmanuel of Belgium
October 5 - Birthday of Archduchess Walburga of Austria
October 5 - Birthday of Princess Noor of Jordan
October 7 - Birthday of Queen Saleha of Brunei
October 8 - Birthday of Laure Clementine Napoleon
October 9 - Birthday of Prince Edward, The Duke of Kent
October 11 - Birthday of Prince Faisal of Jordan
October 11 - Birthday of Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg
October 11 - Birthday of Princess Luisa Maria of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este
October 11 - Birthday of Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands
October 12 - Birthday of Prince Boris of Bulgaria
October 13 - Birthday of Jaime (Jacques) de Bourbon-Parma, Count of Bardi
October 13 - Birthday of Archduchess Gabriella of Austria
October 13 - Birthday of Margarita de Bourbon-Parma, Countess of Colorno
October 14 - Birthday of Empress Farah Pahlavi
October 15 - Birthday of HRH Prince Christian of Denmark
October 15 - Birthday of Sarah, Duchess of York
October 16 - Birthday of Princess Kritika of Nepal
October 17 - Birthday of Princess Marie Caroline of Liechtenstein
October 18 - Birthday of Princess Aimée of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven
October 19 - Birthday of Prince Charles Napoleon and Princess Catherine Napoleon
October 19 - Birthday of Prince Laurent of Belgium
October 20 - Birthday of Empress Michiko of Japan
October 21 - Birthday of Shaikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
October 23 - Birthday of Princess Mako of Japan
October 24 - Birthday of Prince Nikolaus Ferdinand Maria Josef Raphael of Liechtenstein
October 24 - Birthday of Princess Caroline Napoleon
October 25 - Birthday of Princess Yoko of Mikasa
October 25 - Birthday of King Michael of Romania
October 25 - Birthday of Princess Elisabeth of Belgium
October 26 - Birthday of Lucas van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven
October 26 - Birthday of Ashraf Pahlavi
October 26 - Birthday of late Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
October 27 - Birthday of Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi
October 27 - Birthday of Princess Anita of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven
October 28 - Birthday of Hereditary Princess Sophie Elisabeth Marie Gabrielle of Liechenstein
October 28 - Birthday of Prince Omar of Jordan
October 29 - Birthday of Tessy de Nassau
October 29 - Birthday of Prince Konstantinos-Alexios
October 29 - Birthday of Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
October 31 - Birthday of Princess Nora of Liechtenstein
October 31 - Birthday of Princess Margaretha Mrs Ambler
October 31 - Birthday of Count Carl Johan Bernadotte of Wisborg
October 31 - Birthday of Crown prince Reza Pahlavi
October 31 - Birthday of HRH Infanta Leonor of Spain
October 3, 1990 - Death Anniversary of Stefano CasiraghiOctober 6, 2003 - Death of Prince Claus of the Netherlands
October 26, 2001 - Death Anniversary of Queen Soraya Esfandiary
October 4 - Wedding Anniversary of Infanta Cristina and Inaki Urdangarin
October 8 - Wedding Anniversary of David, Viscount Linley and Serena Stanhope
October 12 - Wedding Anniversary of Infanta Margarita and Don Carlos Zurita
October 18 - Wedding Anniversary of Archduke Paul Georg von Habsburg & Erika von Oldenburg
October 22 - Wedding Anniversary of Prince Floris and Aimee Soehngen
October 26 - Wedding Anniversary of Kalina of Bulgaria and Kitin Munoz
October 31 - Wedding Anniversary of Charles Bourbon two Siciles and Camilla Crociani
State Visit to Germany
Queen Silvia in Estonia
State Visit from Germany
Princess Astrid's visit to USA
Queen Sofía visits El Salvador
WA and Maxima´s Official Visit to Bhutan
Danish Crown Prince Couple Official Visit to Romania
Princess Astrid: Official Visit to Tanzania for “Roll back Malaria"
Other Events of Note
Baptism of Princess Ariane: October 20th 2007
Opening Of Parliament – October 2,2007
Opening of Parliament (Stortinget) 2/10-07
The King's Gala Dinner for Stortinget - 2007
Enthronement Ceremony Anniversary of Grand-Duke Henri
source - kongehuset.dk, credit - Steen Evald
It can be hard for a husband to have to walk behind his wife, but Prince Henrik of Denmark have seemingly managed to get used to the idea. However, there have been cases of him feeling discriminated because he is male in a role that is traditionally female, eg. the role of consort to the monarch. In January 2002 Queen Margrethe couldn't attend the New Year's Cour because of broken ribs. The logical deduction, Henrik argued, would be as would have been done if the same had happened to King Frederik IX - his wife would have stepped in to host it instead, with help from the heir. In this situation, however, the impression given by the media was that the heir stepped up to host it, with help from the spouse. It has already been argued ad nauseaum in the Danish press whether or not this was correct, but the main point for Prince Henrik was that he felt delegated to a third place in his own family, which resulted in an interview with Bodil Cath published in newspaper BT on February 3, 2002. His family joined him at the Chateau in France, where they held a press conference/photoshoot .
But, let's get back to the beginning. Prince Henrik of Denmark was born Henri de Laborde de Monpezat on June 11, 1934, in his grandmother's house in Talence, France. Henri would have 8 brothers and sisters, although not all of them reached adult age. The first five years of his life was in Vietnam, where his father ran a business started by his grandfather.
In 1939 The Monpezat family returned to France. What was to be a short visit, was transformed into a very long one by the outbreak of WWII. They lost the income from the business in Vietnam, and had to live off their farm in France. Henri and his brothers and sisters were taught privately at home during this period, and this is when he started to play the piano. He began his schooling away from home, at a boarding school in Bordeaux, at the age of 13. He also continued with his piano lessons and would later perform as a pianist for the family with his father-in-law as the conductor.
Henri returned to Hanoi with his father in 1950 and became a student at the French lysée there. He passed his exams in 1952 and returned to France to start university in Paris at Sorbonne and the school of Oriental languages. He also spent a year as an exchange student at the university in Hong Kong. After the year in Hong Kong he spent some time in Saigon. There he worked briefly as a holiday temp for a radio DJ.
When he was 24 years old, Henri visited a shaman in the orient. The shaman proclaimed that he would get married at the age of 33, far away from his own country. He would disappear from the world, without dying. He would become a different person, famous and rich, and live surrounded by water.
In 1959, Henri joined the military and did his military service in Algier, during the war of Independence there. He was hired by the French foreign ministry in 1962, and worked in the Asiatic division for a while before joining the French embassy in London as an attaché in 1963.
In 1996 Prince Henrik published his autobiography in French, Destin Oblige, which was translated into Danish. In that biography he mentions his first meeting with his wife, back in 1965. He was attending a dinner party hosted by some friends. He had been informed that the Danish heir to the throne would be present, and therefore anticipated that the evening would be fairly dull. Henri therefore vowed that he would try to leave as soon as he could, to avoid the boredom. At dinner he was seated next to the "dull" heiress, and discovered that she wasn't dull at all. Quite the opposite.
Henri and Margrethe would have several meetings in the time that followed - outings with mutual friends, outings on their own, in the restaurants and nightclubs of London. Eventually they discovered that the attraction between them had matured into love. Henri mentions that it was easy for him to think about a Frenchman in London being in love with a Danish girl. He found it much more difficult to imagine what made the heir to the Danish throne fall in love with him. Henri agonized over making the right choice in terms of marriage. He wondered if the heir to the throne could truly follow her own heart in terms of picking who she wanted to marry, and would he be accepted by the Danes? He did not want to be the cause of Margrethe's abdication.
He eventually proposed at a St. John's Eve celebration in Denmark , and the answer was positive. The official engagement came in October 1966 and they were married in June 1967. Henri Laborde de Monpezat became Prins Henrik af Danmark - Prince Henrik of Denmark.
Henrik chose to give his wedding speech in Danish. He has later acknowledged that this was one of his worst ideas, as it aired on television, and he wasn't very familiar with the pronounciation of the language at the time. Learning to speak Danish was a process that took many year, and was made more difficult by the fact that he spoke French at home with his wife and later with his children. He spoke French with them, to give them the ability to be bilingual - with the consequence that his own Danish sufferend.
After the wedding, Henrik began his work as the consort of the future Queen of Denmark. One of the task was to become a pilot in the Danish Air Force - although he was not permitted to fly solo until after the conception and birth of his first child in order to ensure that the first child would be born.
In May 1968 the heir to the throne, Prince Frederik was born. A year later, Prince Joachim followed and the family was complete. As his wife was fairly busy, even more so after her father died, it became Prince Henrik who would oversee the majority of his sons' upbringing. Being of a different generation than today's parents, he may have seemed strict to us, but Prince Joachim mentioned that spending time with his father was a fascinating experience, while Crown Prince Frederik jokingly mentioned in his speech to his parents at their Silver Wedding anniversary that there is an old saying about punishing those we love - and the princes had never doubted the love from their father. Prince Henrik himself mentions that he believes in a firm and guiding, but loving hand, from parents to ensure that the children are guided onto the right path in life.
In 1974 Henrik and Margrethe purchased a rundown castle close to Henrik's parents' winery. Since then they have spent summers there, and Henrik produces wine that is sold all over the world.
They also work together in more intellectual endeavours - in 1981 they translated a book by Simone de Beauvoir from French to Danish together.
In 1984, the Danish government acknowledged the part played by Prince Henrik - and gave him his own allowance, separate from his wife's.
Prince Henrik enjoys inventing new recipes together with the royal chefs- and have published several cookbooks. He has also published quite a bit of poetry.
He is also fond of hunting for meat to the recipes. Other hobbies include sailing, tennis, and slalom.
Among his protectorates are:
• Alliance Française
• Blindes støttefond
• Bloddononerne i Danmark
• Dansk Epilepsiforening
• Dansk Fransk Handelsunion
• Dansk Kennel Klub
• Dansk Korforening
• Dansk militært Idrætsforbund
• Dansk Røde Kors
• Lion's Clubs International
• Nicolai Malko International Competition for Young Conductors
• Phuket Marine Biological Center
• Prix Littéraire des Ambassadeurs
• Scandinavian Festival of Music
• Société Huguenote
• Souvenir Francais
• Souvenir Normand - Dansk Normannisk Selskab
Prince Henrik mentions that "in the eye of the public, the Prince consorts have no existence of their own, because we're only defined by our other half... The Queen's Husband." With the potential of more prince consorts in the future - it will be interesting to see how or if one can learn from the past situations that arise when the gender roles are switched.
copyright - Crown Copyright, credit - Mark Lawrence, 2 Digital
Today, Prince Philip is regarded as the often controversial, yet inseparable part of the Royal Family. He is almost a perfect consort (or at least, as perfect as male consort can be), always making sure to walk a few steps behind the Queen and never overshadowing his wife. A proud man as he is, Philip had to agree that the surname of his children should be Windsor, rather then Mountbatten. He is the Queen’s castle and rock, her ‘Viking’. And it was the same way ever since they have met – on a good, sunny day in 1939, when the 13 years old future Queen of the United Kingdom laid her eyes on her tall and handsome cousin, 18 years old Prince Philip. They met to be separated by the World War 2, only to reunite after the victory and never part again.
Prince Philip was born on June 10, 1921 in Corfu, Greece. Through his father, Prince Andrew, he was a descendant of the Royal Houses of Greece, Denmark and Imperial Family of Russia. Through his mother, Princess Alice, he was a direct descendant of Queen Victoria, as well as descendant of the Swedish Royal House and Princely Houses of Battenberg, Hesse and Rhine.
The time of his birth corresponded with the politically unstable times in Corfu, and when Philip was about 1 years old, the Revolution started. King George V ordered the Royal Navy to evacuate the Family.
Philip’s family lived in Paris for the following few years but later he was sent to England, to continue his education. There, aged 18, he met his 2nd cousin, 13 years old Princess Elizabeth. Eight years later, on November 20, 1947, they were married.
Before the marriage, Philip was required to convert from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism and renounce Greek and Danish Royal titles. He took the name Mountbatten, and the day before the wedding, King George titled Philip The Duke of Edinburgh. Many of Philip’s relatives were not invited because of their ties with Nazis (like all 3 of his sisters, who were married to German Princes).
The young couple decided to enjoy the relatively free time they still had, fully aware of the future that was ahead of them. Philip returned to the Navy and was stationed in Malta, where Princess Elizabeth joined him.
The period between 1948 and 1951 is usually described as the happiest time for the couple: they enjoyed relative privacy in the island of Malta and welcomed two of their children, Charles and Anne.
In January 1952 The Duke and Princess Elizabeth set off for a tour of the Commonwealth. When they were in Kenya, King George died and Princess Elizabeth ascended the Throne as Queen Elizabeth II. Philip himself broke the news to the new Queen. They returned to England immediately. After her accession to the Throne, the Queen announced that the Duke was to have precedence next to the Queen on all occasions and meeting, which means the Duke is the first Gentleman of the land, preceding over his son, The Prince of Wales. Slightly more problematic proved to be the question of the Royal Family name. An order-in-council, issued in 1960, states that the surname of the male-line descendants of the Duke and the Queen, who wish to be HRH or Prince(ess) of the United Kingdom, was to be Windsor. This lead to the bitter remark from the Duke of Edinburgh that he is ‘the only father in the country unable to pass his name to his children’. In practice, however, the Duke’s children have all used Mountbatten-Windsor as their surname.
Another controversial issue was Prince Philip’s title: The Queen wanted to make him Prince of the Commonwealth, and Churchill reluctantly agreed to ask Commonwealth leaders to give their consent to the title, however the Duke requested the Queen to abandon attempts to ‘boost’ his title. Although there have long been talks the Queen would grant the Duke the title “Prince Consort” – title, created by Queen Victoria for Prince Albert and never used by any other spouse of a Monarch, but this never happened as well.
Although the Duke was unable to pursue his Naval Career after his wife became Queen, he nevertheless, always had close ties with the Military: in 1952, the Duke was given the rank and titles of Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal, Marshal of the Royal Air Force and Captain-General of the Royal Marines.
The Duke of Edinburgh has supported the Queen for almost 60 years, attended state visits abroad, and received foreign dignitaries together.
He is patron or president of some 800 organisations, with special interests in scientific and technological research and development, the encouragement of sport, the welfare of young people, and conservation and the environment.
Industry is a particular interest, and there is hardly an aspect of the UK's industrial life with which Prince Philip is not familiar.
He has visited research stations and laboratories, coalmines and factories, engineering works and industrial plants - all with the aim of understanding, and contributing to the improvement of, British industrial life.
As Patron of The Work Foundation, he has sponsored six conferences on the human problems of industrial communities within the Commonwealth.
The environment is another key interest. Since visiting Antarctica and the South Atlantic in 1956-57, Prince Philip has devoted himself to raising public awareness of the relationship of humanity with the environment.
He was the first President of World Wildlife Fund - UK (WWF) from its formation in 1961 to 1982, and International President of WWF (later the World Wide Fund for Nature) from 1981 to 1996. He is now President Emeritus of WWF.
He is perhaps most famous for his work with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which is aimed ‘to give young people a sense of responsibility to themselves and their communities’: the scheme now operates in 100 countries around the World.
For much of his life, Prince Philip has loved adventurous sporting pursuits, participating in polo, flying and sailing.
Now in his ninth decade, he still competes in carriage-driving, a sport which he has been instrumental in helping to shape, and for which he drew up the early rule book.
He has built up collections of contemporary art, including works by Australian and Scottish artists, and wildlife paintings. The Duke also enjoys painting in oils.
One of Prince Philip's more unusual collections is his series of contemporary cartoons, some featuring Royal occasions. They are hung in Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham and Balmoral.
In this interest, the Duke is following a tradition pursued by the Royal Family since the eighteenth century. Both George III and George IV collected caricatures, now in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
His Royal Highness is also an enthusiastic lover of wildlife. He became interested in bird-watching during two round-the-Commonwealth voyages in HMY Britannia in 1956-1957 and 1959. During the trips he was captivated by the sea birds of the South Pacific and South Atlantic.
The Duke is also well-known for his rather specific humour: speaking to a driving instructor in Scotland, the Duke asked: ‘How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?’
When visiting China in 1986, he told a group of British students, ‘If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed’.
He asked a British student in Papua New Guinea: ‘You managed not to get eaten then?’
To a Briton in Budapest, Hungary, he said ‘You can’t have been here that long – you haven’t got a pot belly’ (Hungarian food is indeed delicious though).
In 1966 he remarked that ‘British women can’t cook’.
In 1987, he wrote in his book If I Were An Animal that ‘in the event that I’m reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation’.
Prince Philip is a remarkable man: his critics and admirers are united at least in that question. He may have a specific sense of humour, but on the other hand he is every inch a Prince. He would be one, even if he had no blue blood in his veins: it’s just the way he behaves, smiles and presents himself. He has been criticized, and criticized harshly, especially when it comes to his relationships with his daughters-in-law (particularly the late Princess of Wales and Duchess of York) and his numerous gaffes. But one thing can not be denied: Prince Philip has always been there for the Queen. Can anyone imagine two of them without each other?
In 2002, on the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth, the Duke was commended by the Speaker of the House of Commons for his role in supporting the Queen during her reign.
Prince George of Denmark (Britain)
Prince George was born on April 2, 1653 as Prince Jørgen of Denmark and Norway. His father was Frederick III of Denmark and Norway, who introduced absolute Monarchy to those countries. Being from Protestant country, Jørgen was a suitable husband for Princess Anne; at that time, it was not likely that Anne would ever become Queen. On the day of his marriage, on July 28, 1683, Jørgen’s name was changed to more British-sounding George. He was created a British subject, a Knight of the Garter and Duke of Cumberland.
George and Anne were happy together and their marriage could have been called successful, but none of the children from the Queen’s 18 pregnancies survived adulthood. This low birth rate and poor infant survival, as well as the rumours circulating at the time, suggest that Prince George suffered from syphilis.
After Anne's older sister Mary moved to the Netherlands after her marriage to William III of Orange, Protestant opposition to James was increasingly focused on Anne and George instead of Mary. The social and political grouping centered on Prince George and Princess Anne was known as the "Cockpit Circle" after the Cockpit, their London residence. In 1688 the decision of William, Mary, George and Anne to stand against the embattled King James II was instrumental in whittling away the king's legitimacy and paved the way for the Glorious Revolution, which was led by William and supported by George.
Although George had good relationships with Mary, relationships with William were cooler: William apparently refused to attend James II's coronation in 1685 because George, as a senior member of a European royal family, would outrank him as elected stadholder of a republic; this mistrust was overcome during the revolution but dogged relations between George and William during the latter's reign. Some degree of reconciliation was achieved on Queen Mary's sudden and unexpected death from smallpox in 1694; but George did not play a senior role in government until his wife Anne succeeded William in 1702.
George was an able administrator and military strategist, and as Lord High Admiral, officially headed the Royal Navy in support of the military activities of Anne's favourite, the Captain-General Lord John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.
On George's death in 1708, Anne was disconsolate, and although she refused initially to put the Navy into commission she was unable to bring herself to sign papers in George's stead,
Charles II, Anne's uncle, famously said of Prince George, on the occasion of his marriage to Anne, "I have tried him drunk, and I have tried him sober; and there is nothing in him". He was not seen as one of the most colourful political characters of his day, but he was a skilled strategist and an able administrator, and a loyal and supportive husband to Queen Anne. By all accounts their marriage was a devoted and loving one in spite of their earlier personal tragedies,
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (United Kingdom)
Prince Albert was born on August 26, 1819 to Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. Albert’s aunt, Victoria, was married to Edward, Duke of Kent, the fourth son of King George III and was the mother of the future Queen Victoria. Thus Albert and Victoria were first cousins.
As a child, Albert was close to his younger brother: both suffered from their parents’ turbulent marriage and eventual separation. The boys were close to their mother, but she was exiled from court, barred from seeing her children again and died soon after.
Albert received good education and was a gifted young man: he attended the University of Bonn, where he studied natural science, political economy, philosophy, music, painting and excelled in gymnastics.
The idea of marriage between Albert and Victoria was cherished by their uncle, Kling Leopold of Belgium and the Duchess of Kent, athough King William IV, who disapproved of the Duchess of Kent and all her relatives, was strongly opposed to such prospect. When she met Albert at the Kensington Palace, she wrote to King Leopold and said that Albert was "extremely handsome" and thanked him for the "prospect of great happiness you have contributed to give me in the person of dear Albert. He possesses every quality that could be desired to render me perfectly happy."
After Victoria came to the throne on 20 June 1837, her letters show interest in Albert's being educated for the part he would have to play. When Victoria and Albert met next time, mutual inclination and affection brought about the result so desired by their uncle. On October 15, 1839 their engagement was announced and they were married on February 10, 1840. Albert was granted the style of Royal Highness.
Together Albert and Victoria had 9 children and all but Princess Louise married into European Royal Families.
Prince Albert, a man of cultured and liberal ideas, proved well qualified to take the lead in many reforms that the country needed. He had a special interest in applying science and art to the manufacturing industry. The Great Exhibition of 1851 originated in a suggestion he made at a meeting of the Society of Arts and owed the greater part of its success to his intelligent and unwearied efforts. However, he had to fight for every stage of the project: both the House of Lords and House of Commons were united in opposition. Although he received numerous abusive letters and threats, he didn't drop the project. The Queen opened the exhibition on 1 May 1851, and it proved a colossal success. The surplus of 186,000 pounds sterling it raised went to purchase land in South Kensington and establish a number of educational and cultural institutions, including what would later be named the Victoria and Albert Museum. This area of London is sometimes referred to as "Albertopolis".
Prince Albert involved himself in promoting many similar, smaller public, educational institutions. Chiefly at meetings in connection with these he found occasion to make the speeches collected and published in 1857. One of his memorable speeches was the inaugural address he delivered as president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science when it met at Aberdeen in 1859.
The education of his family and the management of his domestic affairs furnished the prince with another very important sphere of action, in which he employed himself with conscientious devotion. The estates of the Duchy of Cornwall, the hereditary property of his son, the Prince of Wales, improved greatly under his father's management.
As the prince became better known, public mistrust began to give way. In 1847 he was elected chancellor of the University of Cambridge. In June 1857 the formal title of Prince Consort was conferred upon him by letters patent, in order to settle certain difficulties as to precedence that had arisen at foreign courts.
Though Prince Albert is rightly credited with introducing the principle that the British Royal Family should remain above politics, in 1861, when the Trent Affair threatened war between the United States and Britain, it was largely due to Albert’s timely interference and influence that softened British diplomatic response and helped avoiding a war
During the autumn of 1861 he was busy with the arrangements for the projected international exhibition, and returning from a meeting in connection with that project that he was seized with his last illness. Although at first it was thought to be inluenza, it proved to be an attack of typhoid fever, and, congestion of the lungs supervening, he died on 14 December.
The Queen's grief was overwhelming, and the sympathy of the whole nation erased the tepid feelings the public had for him during his lifetime. Queen Victoria wore black, mourning for him for the rest of her long life.
The magnificent mausoleum at Frogmore is the last resting place of Prince Albert. Many public monuments were erected all over the country, the most notable being the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial in London.
Today, Queen Elizabeth II, King Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Margrethe, King Juan Carlos, King Peter II, Former King Constantine and numerous other Royals are his direct descendants. Thus, many consider Prince Albert to be the 'Grandfather of Europe'.
Although the position in which the prince was placed by his marriage offered considerable difficulties, the tactful way in which he filled it was inadequately appreciated, at least during his lifetime. The public life of the Prince Consort cannot be separated from that of the Queen, so most of what he accomplished was tied to her accomplishments.
Nevertheless, it is above arguments that Prince Albert was one of the greatest, if not greatest, Consorts the United Kingdom ever had.
Prince Hendrikof Mecklenburg-Schwerin (the Netherlands)
Choosing a husband for Queen Wilhelmina was not an easy task, but Duke Heinrich Wladimir Albrecht Ernst of Mecklenburg-Schwerin seemed to be a perfect candidate. They were were introduced and an engagement followed quickly afterwards.
Heinrich’s name was dutchified to Hendrik and he received the title Prince of The Netherlands. He didn’t, however, receive the title Prince of Orange and an allowance, as promised by the Government.
Though the marriage started well, the first cracks appeared fairly soon. Since the Dutch court had no experience with Prince Consorts, nobody knew what to do with Hendrik. He hoped to be some sort of political advisor to his wife, but the Queen made it clear that he wasn’t to interfere.
The lack of money and the idleness made Hendrik look for entertainment elsewhere: he made debts, had various lovers. It was even suspected that his sexual diseases were the cause of Queen Wilhelmina's several miscarriages. But in 1909 the heir, Juliana, was born.
As Hendrik was not allowed to be involved in politics, in the beginning of his marriage Hendrik was mostly active at Palace Het Loo, involved in forestry and hunting. Later he became a chairman of the Red Cross and received honorary ranks in the army, but he was not satisfied by these functions: Once Hendrik remarked ‘Ich bin nur das Gepack’ - ‘I am only the luggage’.
He kept making more debts and seeing more women and the Queen had to pay those debts. After a while she had enough of it and had her confident, Francois Van’t Sant taking care of the blackmail, debts amd Hendrik's behavior.
During the last years of his life Hendrik’s health quickly declined. He became rheumatic and in 1929 had his first heart attack. On July 3, 1934 the second stroke caused Hendrik’s death. His funeral was all in white, as he saw the death as rebirth into a new life.
Prince Bernhard zu Lippe-Biesterfeld (the Netherlands)
After 7 years search for a husband for Crown Princess Juliana, the HSH Prince Bernhard zu Lippe-Biesterfeld seemed answer to their prayers. Bernhard introduced himself to Juliana in Austria in January 1936 and they got engaged half a year later.
The Prince, born on June 29, 1911, was the son of Prince Bernhard Sr. and the divorced baroness Armgard von Sierstopff-Cramm. As his uncle didn't approve the marriage of his father to a divorcee, at the time of his birth Bernhard was only a Count, but in 1916 he and his brother were elevated to Princes of Lippe-Biesterfield.
Bernhard spent his younger years at the estate Reckenwalde where he received private lessons. Later he would study in Berlin, Munich and Lausanne. After his studies he worked for Berlin-NW7, the company espionage branch of German pharmaceutical IG Farben. The Prince also became a member of the SA, the NSDAP and the Reiter-SS, although, as he later claimed, those memberships didn’t mean he had Nazi sympathies
In January 1937 Bernhard married Princess Juliana. He lost his German nationality and became HRH Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands, Prince van Lippe-Biesterfield. From this marriage 4 daughters - Beatrix, Irene, Margriet and Christina would be born.
When the World War II started, the Royal Family fled to London where Queen Wilhelmina led the Dutch government in exile. Prince Bernhard made it clear where his sympathies were and never had doubts about the final outcome of the war. He became Commander of the Dutch forces.
On May 5, 1945 he was present when the German troops surrendered in Wageningen.
The Dutch court gave the Prince more freedom and allowance than Prince Hendrik ever hoped to have. After the war Bernhard was very active in the military, always promoting the Trans-Atlantic relations, and undertaking various Economical missions. He was one of the co-founders of the World Nature Fund and he also started the Bilderberg conferences.
His marital life was more difficult: Juliana fall under the influence of the faith healer Greet Hofmans, hopeing she would cure her youngest daughter Christina from her near-blindness. Hofmans was said to control Queen Juliana and encouraged her pacifism. This caused a crisis at court and Bernhard and Juliana started to live in separate wings of Soestdijk palace. After the international press started writing about the story, the government installed a committee of ‘four wise men’ who had to solve the situation. The outcome was that Hofmans and her supporters had to leave the court. During those years, and later, Bernhard had looked elsewhere for female attention and he later acknowledged to have two illegitimate daughters, Alicia de Bielefeld and Alexia Lejeune.
In the 1976 another scandal arose, when it became clear that the Prince took bribes. The prime minister installed another committee of 'three wise men', who pointed at the end of their report that the Prince did take bribes. He was not charged, as Queen Juliana threatened to abdicate. To do justice and to limit the damage to the monarchy at the same time the Prince was requested not to wear military uniforms anymore and to drop several patronages.
After the abdication of his wife Juliana, the Prince stayed active in the fields of his interest (WWII veterans could always count on his attention and help) and despite his health problems, he still travelled a lot.
In March 2004 Queen Juliana died. He didn't live much longer and died in December of the same year. The Prince was buried in Delft.
Prince Claus von Amsberg (the Netherlands)
source -Government Information Service, copyright - RVD
On May 6, 1965 the ‘Daily Mail’ published paparazzi pictures of Crown Princess Beatrix walking hand in hand with an unknown man. He was quickly identified as Claus von Amsberg, a German diplomat. After the revelation, the couple was forced to take a decision and they announced their engagement. This caused a lot of upheaval in The Netherlands as Klaus was a German, had been a member of the Hitlerjugend and served in the Wehrmacht. The government requested a historian to look into the past of Claus and only after it was discovered that Klaus served in Italy, never took part in any fighting and not even a trace of anti-Semitism was found, did the Parliament decide to give permission for a wedding. The couple married on March 10, 1966, under the protests of WWII victims and anarchists.
The marriage would be a happy one and three sons were born within three years. The family lived in Drakensteyn Castle where they tried to protect their private life from the prying eyes of the public.
During his childhood Claus, his parents and his six sisters lived in Africa. He never forgot this continent and he started to work as an advisor to the minister of development aid. He briefly became the chairman of the National Committee of Development Strategy but the position was considered too political and he had to resign.
In 1980 his wife Beatrix succeeded Queen Juliana and the family moved to The Hague. With these changes the pressure on his family became much bigger: Prince had more ceremonial duties and seemed to suffer from the lack of ‘real’ work. In 1982 the Prince was committed to the hospital for 'complaints of depressive nature’. It would take him several years to overcome his depression.
In 1984 the government decided to use the competences of the Prince and he was installed as inspector-general of development aid. He also got a function in the Board of the Dutch Bank and became chairman of the export platform of the Ministry of Traffic. However in 1991 the depressions returned and the Prince also started to suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
In 1996 the Prince received the ‘Prince Claus Fund’ from the nation as a gift for his 70th birthday. The speeches he gave during this annual award were legendary and Prince Claus became the most popular member of the Royal Family. In this period his public image changed too: before he was usually considered a man in the shadow, sad and vulnerable. But now the public saw another side, his humor, his battle against gossip magazines, his openess agout himseld in the interviews. He opnly declared his love for his wife and once in a speech he took of his tie and threw it on the floor, as a funny protest against protocol.
During the last years of his life he suffered from several illnesses. In 1998 an operation for prostate cancer was successful but he got an infection when he was radiated in 2000. In 2001 a kidney was removed and he started to have troubles with the other kidney. The Prince was able to attend the wedding of his son Willem-Alexander to Maxima Zorreguieta and he saw his first grandchild, Countess Eloise.
On October 6, 2002 the Prince died from an ammonia and the consequences of Parkinson disease. He was buried 9 days later in Delft.
Prince Philip of Austria, Duke of Burgundy (Spain)
Philip the Handsome (Felipe el Hermoso) was born on July 22, 1478 to Emperor Maximilian of the Holy Roman Empire and Mary of Burgundy. Upon the death of his mother, he succeeded to her Burgundian possessions.
A period of turmoil ensued, which witnessed sporadic hostilities between the large towns of Flanders and the supporters of Maximilian. Young Philip was caught and briefly sequestered as part of the Flemish campaign to support their claims for greater autonomy. But soon both sides came to terms in the Peace of Senlis in 1493, which smoothed over the internal power struggle by agreeing to make Philip prince in the following year.
On October 20, 1496, he married Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. The marriage was one of a set of family alliances, mainly designed to strengthen against growing French power. Philip's sister Margaret married Juan, Prince of Asturias, the only son of Ferdinand and Isabella and successor to the unified crowns of Castile and Aragon. At the time of her marriage to Philip, Juana was third in line to the throne after Juan and elder sister Isabella.
However Juan died soon after his marriage to Margeret. The new heir was Infanta Isabella, who was married to Manuel I of Portugal. Isabella died giving birth to a son, Miguel, who was the heir of the united thrones of Castile, Aragon and Portugal. Miguel, however, died a few days after his birth, leaving Juana as the heir of the Castilian and Aragonese Crowns.
Because Ferdinand could still have male heirs (should he survive his wife and remarry), the Cortes of Aragon refused to recognize Juana and Philip as the heirs presumptive to the Kingdom of Aragon. In Castile, however, the succession was clear. At this point, the issue of Juana's mental incompetence moved to the centre of the political stage, since it was clear that Philip and his Burgundian entourage would be the real power-holders in the country.
When Isabella died, Ferdinand endeavored to lay hands on the regency of Castile, but the nobles forced him to withdraw. Philip was summoned to Spain, where he was recognized as king. Father and son-in-law mediated under Cardinal Cisneros at Remesal, the only result of which was an indecent family quarrel, in which Ferdinand professed to defend the interests of his daughter, who he said was imprisoned by her husband (as some historians argue, this claim might have had basis).
Although Philip and Joanna had 6 children (Charles, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, Eleanor, Queen Consort first to Manuel I of Portugal and secondly to Francis I of France, Isabella, Queen Consort of Christian II of Denmark, Mary, Queen Consort of Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia and Catherine, Queen Consort of John III of Portugal), their life together was rendered extremely unhappy by his infidelity and by her jealousy, which, working on a neurotic temperament, furthered her insanity.
A civil war would probably have broken out between them but Philip, who had only been in Spain long enough to prove his incapacity, died suddenly, apparently of typhoid fever, on September 25, 1506. His wife refused for long to allow his body to be buried or to part from it.
Prince Francis of Spain (Spain)
Francis was born on May 13, 1822 to Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain and Princess Luisa of the Two Sicilies. His parents were second cousins both from maternal and paternal lines.
Francis married his second cousin Isabella on October 10, 1846. Twelve children were born of the marriage, of which four reached adulthood: Alfonso XII of Spain, Isabel, Princess of Asturias, who parried her parents’ second cousin Prince Gajetan, Infanta Maria, who married her first cousin Prince Louis Ferdinand of Bavaria, and Infanta Eulalia, who married her first cousin don Antonio de Orléans y Borbón, Infante of Spain.
Both during Francis’ lifetime and later there has been considerable speculation that some or all of Isabella's children were not fathered by Francis, along with rumours that he was homosexual or had physical impediments.
Starting in 1864, Francis acted as president of the Spanish Privy Council (Consejo del Reino). In 1868 he went into exile with his wife in France. They were amicably separated and, with time, became good friends, which they had certainly not been while she was Queen regnant. In exile, Francis adopted the incognito title of Count of Moratalla. The 1874 restoration placed his son Alfonso XII on the throne.
Francis took up residence at the château of Épinay-sur-Seine, France, in 1881 and died there in 1902. The castle is currently the Épinay-sur-Seine city hall.
Gaston IV, Count de Foix (Navarre)
Gaston, Count de Foix, Viscount of Bearn founded a brief-ruling dynastic house of the Kingdom of Navarre. He was born on November 27, 1422 to John I of Foix-Grailly and Joan d’Albret. His maternal grandparents were Charles d'Albret, Constable of France and co-commander of the French army at the Battle of Agincourt where he was killed, and his wife Marie de Sully.
At the age of 14 Gaston married Infanta Leonor, daughter of John II and Blanche I of Navarre. Leonor had few chances to become a Queen: her father was a younger son and brother of the Kings of Aragon, her mother was the daughter of King Charles III of Navarre and Infanta Eleanor of Castile and had an older sister. Leonor herself had an older brother Charles and an older sister, Blanca. However, Leonor’s father usurped the throne of Navarre (the rightful heir was Leonor’s elder sister), to which he added the Throne of Aragon in 1458 (his older brother died without issues).
After the deaths of Leonor’s older brother and sister Charles and Blanca, Charles promised the Throne of Navarre to Leonor and her husband, if they remained loyal to him, which they promised (and fulfilled their promise). Although Gaston died before his father-in-law, years before his death Gaston was a co-ruler for John II. The brief reign of Leonor didn’t mark any substantial changes or important events. The few years Leonor reigned, she reigned in peace.
Gaston and Leonor had 8 children, including Gaston V de Foix, who was to become the father of Catherine of Navarre, and Margaret de Foix, who would become the mother of Anne of Brittany.
Jean d’Albret (Navarre)
Jean was born in 1469 to Lord Alain I d’Albret and Francoise of Châtillon-Limoges. When he was 15, he married Catherine, Countess of Foix. Catherine was not expected to become Queen, since she had an elder brother. But upon his death in 1483, she was proclaimed Queen of Navarre and Jean became King Consort of Navarre. Jean and Catherine were parents to 13 children.
Ferdinand II of Aragon disputed lands in Navarre on the ground that his second wife was Germaine de Foix, a cousin of Queen Catherine. The following campaign was disastrous and Ferdinand easily defeated the army of Navarre, lead by Jean d’Albret. Navarre south of the Pyrenees was annexed by the victorious Ferdinand and remained a domain of the Kings of Spain, who also bore the title of Kings of Navarre, until 1833, when it was completely integrated into Spain.
Lower Navarre remained with John and his successors as Kings of Navarre, increasingly under French influence. After King Henry of Navarre had mounted the French throne in 1589, he and his successors styled themselves Kings of France and Navarre until the French Revolution merged Lower Navarre with France.
Antoine de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme (Navarre)
Antoine de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme was head of the House of Bourbon and King-consort of Navarre. He was born on April 22, 1518 to Charles de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme and Francoise d'Alencon. His younger brother was Prince Louis de Conde.
On October 20, 1548 Antoine married Jeanne d’Albret, Queen of Navarre and became King Consort of Navarre, Count of Foix, of Bigorre, of Armagnac, or Perigord and Viscount of Bearn. The Kingdom of Navarre had been occupied by the Spanish since 1512, and Antoine tried to re-establish it. He was an ambitious man and was ready to do anything to achieve his goals: his lack of real religious conviction and reconversion to Catholicism separated him from his wife, who was a devoted Protestant (Huguenot). Allying himself with Catherine de’ Medici, he was named Lieutenant General of France. When his wife allowed the Huguenots to sack the chapel of Vendôme and the churches of the town in 1562, he threatened to send her to a convent. She took refuge in Béarn.
Antoine was vain and unstable. He often disappointed his followers and was manipulated by his superiors and out-witted by his adversaries. He had no relationships with his children, who were deeply devoted to their mother, Jeanne. By the time of his death in 1562 (during a siege to Rouen, he was mortally wounded), he hadn’t seen his children for several years.
Antoine and Jeanne were parents to 6 children, among them future Henry IV, King of France and Navarre, and Catherine of Navarre, Duchess of Lorraine, who married Henry I, Duke of Lorraine in 1599.
Prince Pedro of Portugal (Portugal)
Pedro was the son of John V of Portugal and Marie Anne of Austria and younger brother of Joseph I of Portugal. When King John V died, Pedro’s older brother Joseph succeeded him. The eldest of Joseph's 4 daughters, Maria Francisca de Bragança was created Princess of Brazil and proclaimed Joseph’s heiress. Inbreeding was not uncommon in the Portuguese Royal Family, and the marriage of Pedro and Maria was organized. Seventeen years later, Maria became the first Queen regnant of Portugal. Pedro received the title of King Consort and acceded to the throne as Pedro III.
Pedro wasn't interested in participating in government affairs, he would spend his time hunting or in religious exercises. But, even though he was perceived as a neutral figure in the political field, he had a great influence over his wife.
Pedro launched the first stone of the Basílica da Estrela (Star Basilica), which would be built fulfilling a promise that Queen Maria had done in order to be able to have a male heir. However, the couple's eldest son, José, would die from variola two years before the Basilica was completed. Pedro and Maria had six children together.
Pedro died at Nossa Senhora d' Ajuda Palace (the same place they had got married in) on May 25th, 1786. His death, alongside with several other factors, would have contributed for the "madness" of the Queen.
Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Portugal)
Ferdinand was the son of Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Princess Maria Antonia Kohary, heiress of Cabrad and Sitno. Young Ferdinand grew up in the modern day Slovakia, and later moved to Germany. Ad nephew of King Leopold I of Belgium and first cousin of the Belgian and British Princes, he was quite a desirable match for any Princess. But it was Maria de Gloria of Austria and Bragança, who would become his wife. As the eldest child of King Pedro IV and his first wife, Archduchess Maria Leopoldine of Austria, she was the heiress to the Portuguese Throne.
Maria became Queen when her father abdicated in her favor, while in Brazil. She was married three times, first with her uncle, Infante D. Miguel, but the marriage was annulled eight years later. Later she married Auguste de Beauharnais, 2nd Duke of Lichtenberg by proxy and, a month later, in person. Auguste died two months after the wedding.
After the death of Auguste, a third husband was necessary, since the Queen had no heirs. There were pretenders from France, Naples, Germany and Sardinia. The chosen one was the nephew of King Leopold I of Belgium, Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
According to the Portuguese laws, the husband of a Queen Regnant could only be titled King after the birth of any child from that marriage. After the birth of the future Peter V of Portugal, he was proclaimed Ferdinand II of Portugal. In total, Ferdinand and Maria had 11 children together, including future Pedro V of Portugal.
Maria died of complications in the birth of her eleventh child. Her eldest son and heir, King Pedro V was only 13. That made Ferdinand King Regent of Portugal from 1853 to 1855.
Maria was the ruling monarch, but they were a good team together and he was deeply involved in government affairs and they - together - were able to solve many problems in Maria's reign. Ferdinand acted as regent for 4 times during the Queen's pregnancies, after her death in 1853 and when his son, D. Luís and D. Maria Pia were out of Portugal to attend the Expo in Paris.
Fourteen years after leaving the regency, in 1869, he rejected an offer to the Spanish throne. That same year he married, morganatically, opera singer Elisa Hensler, Countess of Edla. He was the president of the Royal Academy of Sciences and the Arts, lord-protector of the university of Coimbra and Grand-Master of the Rosicrucians.
In 1838 he built the Pena National Palace, a wild architectural fantasy in an eclectic style, full of symbolism that could be compared with the castle Neuschwanstein of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. He spent his last years in this castle with his second wife, receiving the greatest artists of his time.
Ferdinand died in 1885, and is buried next to his first wife, Queen Maria II.
Hetoum Baberon and Partzapert (Armenian Cilicia)
Hetoum was the son of Constantine, Lord of Baberon and Partzapert. He was a co-ruler of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia with his wife, Queen Zabel of Armenia (daughter of Levon I and Sybilla of Lusignan, who was the daughter of Amalric I of Cyprus and of Isabella I of Jerusalem). Leo named Isabella as his heir, despite the existence of his grandson, John of Brienne, and nephew, Raymond-Ruben, the grandson of Ruben III of Armenia.
When Queen Zabel’s first husband, Philip of Antioch, was murdered, she was forced to marry Hetoum. Although ill-matched at first, the couple enjoyed good relationships and developed genuine care for each other and had 6 children together.
During the reign of Zabel and Hetoum, the Mongols were rapidly expanding their empire in all directions, and this was bringing them closer and closer to Cilician Armenia. As the Mongols approached the borders of Cappadocia and Cilicia, King Hetoum sent his brother to the Mongol court in Karakorum, where Sempad met Kublai Khan's brother Mongke Khan. The Armenian Cilicia was a powerful Kingdom at the time and having it as an ally was desirable for the Mongols. And so a formal alliance was signed between Cilicia and the Mongols, against their common enemy the Muslims.
In 1254 Hetoum himself traveled through Central Asia to Mongolia to renew the alliance. He brought many sumptuous presents, and met with Mangu Khan at Karakorum. The account of his travels was recorded by a member of his suite as "The Journey of Haithon, King of Little Armenia, To Mongolia and Back". The Journey of Hetoum was later translated into Russian, French, English and Chinese languages.
The monk Hayton of Corycus in "La Fleur des Estoires d'Orient" ("The flower of the stories of the Orient") later wrote about the alliance: "The Khan wanted to go to Jerusalem in order to deliver the Saint Lands from the Saracens and to remit it to the Christians. The king Hetoum was very happy with this request, and assembled a great score of men on foot and on horse, because, in that time, the Kingdom of Armenia was in such a good state that it easily had 12.000 soldiers on horse and 60,000 soldiers on foot".
Hetoum's son-in-law Bohemond VI of Antioch was also an ally of the Mongols. Their forces fought in the Mongol Army under Hulagu, which briefly conquered Muslim Syria. They took together the city of Aleppo, and later took Damascus together with the Mongol general. As written in Le Templier de Tyr: "The king of Armenia and the Prince of Antioch went to the military camp of the Tatars, and they went off to take Damascus".
However, the Muslim Mamluks then rallied and defeated the Mongols at the historic battle of Ain Jalut.
During the last years of Hetoum and Zabel's reign, the Kingdom successfully battled against the Mamluks but suffered a heavy loss when Antioch (virtually an Armenian dependency) was overrun. Two years later Hetoum abdicated and lived the rest of his life in a monastery.
David Soslan (Georgia)
David Soslan was a member of the royal house which ruled Alania, an Orthodox Christian kingdom in North Caucasus, and frequently intermarried with the Bagrationi Dynasty of Georgia and Armenia, as well as Vaspourakan dynasty of Armenia.
Tamar married David Soslan in 1188, after she divorced his first husband, Prince Yuri Bogolyubsky. As the Armenian chronicler Mkhitar Gosh reports in his Hishatarakan ("Memorabilia"), Tamar "married a man from the Alan kingdom, her relative on the mother’s side, whose name was Soslan, named David upon his ascension to the throne".
Georgia had no kind or equivalent of the Salic Law and women could succeed to the throne without obstacles. Therefore, David’s status of consort, as well as his presence in art, on charters, and on coins, was strictly dictated by the necessity of male aspects of kingship, but he remained a subordinate ruler who shared throne with Tamar but had no independent authority, his power being derived from his reigning spouse.
David energetically supported Tamar’s expansionist policy and was largely responsible for Georgia’s military successes. All medieval Georgian sources are unequivocal in praising his handsomeness, military talents, valor, and devoutness to Tamar. In the 1190s, David led the joint Georgian and Armenian raids against Barda, Erzurum, Gegharkunik, Beylaqan and Ganja. His victories against the Ildegizids (Azerbaijan) and Seljuqids (of Rüm at Basian) secured the Georgian positions in the eastern and western Caucasian marches, respectively. David also played a crucial role in strengthening the already strong Georgian-Armenian relationships and together the two countries became dominant in the region and not only managed to retain their positions, but also successfully submitted many of the neighboring Muslin states.
David died in 1207. Tamar was devastated, as he was not only a loyal and faithful husband and friend, but also key instruments in her successes. Tamar and David were the parents of the two successive sovereigns of Georgia, King George IV and Queen Rusudan.
We want to thank Marengo and Anna_R, who both contributed to writing this newsletter. :flowers: :flowers:
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