All About Royal Families: augustus 2014

Railway station in Ostend Belgium

Harbour Ostend Belgium

Own picture - taken in november 2013

On the picture, you can see the Railway station and the harbour of Ostend.
Those places had much importance in Belgian history.

1838: first opening of the Ostend Railway station during the reign of 
King Leopold I of Belgium

1913: re-opening during the reign of King Albert I of Belgium

It was constructed in the classical style : King Louis XVI style.

railway station ostend belgium

Own picture - taken in 2012

Anyway, so far the history, I wish you all a very happy Sunday!

OTD 30 August 1842 Grand Duchess Alexandra Alexandrovna of Russia

In Saint Petersburg a noble girl was born on August 30th. 1842.
She was called: Grand Duchess Alexandra Alexandrovna of Russia.

Grand Duchess Alexandra Alexandrovna of Russia - Source picture: wikipedia

Her parents Tsar Alexander II of Russia and Marie of Hesse and by Rhine  
were happy with her birth and nicknamed her tenderly 'Lina' or 'Sashenka'.
Even Alexandra's father wanted her company during his study.   

When, on July 10th. 1849, Grand Duchess Alexandra died at the age of 6,
from infant meningitis, her parents were devastated.
Her father placed a dried flower from the funeral mass in his diary and
marked the page in black. Her mother cried if people mentioned
Grand Duchess Alexandra.

In the late 19th. century the name Alexandra was considered to be unlucky.
None of the daughters of Tsar Nicholas II (Alexandra's brother) was called
in her honor although their mother had the name Alexandra, but that's another

To know more about the House of Romanov, check my page Russia: House
of Romanov from 1762 till 1917 on top of my blog or on this link.

OTD 29 August 1728 Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony

In Dresden a girl was born on August 29th. 1728.
Her very long name, Maria Anna Sophia Sabina Angela
Franciska Xaveria betrayed her
noble descent.

Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony - Source picture: Wikipedia

Her parents were King Augustus III of Poland and Maria Josepha of Austria.
The Princess had siblings like: 
Queen Maria Amalia of Spain,
Maria Josepha of France.

In 1747 Princess Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony married Maximilian III Joseph,
Bavarian elector. Unfortunately they had no children together. This caused a lot
of trouble after the death of her husband (who was a son of Emperor Charles VII)

The new elector Charles Theodore didn't like Bavaria at all, he wanted to exchange
Bavaria against the Austrian Netherlands. Princess Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony
asked Frederick II of Prussia for help. The Prussian King wanted to help her
and the Holy Roman Emperor (then Jospeph II) had to store his plans.

Charles II August, Duke of Zweibrücken and  King Maximilian I of Bavaria 
became the new heirs to the Bavarian throne. 

Princess Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony could spend the rest of her life 
in Fürstenried Palace. There she died on February 17th. 1797.    

OTD 28 August 1691 Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

The eldest daughter of Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and
Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen was born on August 28th. 1691.
The girl was called Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.

Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel -
Source picture: Wikipedia

At the age of 13! she became engaged to the future Charles VI,
Holy Roman Emperor,after a lot of negotiations between her grandfather
and Charles's sister-in-law, Empress Wilhelmina.

Initially she refused to marry a catholic Prince but finally she agreed
under pressure of her family. The wedding took place on May 1st. 1707 .

In 1711 her husband took possession of the Imperial Crown in Vienna and
she became Empress, but during that time Elisabeth Christine was appointed
by her husband as General Governor of Catalonia, which she wisely ruled
until 1713. Then the Empress joined her husband in Austria. 

Elisabeth Christine was described as accomplished in music, discrete, modest, 
intelligent and self-sufficient. She established political connections among the

But the pressure to produce a male hare became very hard.
The couple had 4 children:1 son (who died young) and 3 daughters. 
One of her daughters was Empress Maria Theresa of Austria.

In 1740 Charles VI died and she became a widow.
Elisabeth died 10 years later on December 21st. 1750 in Vienna. 

OTD 27 August 1968 Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark

December 13th. 1906 marked the birth of a young royal girl in Athens (Greece).
The name of the young girl was: Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark.

Princess Marina and her sisters - Source picture: Wikipedia

Her parents were Prince Nicolas of Greece and Denmark and Grand Duchess
Elena Vladimirovna of Russia (granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II).

Near the end of 1906 Princess Marina was baptised and she received a lot of
godparents inter alia:

- King of Greece (her paternal grandfather);
- King of the United Kingdom (her great uncle);
- Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (father of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh);
- Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia (her maternal uncle)....

In 1932 Princess Marina met her future husband Prince George, Duke of Kent.
On November 29th. 1934 the two married at Westminster Abbey in London.
That wedding was followed by a Greek ceremony in the private chapel at
Buckingham Palace. Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark became the
Duchess of Kent.

Princess Marina on her Wedding Day - Source picture: Wikipedia

The couple had 3 children. Unfortunately on August 25th. 1942 the Duke of Kent
was killed by an Airplane Crash (while he was on duty with the Royal Air Force).

After the death of her husband the Duchess of Kent continued to fulfill her 
Royal Duties. 

On August 27th. 1968, the Duchess of Kent died at Kensington Palace. She was
buried in the Royal Burial Ground in Frogmore. 

Treetuesday picture: Nymphenburg Palace Park in Munich (Germany)

My Tree tuesday picture of this week was taken at Nymphenburg Palace Park
in Munich (Germany).

Travel Royal Munich Nymphenburg Castle Park Germany
Nymphenburg Palace Park Munich Germany

As you can see on the picture the Nymphenburg Palace Park is large
(200 hectares) and offers a lot of hidden gems.

Originally the Park was designed as an Italian Garden. Later it was enlarged
and rearranged in a French style and finally finished in an English manner in
the 19th. century.

OTD 26 August 1826 The sad life of Princess Alexandra of Bavaria

On August 26th. 1826 a new member of the House of Wittelsbach was born.
She received the name Princess Alexandra Amalie of Bavaria.

Princess Alexandra of Bavaria - 
Source picture: Wikipedia


Her parents were King Ludwig I of Bavaria and Princess 
Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

Princess Alexandra was inter alia the sister of King Maximilian II of Bavaria and
King Otto of Greece.


As daughter of a reigning King the marriage of Princess Alexandra of Bavaria was not 
only a love match but a political case. Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte asked her hand
but the King refused because he was divorced, officially due to Princess Alexandra's
delicate health.

The princess never married and she was appointed abbess of the Royal Chapter for 
ladies of Saint Anne in Munich and Würtzburg. This convent only accepted noble
ladies. In 1852 Princess Alexandra started a literary career and she wrote several 

Although she wrote books the young girl had a poor mental health. She
suffered a number of psychological eccentricities like a fixation with cleanliness.
Alexandra wanted to wear only white dresses. 


The Princess died on September 21st. 1875 in Schloss Nymphenburg in Munich.
There she was buried in the Theatinerkirche. 

Schloss Nymphenburg in Munich - Source picture: Wikipedia

OTD 25 August 1830 Start of the Revolution in Belgium

picture: Wikipedia

On August 25th. 1830 a performance of the opera, The Mute Girl of Portici, 
took place at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels.
The opera evoked sentimental and nationalist feelings.
On this link you can listen to a piece of the opera.

Theatre la monnaie in brussels belgium history travel
Théàtre de la Monnaie in Brussels

From 1815-1830 Belgium was a part of the United Kingdom of The Netherlands 
with William (Willem in Dutch) I as King. 

After the opera riots broke out in Brussels. This marked the start of the
Belgian Revolution.

Only in 1831 Belgium had a new King: Leopold I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

OTD 24 August 1758 Duchess Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

On August 24th. 1758, Duchess Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
was born.

Her parents were Duke Louis of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and
Princess Charlotte of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.

Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin - 
Source picture: Wikipedia

At the age of 16 she married, on October 21st. 1774, Hereditary 
Prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway. 

When Sophia Frederica saw her husband for the first time she
was disappointed but after a while they became fond of each other. 
Their marriage was based on mutual understanding. 
There were rumors that both took mistresses and lovers.

In Denmark Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin really was popular. 
History books described her as jolly, charmant and intelligent. 

Source picture: Wikipedia

On November 29th. 1794, Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin 
died at the Sorgenfri Palace near Copenhagen (Denmark). 

Belgium: World War I memorial in the Notre Dame Church in Dinant

King Philippe of Belgium attended a memorial of World War I in the
Notre Dame church in Dinant.

Cathedral Dinant Belgium travel

own picture - bird's-eye view of the Notre Dame Church in Dinant

The church service was to remember the 674 citizens who were killed in 
World War I, a new carillon was inaugurated too.

On next link you can see a short movie.

OTD 23 August1836 Marie Henriette of Austria, Queen Consort of Belgium

On my blog I regularly write about the very interesting (Royal) history of my
own country: Belgium.

August 23rd 1836 marks the birth of Marie Henriette of Austria in Budapest

Marie Henriette of Austria - Source picture: Wikipedia

Her parents were Archduke Joseph of Austria, Palatine of Hungary and
Duchess Maria Dorothea of Württemberg. 

Her paternal grandfather was Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor and she was
a niece from Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria (husband of Sisi).

On August 22nd. 1853, at the age of 16!, she married Prince Leopold, heir of
the Belgian throne. This wedding strengthened the status of the Belgian 
monarchy, the name Habsburg was an important match. 

They had 4 children, unfortunately the eldest boy died young. 
The marriage really was unhappy and the couple lived more or less seperated.

In 1865 she became Queen Consort of Belgium, but Marie Henriette of Austria 
lived most of the time in Spa and her youngest daughter Clementine acted as
first lady of the country.

In Spa Marie Henriette of Austria, Queen Consort of Belgium, could live on her
own. There she was interested in Hungarian horses.

The second Queen Consort of Belgium died on September 19th. 1902 in 
Spa. She was buried in the Royal Crypt at the Church of Our Lady in Laeken
near Brussels.

Recently I visited Spa to see some beautiful buildings and gardens which
where built during the time that Queen Marie Henriette lived there.

Casino Spa Belgium Travel History

Casino of Spa - outside view - own picture


Two famous drinking waters from Spa are called in honor of 
Queen Marie Henriette:
Spa Marie Henriette and Spa Reine (French word for Queen)

OTD 22 August 1860 Eleonore Reuss of Köstritz Tsaritsa consort of Bulgaria

On August 22nd. 1860 a girl was born in Trebschen (now a village in Western Poland),
which was then a part of the Kingdom of Prussia. The girl received the names:
Eleonore Caroline Gasparine Louise Reuss.

Eleonore Reuss of Köstritz - Tsaritsa of Bulgaria- Source picture: Wikipedia

Her parents were Prince Heinrich IV of Reuss of Köstritz and Princess
Luise Caroline Reuss of Greiz.

On February 28th. 1908 Princess Eleonore married Ferdinand of Bulgaria in Coburg.
She recieved initially the title Princess of Bulgaria. Later she got the title:

This wedding was a bit strange. Ferdinand of Bulgaria was a widower and he looked
more for a governess for his children and a first lady for Bulgaria. 

During World War I she worked as a nurse and she tried to give comfort to many
injured and dying Bulgarian soldiers. In 1917 Tsaritsa Eleonore became seriously ill.
She died on September 12th. 1917. The Tsaritsa was buried in the cemetery near 
Boyana church. During the communist regime her grave was severely plundered.
However after 1989, the grave is restored in its the original state.

OTD 21 August 1887 revelation of the Brabofontein(fountain) in Antwerp Belgium

August 21st. 1887 was a day full of festivities in the center of Antwerp (Belgium).
A new fountain called the Brabofontein, before the city hall, was opened for public.

Antwerp Brabo Fountain Belgium History

Brabofontein - own picture

This fountain imaged a legend. 

In the early days a giant called Antigoon killed people who didn't pay their toll, 
while they passes the Scheldt. The giant killed those people by cutting their hand. 

Well Brabo killed Antigoon on the same way the giant did. 
On the fountain Brabo seems to throw the hand to the city. 

This would be an explanation for the name Antwerp meaning throwing
hands .... 

However, besides that cruel legend, Antwerp is a beautiful city and a shopping
heaven. I like to come there regularly.

Antwerp city hall Belgium History Travel

Brabofountain and city hall - own picture

OTD 20 August 1613 Duchess Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg

On August 20th. 1613 a girl was born at the court in Güstrow. She received the names:
Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg.

Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg - Source picture: Wikipedia

At the court of her father, John Albert II, Duke of Mecklenburg the girl began to 
study music. There even was an orchestra known for its use of fine English
musicians such like William Brade.

Elisabeth Sophie married in 1635 Augustus the younger, Duke of Brunswick-
Lüneburg. They had 2 children.

At her husband's court, she was appointed to organize the court orchestra but the 
Duchess also played an  important role in other entertainment like masquerades, 
plays and ballets. 

Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg died on July 12th. 1676. 

Treetuesday picture - Brussels Park in Brussels - Belgium

My Treetuesday picture of this week is taken in Brussels, capital of Belgium.

Travel Brussels Belgium Park
Brussels Warandepark Belgium

This beautiful place is located in Brussels Park which is called in Dutch: Warandepark.

Facts about Brussels Park

* the largest urban public park in Brussels. 
* surrounded by the Royal Palace, the Houses of Parliament and
   the United States Embassy. 

At the picture you can see a glimpse of the Houses of Parliament.
During the summer months a lot of events takes place there. 


Brussels Park was created between 1776 and 1783 on the site of the
Former gardens of Coudenberg Palace. 


Brussels Park was designed in a neoclassic, geometric style by
Gilles-Barnabé Guimard and Joachim Zimmer. 

OTD 19 August 1596 Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia

At Dunfermline Palace in Fife a young girl was born on August 19th. 1596.
She received the name Elizabeth Stuart.

Elizabeth Stuart - Source picture: Wikipedia

Her parents were James V of Scotland (who also became James I of England)
and Anne of Denmark.

Elizabeth received the proper education for a princess. She learned not only
several languages like French and Latin but the princess also knew something
about history, geography, theology, writing, music and dancing.

As daughter of a reigning monarch, the young Elizabeth was seen as very 
desirable. Many suitors wanted to marry her inter alia:

Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden;
Frederic Ulric, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel;
Prince Maurice of Nassau;
Henry Howard, 1st. Earl of Northampton;
Otto, Hereditary Prince of Hesse;
Victor Amadeus, Prince of Piedmont.

Finally Frederick V, Count Palatine of the Rhine was chosen. He had a
great lineage, was a second Prince of the Empire and a staunch defender of
the Protestant faith. The match seemed to please them both from the beginning.

The wedding took place on February 14th. 1613 at the Royal Chapel of the
Westminster Palace. The marriage stayed a popular match and it was celebrated
with lavish festivities.

After two months the new couple traveled to the Royal Court in Heidelberg
(Germany). Frederick V gave her a new wing in Heidelberg Castle and many
more. They could have it all but Elizabeth's mother-in-law didn't like to share
her power with her son's wife. This caused a lot of trouble. However the 
Royal Couple had 13 children together.

In 1619 Frederick was offered the throne of Bohemia. Elizabeth's husband
persuaded and accepted the doubtful task. The family moved to Prague. 
Frederick was crowned there on November 4th. 1619. Elizabeth's coronation
as Queen of Bohemia took place 3 days later. These events were not supported
by the House of Habsburg. 

On November 8th. 1620 Ferdinand, Holy Roman Emperor defeated Frederick
in the Battle of White Mountain. Frederick and Elizabeth had to leave Bohemia.
There they were remembered as Winter King and Queen.

Their own court in Heidelberg was occupied and an invitation of 
the Prince of Orange brougth the family to the Hague (in The Netherlands).

Her husband went to the battlefield this time in Sweden, but
he never returned. He died on November 29th. 1632. When Elizabeth heard
the news, she had a big grief. She did not drink, eat or sleep for three days.

Then Charles I,the new King, invited her to return to England but she refused.
She wanted to fight for the rights of her children. Elizabeth's new aim 
was trying to find some good matches for her sons and daughters.

In 1661 Elizabeth finally wanted to visit her native land. There she received a
small but impressive household. In 1662 Elizabeth was unwell she suffered 
pneumonia. Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia died on February 13th. 1662
in London. 

Her grandson became King George I of England, even Queen Elizabeth II of
the United Kingdom is a descendant from her. 

OTD 18 August 1606 Maria Anna of Spain

Infanta Maria Anna of Spain was born on August 18th. 1606 in El Escorial near

Maria Anna of Spain - Source picture: Wikipedia

Her parents were King Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria.

With such a genealogy the search of a proper wedding partner started early.
On February 20th. 1631, Maria Anna of Spain married her first cousin,
Ferdinand III, the future Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary.
The festivities around the wedding lasted a month!

Although it was an arranged marriage, the history books described it as
friendly. Maria Anna became happy in her new home country Austria.
The same history books mentioned her as: tempered and intelligent.
Sometimes she even acted as advisor for her spouse. They had 6 children.

In 1646 the Royal Family moved to Linz because of the Thirty Year's War.
There Maria Anna was poisoned while she was pregnant of a child. She died
on May 13th. 1646 only 39 years old.

The child, also a Maria, was still alive but died soon after. Mother and daughter 
were buried in the same coffin. 

Maria Anna of Spain with her eldest son - Source picture: Wikipedia

OTD August 17th.1786 Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

On my blog I have a lot of pages about Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom 
and her descendants. It interests me very much how her children and grandchildren
and their descendants are spread through Europe.

My Today in History is traveling back in time because on August 17th. 1786
a little girl was born in Coburg (Germany). 
She received the name: Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld - 
Source picture: Wikipedia

Her brothers were inter alia Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Leopold, 
who married in 1816 Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only legitimate daughter of 
King George IV and heiress to the British throne.

In 1803, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld married Charles, Prince of
Leinigen. They had 2 children: a girl and a boy. Her husband died in 1814.

When Princess Charlotte of Wales died in 1817, a succession crisis for the 
British throne became an important issue. Three of Charlotte's uncles (sons of
King George III) had to marry.

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn 'proposed' Princess Victoria
and she accepted. In 1819 the couple moved to Kensington Palace 
where soon a daughter was born. 

The girl became later the very famous Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

One of the people who had a lot of influence on 
Princess Victoria, Duchess of Kent and her daughter was Leopold, 
who became in 1831 the first King of the Belgians.

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was very musical, 
she even composed marches - in 1836: 
the Artillery slow march also known as the 
Duchess of Kent march and she would also be the author of the  
Grand March for the 1st.Life Guards Regiment.

The Duchess of Kent leaned heavily on her personal secretary John Conroy, 
there even were rumors of a love affair ...

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Duchess of Kent died on 
March 16th. 1861. She was buried at the mausoleum of Frogmore.

Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Duchess of Kent - Source picture: Wikipedia

Today in History - August 16th. 1876 - First Performance of Siegfried (Opera)

On August 16th. 1876 the first performance of the opera Siegfried took place in the
Festspielhaus in Bayreuth (now Germany).

Portrait of Richard Wagner taken in Nymphenburg palace

Siegfried was written by Richard Wagner and based on a legendary hero of the
Norse Mythology.

one of the many pictures of Siegfried - Source: Wikipedia

On this link you can listen to a piece of the opera Siegfried. 

Today in History - August 15th. 1455 - George, Duke of Bavaria

George of Bavaria (nicknamed The Rich) was born on August 15th. 1455
in Landshut, a beautiful place in Bavaria (south east Germany).

George of Bavaria - Source picture: Wikipedia

In 1475 he married Princess Hedwig Jagiellon, daughter of King Casimir IV
of Poland. This fantastic event was celebrated in the Landshut wedding.

The Landshut wedding is re-enacted in the place Landshut
with medieval processions. On next link you can find more information.  

The couple had 5 children, two sons and three daughters. Unfortunately
none of their sons survived childhood. George, Duke of Bavaria tried to
appoint his eldest daughter Elisabeth as his successor but the Salic Law
made this impossible.

George died on December 1st. 1503. After his death a war of succession
broke out. Finally the Duchy went to Albert IV of Bavaria, which united
the several Duchies of Bavaria.

OTD 14 August 1688 Frederick William I of Prussia

On August 14th. 1688 a brilliant boy was born in Berlin. He had the name:
Frederick William (in German: Friedrich Wilhelm).

Frederick William I of Prussia - Source picture: Wikipedia

His parents were Frederick I of Prussia and Sophia Charlotte of Hanover.

On November 28th. 1706 he married his first cousin Sophia Dorothea of 
Hanover (daughter of King George I of Great Britain). They had 14 children.

This time I won't tell more about their marriage but about his rather special
reign. In 1713 Frederick William became King of Prussia and Elector of 
Brandenburg and he really took his tasks seriously. He imposed strict rules
for officials and described their jobs clearly. 

When a minister wasn't present at a meeting the King didn't pay his salary.

Already in 1717 King Frederick William I introduced mandatory schooling,
and the taxes were reformed.

He lived very sober and didn't spend much of money except for the Prussian

King Frederick William I didn't like musicians, scientists and intellectuals. 
He hated everything French but admired The Netherlands (which was then
a republic).

King Frederick William I died on May 31st. 1740 in Berlin. 

OTD 13 August 1743 Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria

Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria was born on August 13th. 1743 in Vienna
as the sixth child of Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor and his wife Maria Theresa.

Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria - Source picture: Wikipedia

Maria Elisabeth of Austria was considered one of the most attractive of her sisters
(inter alia Maria Antoinette, who married King Louis XVI of France).

Even King Louis XV of France wanted her as his bride. 
Unfortunately Maria Elisabeth became a victim of smallpox. 
Her beautiful face was seriously wounded and the scars
stayed. So, she couldn't marry anymore.

The unfortunate archduchess was appointed as cannoness of the convent of noble
ladies in Innsbruck although she stayed at the Royal Court in Vienna with her mother.

Own panorama picture of the Hofburg in Vienna - taken in 2011

When Maria Elisabeth's brother became Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, he asked
her to leave the court. The Archduchess moved from Vienna to Linz where she died
on September 22nd. 1808.

Archduchess Maria Elisabeth - Source picture: Wikipedia 

Treetuesday picture - Leopold Park - Brussels - Belgium

My tree tuesday picture of this week is taken in Brussels, the capital of my own
country, Belgium.

This is a beautiful and relaxing public park between different
buildings of the European institutions and the Solvay library.

Travel Brussels Park Solvay Belgium
Solvay Libary Brussels Belgium

The Solvay library was built in 1902 with Constant Bosmans and Henri Vandevelde
as its architects in a mix of  Eclecticism and Art Nouveau style. This was all paid by
Ernest Solvay, an industrial and chemical.

OTD 12 August 1872 Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein

At Cumberland Lodge in Great Windsor Park a girl was born on August 12th. 1872.
She was called Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein.

Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig - Holstein - Source picture: Wikipedia

Her parents were Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein and Princess
Helena of the United Kingdom. Princess Marie Louise was a granddaughter
of Queen Victoria. She also had important godparents: Emperor Franz Joseph I
of Austria and the Queen of Hanover.

Of course with such an important family tree it was a big issue to find a proper
partner. The lucky one became Prince Aribert of Anhalt. He was the son of
Frederick I, Duke of Anhalt and Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg. 

However the couple didn't like each other and the marriage turned out very
unhappy and childless. In 1900 Prince Aribert of Anhalt (and his father)
asked to annul the marriage.

After the annulment, Princess Marie Louise devoted herself to charitable organisations
and as patron of arts. She inspired the creation of the Queen Mary's dolls house to
show the work of the British craftsmen. She also was active in the work of the 
Princess Christian Nursing Home at Windsor.

In 1956 Princess Marie Louise published her memoirs in the book:
My memories of Six reigns. 

She died in her London Home on December 8th. 1956. The Princess was buried
at the Royal Burial Ground in Frogmore at the Windsor Great Park.

Royal Destinations - Regensburg (Germany) - St. Emmeram's Abbey

Maybe you all were surprised that I mentioned an Abbey as Royal Destination but
this place is now known as Schloss Thurn und Taxis or Schloss Emmeram.

I had the chance to visit this wonderful place during the last Holiday in Munich
and Bavaria. The castle only is visible with a guided tour. I followed it in German
and the explanation was very professional and interesting. Unfortunately inside the
buildings it was not allowed to take pictures.

Regensburg Thurn und Taxis Castle Royal Destination
Regensburg St. Emmeram's Abbey Turn & Taxis

Some important data

The St. Emmeram's Abbey was founded in 739. 

In 1731 the abbots received the title Princes of the Empire (Reichsfürsten) 
by Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI.

In 1812 the buildings were granted to the Princes of Thurn und Taxis, who
turned the Abbey to a Royal Residence.

Regensburg Thurn und Taxis Castle Royal Destination
Regensburg St. Emmeram's Abbey Turn & Taxis


For Sisi fans, like me, it was a kind of a pilgrimage site because, Helene,
the eldest sister of the Austrian Empress married Maximilian Anton Lamoral,
Hereditary Prince of Thurn and Taxis. Her thomb is located in the Gruftkapelle
in the St. Emmeram's Abbey of Regensburg. 

Helene, Duchess in Bavaria, 
Hereditary Princess of Thurn und Taxis
Source picture: Wikipedia


Regensburg itself is a beautiful old city located in Bavaria (south east Germany).
The place is mentioned on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

OTD 11 August 1706 Princess Marie Auguste of Thurn und Taxis - a woman with a strong personality

Princess Marie Auguste Anna of Thurn und Taxis was born on August 11th. 1706
in Frankfurt am Main.

Princess Marie Auguste Anna of Thurn und Taxis - Source picture: Wikipedia

Her parents were Anselm Franz, 2nd. Prince of Thurn und Taxis and
Maria Ludovika Anna Franziska, Princess of Lobkowicz.

Her marriage became an important and diplomatic topic. Finally she
was chosen as bride for Charles Alexander, Duke of Württemberg.
Princess Marie Auguste of Thurn und Taxis became Duchess of Württemberg.
They had 4 children, who survived childhood. 
Their marriage was turbulent and would be great for a novel. 
Initially they fell in love with each other (they where
both masters of intrigue). Later Charles Alexander used often a trusted
servant to spy his wife! 

On March 12th. 1737 Charles Alexander, Duke of Württemberg died
suddenly. Marie Auguste became regent for her son Karl Eugen.

In 1739 there were rumors that the Duchess of Württemberg had an 
affair with a captain in the army and the privy council started an 
investigation. The captain was discharged and she was forced to
stay in Brussels (now capital of Belgium) for five months in 1740. 
This removed her from direct power, although she arranged the
military careers of her two eldest sons. 

She was known for her strong personality (something
quite exceptional). The Princess was praised for her beauty. Her
wardrobe contained 228! dresses and the most expensive costed
500 florins which was 30 times more than a servant's year income.

Although Princess Marie Auguste Anna sometimes was portrayed
as an intellectual lightweight, she owed a large library that contained
the latest novels, plays and philosophy. She also maintained a 
correspondence with Voltaire.

This exceptional lady died on February 1st. 1756 at the age of 

Today in History - August 8th. 1661 - Johann Mattias von der Schuelenberg

August 8th. 1661 marks the birth of Johann Matthias von der Schuelenberg.
This happy event took place in Emden near Magdeburg (now located in

Johann Matthias von der Schuelenberg - Source picture: Wikipedia

About the youth of Johann Matthias von der Schuelenberg was little known.

Between 1687 and 1688 he fought with the imperial troops against the Turks
in Hungary.  In 1689 Johann Matthias became Colonel in the German Regiment
of Victor Amadeus II of Savoy where he was severely wounded. 
Johann Matthias recovered and in 1702 he joined the Saxony army to fight in 
the Great Northern War against Charles XII of Sweden. He acquired his 
greatest fame during the defence of Corfu in 1716 against the Ottoman Turks. 

In Corfu, Johann Matthias von der Schuelenberg has his own statue.

Corfu Town Statue

Own picture taken during our holiday in 2013

Besides his career in the Army, Johann Matthias von der Schuelenberg
became a famous art collector.

Since 1718 he lived in Venice (Italy) at the Palazzo Loredan on the
Grand Canal of Venice. Johann Matthias von der Schuelenberg was the
patron of Giovanni Antonio Guardi and Giambattista Pittoni. 

This remarkable military and art lover died on March 14th. 1747 in
Verona (now Italy).

OTD 7 August 1649 Archduke Charles Joseph of Austria

Archduke Charles Joseph (In German: Karl Joseph) was born on
August 7th. 1649 in Vienna.

Charles Josephe of Austria - Source picture: Wikipedia

His parents were Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Leopoldine
of Austria.

When Archduke Charles Joseph was 13 years old, he became Bishop of Olmütz 
and Passau. 

Passau is a beautiful city located in lower Bavaria. It also has the name:
City of the Three Rivers because of the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz come
there together. I've been there this year in May/June and it really was
wonderful (see next picture).

Passau and its rivers - own picture

Like his uncle Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, Charles Joseph also became
bishop of Breslau. This was confirmed by Pope Alexander VII. In 1663 he
became Archbishop.

Unfortunately Archduke Charles Joseph couldn't forfill all his duties due to his
age. He died on January 27th. 1664 in Linz at the age of 15. 

OTD 6 August 1689 Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

Princess Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg was
born on September 28th. 1636 in Glücksburg.

Glücksburg is a small town in Northern Germany, where the family
Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg ruled. Members of that noble
family became King/Queen of Denmark and Norway. 
Even Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth
of the United Kingdom is a descendant.

Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg - Source picture: Wikipedia

Princess Sophia Dorothea claimed Royal blood due to her great-grandfather 
King Christian III of Denmark, although her parents 
Philip, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg- Glücksburg and 
Sophia Hedwig of Saxe-Lauenburg, were of much lower rank. 

Sophia Dorothea married twice. In 1653 she married Christian Louis, Duke of
Brünswick-Lüneburg (brother-in-law of King Frederick III of Denmark). 
They had no children. He died in 1665.

She married Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg in 1668. 
In 1676 Sophia Dorothea even became commander of her own regiment.

Princess Sophia Dorothea died on August 6th. 1689 in Karlsbad.
She was buried in the Berlin Cathedral. The Dorotheenstadt, a neighbourhood
of Berlin was called after her. 

Own picture of the Berliner Dom (Cathedral)