Queen Alia of Jordan

by Scott Mehl © Unofficial Royalty 2015

Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Queen Alia of Jordan

Queen Alia was the third wife of King Hussein of Jordan. She was born Alia Baha Ad-Din Touqan on December 15, 1948, in Cairo, Egypt, the daughter of Baha Ad-Din Touqan and Hanan Hashim. Her father was a former Jordanian ambassador to the United Kingdom, Italy, Turkey, and Egypt. He served under King Abdullah I of Jordan, was instrumental in the writing of the Jordanian Constitution and served as the country’s first ambassador to the United Nations.

Because of her father’s diplomatic work, the family moved often and Alia attended school wherever they lived. She attended the Rome Center of Liberal Arts in Rome (now the John Felice Rome Center), a branch of Loyola University Chicago, and studied political science, psychology and public relations at Hunter College in New York. In 1971, she moved to Jordan where she worked for Royal Jordanian (at the time named Alia Airlines, in honor of King Hussein’s eldest daughter Alia). She was then asked to organize the first International Water Skiing Festival in Aqaba. It was there, where King Hussein had a holiday villa, that the two began their relationship.


They married privately on December 24, 1972, and Alia was named Queen Alia al-Hussein. The couple had two children and one adopted daughter:

Along with raising her family, Queen Alia broke with tradition by taking on a much more public role than any of her predecessors. She established the Office of the Queen of Jordan and began working with numerous charities and organizations – particularly those dealing with women, children, and social development. She established a large number of scholarships to help impoverished children gain a quality education. She also promoted the arts and literature in Jordan, helping to establish libraries around the country, and starting several Arts festivals which continue to this day.

Queen Alia also tackled some political issues. She very publicly fought for the rights of women to vote and be elected to public office. Thanks in part to her efforts, a law was put forth in 1974 allowing both. However, it would not be enacted until 1989.

On February 9, 1977, Queen Alia was killed in a helicopter crash in Amman. She was returning from a trip to Tafileh, about 140 miles south of Amman, where she was inspecting a hospital after reading negative reports about it in the media. Flying in a violent rainstorm, the military helicopter crashed and all aboard were killed. Completely devastated, King Hussein announced Alia’s death on the television and radio. Following a traditional funeral service, Queen Alia was interred at the Royal Cemetery at Al-Maquar. King Hussein had a huge mausoleum built for his wife on a hill outside of the city and Queen Alia’s remains were moved there in 1980.

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Joséphine of Leuchtenberg, Queen Josefina of Sweden and Norway

by Susan Flantzer  © Unofficial Royalty 2015

Credit – Wikipedia

Princess Joséphine of Leuchtenberg was born on March 14, 1807, in Milan, then in the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, now it Italy. Her father was Eugène de Beauharnais, the son of Empress Joséphine (Napoleon Bonaparte‘s first wife) from her first marriage to Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais, who had been guillotined during the French Revolution. Her mother was Princess Augusta of Bavaria, daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and Princess Augusta Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt.  Augusta’s father created his son-in-law Duke of Leuchtenberg and Prince of Eichstätt with the style Royal Highness.  Joséphine had six siblings, some of whom made excellent marriages.

After the final defeat of Napoleon, her father’s stepfather, Joséphine’s family went to live in her mother’s native country of the Kingdom of Bavaria.  Her childhood was a happy one with her summers spent at Eichstätt, Bavaria, and her winters spent in Munich with her mother’s family.  Joséphine could speak French, Italian, and German and studied history, geography, botany, natural science mathematics, physics, and astronomy with some of Bavaria’s most learned professors.

Over in Sweden, the king of a new upstart dynasty was considering how to provide his dynasty with legitimacy.  The House of Bernadotte has reigned in Sweden since 1818 when Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, a Marshal of France, assumed the throne as King Carl XIV Johan. His predecessor, King Carl XIII, was childless and the House of Holstein-Gottorp was becoming extinct. On August 21, 1810, the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) made the decision to appoint Bernadotte as heir to the throne. The first four Bernadotte kings were also Kings of Norway until 1905 when the union between Sweden and Norway was dissolved. King Carl XIV John found the answer to his legitimacy problem in Joséphine.

Through her mother, Joséphine was a descendant of King Gustav I of Sweden and King Charles IX of Sweden from the House of Vasa which ruled Sweden from 1523-1654.  If Joséphine married the king’s only child Oscar, it would ensure that future members of the House of Bernadotte were descendants of the House of Vasa.  Oscar had been born Joseph François Oscar Bernadotte on July 4, 1799, in Paris, France. Napoleon Bonaparte was his godfather. He was 11-years-old when his father Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was elected Crown Prince of Sweden and he moved to Stockholm with his mother Désirée Clary, who ironically was once the fiancée of Napoleon.  Oscar was given the title Duke of Södermanland, and, unlike his mother, quickly learned Swedish and adapted to life in Sweden.

In 1823, Oscar married Joséphine and after her marriage, she was known as Josefina, the Swedish form of her name.  They married first by proxy at the Leuchtenberg Palace in Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, now in the German state of Bavaria, on May 22, 1823, and in-person at a wedding ceremony conducted in Stockholm, Sweden on June 19, 1823. The couple had five children:

Joséphine of Leuchtenberg brought to Sweden jewelry that had belonged to her grandmother Empress Josephine which is still worn by members of the Swedish and Norwegian royal families. The pictures below show Queen Josefina wearing the Cameo Tiara which was originally made for her grandmother Joséphine, Empress of the French, and also her descendant Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden wearing the same tiara at her wedding in 2010.


Credit – Wikipedia


Crown Princess Victoria wearing the Cameo Tiara at her wedding; Photo Credit – The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor

Oscar and Josefina’s marriage was a happy one.  They shared interests in music and art and had similar personalities. While he was crown prince, Oscar had an affair with a lady-in-waiting which produced a daughter.  Unfortunately, during his marriage, Oscar had another well-known affair with Emilie Högquist, a famous Swedish actress at the Royal Dramatic Theatre.  Oscar had two sons by his mistress Emilie.  In 1832, Queen Josefina wrote in her diary that a woman was expected to endure a husband’s extramarital affairs: “A woman should suffer in silence.”  Josefina and her husband continued to appear together in public.  Oscar discontinued his extramarital affairs when he became King of Sweden and Norway in 1844 upon the death of his father.

Queen Josefina in 1874; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

After being bedridden for a long period of time, King Oscar I died at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on July 8, 1859, at the age of 60. An autopsy confirmed that he had a brain tumor.  King Oscar I was buried in the Bernadotte Chapel at Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm.  Josefina survived her husband for 17 years and died in Stockholm on June 7, 1876, at age 69. She remained Roman Catholic, was given a Catholic funeral and was buried with her husband at Riddarholmen Church.

Bernadotte Chapel

Bernadotte Chapel at Riddarholmen Church; Photo Credit – Susan Flantzer, August 2011

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Princess Ingeborg of Denmark, Princess of Sweden

by Susan Flantzer

Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Born at Charlottenlund Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark on August 2, 1878, Ingeborg Charlotta Carolina Frederikke Louise was the second daughter and fifth child of the future King Frederik VIII of Denmark and his wife, Lovisa of Sweden.  Unusually for the time, Ingeborg and her siblings were raised mostly by their mother rather than servants. Lovisa took considerable interest in her children, who imposed a loving if not strict upbringing on her children. Nonetheless, Ingeborg grew into an extremely friendly, easygoing, and quick-witted woman.

Ingeborg had seven siblings:

In May 1897, an engagement was announced between Ingeborg and another Scandinavian royal, Prince Carl of Sweden.  Oscar Carl Wilhelm, called Prince Carl, was born at Arvfurstens Palace in Stockholm, Sweden on February 27, 1861. He was the third of four sons of King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway and Sophia of Nassau. Despite the fact that neither was the heir to a throne, the prospect of another Danish-Swedish royal union was an exciting one to the families of the couple and citizens of their respective countries.  On their 50th wedding anniversary, Carl admitted that their marriage had been completely arranged by the couple’s fathers. Ingeborg added, “I married a complete stranger!”

The wedding was held in the chapel at Copenhagen’s Christiansborg Palace. Among the guests were Alexandra, Princess of Wales and Russian Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark), the bride’s aunts. Copenhagen was decorated with flowers and flags of both countries to celebrate the occasion. Following a brief stay in Denmark, the new couple set off for a honeymoon in Germany.

Carl and Ingeborg had a comfortable family life, dividing their time between Arvfurstens Palace in Stockholm and summers in Fridhem, Sweden. Despite the difference in their ages (Carl was 17 years older than Ingeborg), the two were happy and well-suited to one another. The couple had four children born between 1899 and 1911. They were:

During their young adulthood, the four children of Ingeborg and Carl were repeatedly sought after as spouses for several European monarchs. Astrid and Märtha were both linked to the future King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom before their respective marriages. A union between Carl and Juliana of the Netherlands was strongly desired by Queen Wilhelmina, but the two vehemently disliked each other upon meeting in the late 1920s.

Carl and Ingeborg continued to play important roles in European history throughout their marriage. Ingeborg served as the de facto first lady of Sweden for several years during the absence of Sophia of Nassau and Viktoria of Baden. Due to her close familial connections, she also worked to bring peace to the three Scandinavian royal families following the Norwegian independence in 1905. Carl distinguished himself as the President of the Swedish Red Cross, earning several Nobel Peace Prize nominations for his work with prisoners of war.

The couple was especially close to their Belgian and Norwegian grandchildren following the early deaths of their daughters Astrid and Märtha. Belgian Kings Baudouin and Albert II, Norwegian King Harald V, and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg Josephine-Charlotte are all grandchildren of Carl and Ingeborg.

Both Carl and Ingeborg lived long lives. Carl died in 1951 at the age of 90. Ingeborg survived him by seven years, dying on March 12, 1958, at age 79 in Stockholm, Sweden. The two are buried in the Royal Cemetery in Haga Park, Solna, Sweden.

Wikipedia: Princess Ingeborg of Denmark

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King Miguel I of Portugal

by Susan Flantzer

Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Miguel Maria do Patrocínio João Carlos Francisco de Assis Xavier de Paula Pedro de Alcântara António Rafael Gabriel Joaquim José Gonzaga Evaristo was born on October 26, 1802, in Lisbon, Portugal. Miguel was the seventh of the nine children of King João VI of Portugal and Carlota Joaquina of Spain.  He was long rumored to be the biological son of one of Carlota Joaquina’s lovers. During the Napoleonic Wars, he lived in exile with his family in Brazil.

Miguel’s siblings:

The Portuguese royal family returned to Portugal in 1821 from their exile in Brazil.  Miguel’s father King João VI, who had become King of Portugal in 1816 upon the death of his mother Queen Maria I, continued to reign until his death in 1826.   At that time, Miguel’s elder brother Pedro became King of Portugal.  Pedro was king for only two months, abdicating in favor of his daughter Maria II.  Miguel served as regent for his niece Maria.

As regent, Miguel claimed the Portuguese throne in his own right. This led to a difficult political situation, during which many people were killed, imprisoned, persecuted, or sent into exile, finally culminating in the Portuguese Liberal Wars.  Ultimately, Miguel was deposed in 1834 and lived the last 32 years of his life in exile.

During his exile in Baden, Miguel met Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, a daughter of Constantine, Hereditary Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg and Princess Agnes of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.  Adelaide was brought up by her paternal grandparents after the early death of her father.  On September 24, 1851, at the age of 20, Adelaide married Miguel, who was 29 years her senior. The couple made their home in Schloss Bronnbach in Bronnbach, in the Grand Duchy of Baden, now in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

Miguel and Adelaide at the time of their wedding. Photo: Wikipedia

Miguel and Adelaide had six daughters and a son, all styled as Infanta and Infante of Portugal.

Miguel and Adelaide with their two eldest children; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Miguel died while hunting in Bronnbach on November 14, 1866, at the age of 64.  Initially, Miguel was buried in his wife’s family’s vault at the Engelberg Monastery in Grossheubach, Bavaria. In 1967, his remains and those of his wife (who had been buried in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, England, where she had died) were transferred to the traditional burial site of the Portuguese royals, the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon.

When Miguel died, all his children were under the age of fifteen.  Adelaide continued to raise her children and arranged some rather brilliant marriages for them despite their dubious status. Through the marriages of their many children and grandchildren, Miguel and Adelaide are the ancestors of the current monarchs of Luxembourg, Belgium, and Liechtenstein, as well as pretenders to the thrones of Portugal, Austria, Bavaria, and Italy.

Portugal Resources at Unofficial Royalty

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Maria Ana of Portugal, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

by Susan Flantzer

Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Infanta Maria Ana of Portugal was born on July 13, 1861, at Schloss Bronnbach in Bronnbach, Wertheim am Main in the Grand Duchy of Baden now in the German state of state of Baden-Württemberg.  She was the sixth of the seven children of the deposed King Miguel I of Portugal and Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg.   Maria Ana’s siblings were:

  • Infanta Maria das Neves (1852 – 1941), married Alfonso Carlos, Duke of San Jaime, Carlist claimant to the throne of Spain, no issue
  • Infante Miguel, Duke of Braganza (1853 – 1927) married (1) Princess Elisabeth of Thurn and Taxis, had three children; (2) Princess Maria Theresa of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, had eight children
  • Infanta Maria Theresa (1855 – 1944), third wife of Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria, had two daughters
  • Infanta Maria Josepha (1857 – 1943), second wife of Karl Theodor, Duke in Bavaria, had five children
  • Infanta Adelgundes (1858 – 1946), married Prince Enrico of Bourbon-Parma, no issue
  • Infanta Maria Antónia (1862 – 1959), second wife of Robert I, Duke of Parma,had twelve children

Maria Ana grew up mostly in Austria and Germany due to her father’s exile from Portugal. Despite the family’s status as ex-royalty, Maria Ana and her sisters all married well due in large part to the efforts of their mother. Ironically, before her engagement to Guillaume, Maria Ana was slated to become the bride of Protestant Alexander of Orange, the heir to the throne of the Netherlands. Alexander died before the two became officially engaged. She was also considered as a possible bride for Rudolf, the Crown Prince of Austria.

On June 21, 1893, Maria Ana married Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg at Schloss Fischhorn in Zell am See, Austria.  Guillaume was the eldest son of Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and his second wife Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau.  Adolphe, formerly the Duke of Nassau, was the first sovereign Grand Duke of Luxembourg from the House of Nassau following Luxembourg’s break from the Netherlands in 1890. Guillaume grew up Protestant among a Catholic majority in Luxembourg. When it came time to find a bride, Guillaume searched for Catholic princesses believing a Catholic land needed a Catholic monarch and he settled on Maria Ana.  The couple had six daughters:

Photo Credit – Wikipedia

In 1905, Guillaume succeeded his father as Grand Duke of Luxembourg.  At that time, the succession in Luxembourg was Salic, meaning a woman could not become monarch. When it became clear that Maria Ana would not have further children, Guillaume named his would-be successors the Counts of Merenburg (products of a morganatic union) to be ineligible for the throne. Marie-Adélaïde became her father’s heir, succeeding him as the first sovereign Grand Duchess of Luxembourg upon in 1912. She abdicated in 1919 in favor of her sister Charlotte, from whom the current Luxembourg grand ducal family descends.

Maria Ana and her daughters in 1920; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Maria Ana served as regent of Luxembourg for her daughter Marie-Adélaïde during Guillaume’s long illness from 1908-1912 and also served as the regent for Marie-Adélaïde during the first few months of her reign. Maria Ana fled the country with her family when the German Army invaded Luxembourg in 1940. She died in New York City on July 31, 1942, of a stomach ailment and was temporarily interred at Calvary Cemetery in Queens in New York City. Her remains were later returned to Luxembourg and buried at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Resources at Unofficial Royalty

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Princess Charlotte of Wales

by Susan Flantzer  © Unofficial Royalty 2015

Credit – Wikipedia

Had Princess Charlotte of Wales survived her grandfather King George III and her father King George IV, she would have become Queen of the United Kingdom. During her lifetime, Charlotte was second in the line of succession to the British throne after her father.

Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales was born on January 7, 1796, at Carlton House in London, England, the daughter of first cousins George, Prince of Wales (the future King George IV) and Caroline of Brunswick.  She was christened on February 11, 1796, in the Great Drawing Room at Carlton House in London, England. Her grandparents were:

The marriage of Charlotte’s parents was a disaster and they separated soon after her birth.  Charlotte’s childhood was disruptive and she spent time with her father, mother, and paternal grandparents.  Charlotte grew up to be high-spirited and pleasure-loving.  Her father attempted to arrange a marriage between Charlotte and William, Hereditary Prince of Orange (later King Willem II of the Netherlands), but Charlotte was not agreeable to the match.

In 1814, the handsome Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld (after 1826, Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) visited London and met Charlotte.  It was love at first sight. Charlotte and Leopold were married on May 2, 1816, in the Crimson Drawing Room at Carlton House, the Prince of Wales’ London home.  Oatlands in Surrey, the country home of Charlotte’s uncle Prince Frederick, Duke of York, was the site of the honeymoon.  After the honeymoon, the newlywed couple settled at Claremont House near Esher, England which the British nation had purchased by an Act of Parliament as a wedding gift for Charlotte and Leopold.

Engraving of the marriage between Princess Charlotte of Wales and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Credit – Wikipedia

Charlotte suffered two miscarriages in the early months of her first two pregnancies, but the third pregnancy in 1817 gave Charlotte and Leopold hope.  Charlotte was second in the line of succession and she would have succeeded her father, the future George IV, as queen but on November 6, 1817, a great tragedy struck the British Royal Family.  After a labor of over 50 hours, Charlotte delivered a stillborn son. Several hours later, twenty-one-year-old Princess Charlotte, the only child of George, Prince of Wales and King George III’s only legitimate grandchild, died of postpartum hemorrhage.

Charlotte was mourned by the British people in a manner similar to the mourning of Diana, Princess of Wales. She was buried in the Royal Tomb House at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle with her stillborn son at her feet. Charlotte’s pregnancy and delivery had been grossly mismanaged and the doctor in charge later died by suicide.  There is a very moving memorial to Charlotte in St. George’s Chapel.  Charlotte’s body is draped as she ascends to heaven along with angels, one of which carries her stillborn son.

Memorial to Charlotte; Credit – http://www.stgeorges-windsor.org/

Charlotte’s death sent her unmarried uncles into hasty marriages to provide an heir to the throne in the second generation.  By the spring of 1819, King George III had three new grandchildren, and it was the child of his fourth son, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, who would eventually come to the throne as Queen Victoria.

Leopold greatly mourned Charlotte, but his connection with the British Royal Family continued.  He was the uncle of both Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.  Leopold went on to become the first King of the Belgians, having been elected King by the Belgian National Congress on June 4, 1831. On August 9, 1832, he married the French princess, Louise-Marie of Orléans.  Leopold and Louise-Marie had four children including Leopold’s successor King Leopold II of the Belgians and Princess Charlotte who married Archduke Maximilian of Austria. Charlotte’s marriage was ill-fated.  Her husband became Emperor of Mexico and after a three-year reign was executed by a firing squad.

King Leopold I of the Belgians died on December 10, 1865, at the Royal Castle in Laeken, Belgium.  Among his last words were “Charlotte…Charlotte.”  Was he calling to his daughter or to his beloved first wife Princess Charlotte of Wales? King Leopold was buried in the Royal Crypt in the Church of Our Lady in Laeken, in Brussels, Belgium.

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Queen Dina of Jordan

by Scott Mehl © Unofficial Royalty 2015

photo: Wikipedia

Queen Dina of Jordan

Queen Dina of Jordan was the first of four wives of King Hussein I of Jordan. She was born Dina bint ‘Abdu’l-Hamid, the daughter of ‘Abdu’l-Hamid bin Muhammad ‘Abdu’l-Aziz and Fakhria Brav, on December 15, 1929, in Cairo, Egypt. Through her father’s family, she was a member of the House of Hashemite and a third cousin to her future father-in-law King Talal of Jordan.

Dina attended boarding school in England before earning her degree in English literature from Girton CollegeCambridge University. She then earned a postgraduate diploma in social science from Bedford College in London. Following her schooling, Dina returned to Egypt where she taught English literature and philosophy at the University of Cairo.


In 1952, while still at Girton College, Dina met her future husband, King Hussein of Jordan, at the home of a mutual relative in London. Hussein, six years younger than Dina, was a student at the Harrow School in England at the time. That same year, he became King upon his father’s abdication. Two years later, Hussein’s mother Queen Zein announced the engagement of the young couple. They married on April 18, 1955, and Dina was given the title Queen of Jordan. However, the marriage was full of discord from the beginning. Hussein intended that his wife would have no political role or input, while the well-educated Dina found this very stifling. There was also much tension between Dina and her mother-in-law. Queen Zein had promoted the wedding but then found that she resented Dina taking her position as the senior female in the kingdom. A daughter was born in 1956, but the marriage was beyond saving:

  • Princess Alia (born 1956), married (1) Lieutenant-Colonel Nasser Wasfi Mirza, had one son, divorced  (2) Sayyid Mohammed Al-Saleh, had two sons

Later that year, Hussein informed Dina that he was divorcing her. Their divorce became final on June 24, 1957, at which time she lost her title of Queen. She became HRH Princess Dina Abdul-Hamid of Jordan.

Dina later returned to Egypt, and in 1970, and married Asad Sulayman Abd al-Qadir, a high-ranking official in the Palestine Liberation Organization. In 1983, a year after al-Qadir was imprisoned by the Israelis, Dina negotiated his release, along with 8,000 other prisoners.

Princess Dina Abdul-Hamid of Jordan died in Amman, Jordan on August 21, 2019, at the age of 89. Her funeral was held at the Royal Guard Mosque and she was buried at the Royal Cemetery, near Raghadan Palace within the Royal Compound (Al-Marquar) in Amman, Jordan.

This article is the intellectual property of Unofficial Royalty and is NOT TO BE COPIED, EDITED, OR POSTED IN ANY FORM ON ANOTHER WEBSITE under any circumstances. It is permissible to use a link that directs to Unofficial Royalty.

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Resources at Unofficial Royalty

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Queen Juliana of the Netherlands

by Susan Flantzer © Unofficial Royalty 2015

Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Juliana was Queen of the Netherlands from September 4, 1948 to April 30, 1980 when she abdicated in favor of her eldest daughter Beatrix. Born at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands on April 30, 1909, Juliana was the only child of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and her husband Prince Hendrik of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Juliana was christened on June 5, 1909, at the Willemskerk in The Hague, the Netherlands. She was given the names Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina:

Her godparents were:

Juliana and her mother Queen Wilhelmina in 1914; Credit – Wikipedia, United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division

When Juliana was six years old, a small class was formed at Noordeinde Palace so that the young princess could be educated with other children. Her classmates were all from Dutch noble families: Baroness Elise Bentinck, Baroness Elisabeth van Hardenbroek, and Jonkvrouwe Miek de Jonge. Juliana continued with this class until the age of eleven when she began studying with private tutors. At the age of 18, Juliana enrolled at Leiden University where she studied sociology, jurisprudence, economics, history of religion, parliamentary history, constitutional law, and international law. She finished her studies three years later in 1930.

In February 1936, Juliana attended the Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany. There she met and fell in love with Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, a prince of a minor German royal house. After Queen Wilhelmina had lawyers draft a very detailed prenuptial agreement that specified exactly what Bernhard could and could not do, the couple’s engagement was announced on September 8, 1936. After a civil marriage at The Hague City Hall, a religious marriage was held at the Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk in The Hague on January 7, 1937. Before the wedding, Bernhard had been granted Dutch citizenship and changed the spelling of his names from German to Dutch, and on his wedding day, he became His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.

Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard after their engagement; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Juliana and Bernhard had four daughters:


During World War II, three days after Germany began its invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, the Dutch Royal Family left for London, England. One month later, Juliana, along with her daughters Beatrix and Irene, went to Ottawa, Canada, where they would be safer. Prince Bernhard stayed with Queen Wilhelmina in London during the war, although both did make occasional visits to the rest of the family in Canada. Juliana’s third daughter Margriet was born while the family was in Canada. On August 2, 1945, the whole family returned to the Netherlands.

Juliana with her mother, husband, and daughters in Ottawa, Canada in 1943; Credit – Wikipedia

After World War II, Juliana served twice as regent (October 14, 1947 – December 1, 1947, and May 14, 1948 – August 30, 1948) due to the ill health of her mother, Queen Wilhelmina. On September 4, 1948, after a reign of nearly 58 years, Queen Wilhelmina abdicated in favor of her daughter and Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands. Wilhelmina survived until 1962 when she died at the age of 82.

Juliana was a much more relaxed monarch than her mother had been and this lessened the distance between the royal family and the Dutch people. She often appeared in public dressed like any ordinary Dutch woman, and preferred to be addressed as “Mevrouw” (Dutch for “Mrs.”) rather than her formal “Majesty”. Juliana’s love of bicycling for exercise gave rise to the royal family’s nickname, “the cycling family.”

Queen Juliana riding a bike in 1967; Photo Credit – Wikipedia, Nationaal Archief

Queen Juliana was particularly interested in the problems of developing countries, the refugee problem after World War II, and child welfare. In 1953, when the Netherlands suffered its most destructive storm in 500 years with more than two thousand people drowned and tens of thousands were trapped by the floodwaters, Queen Juliana quickly visited the areas affected, outfitted with boots, to comfort the affected people and to raise their morale. During her Silver Jubilee in 1973, Queen Juliana donated all of the money that had been raised by the National Silver Jubilee Committee to organizations that supported children in need throughout the world.

On January 31, 1980, the birthday of her eldest daughter Beatrix, Queen Juliana announced that she would abdicate in favor of Beatrix on April 30, 1980, her 71st birthday. Juliana indicated that she wanted to be styled as Her Royal Highness Princess Juliana. After her abdication, Juliana remained active socially and appeared regularly in public. One of her favorite activities was dining at fine restaurants – a favorite was the Auberge de l’Ill in Illhaeusern in Alsace, France.


After 1995, when Juliana’s general health began to decline, she made fewer public appearances. Her last public appearance was in 1998 at the wedding of her grandson Prince Maurits and Marilène van den Broek. In 2001, during a television interview on the occasion of his 90th birthday, Prince Bernhard said that Juliana no longer recognized her family and had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for several years. On Saturday, March 20, 2004, shortly before six o’clock in the morning, Juliana died in her sleep at the age of 94 due to pneumonia, in the presence of her three eldest children.

Juliana’s funeral was held on March 30, 2004, at the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft. She had requested that the color white be the focus of her funeral and therefore her daughters dressed in white. Princess Christina, Juliana’s youngest daughter and a talented singer who had studied classical music, beautifully sang ( 7:52 in the video below) the Shaker song “Simple Gifts.”  As Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg’s familiar Morgenstemning (Morning Mood) played (18:16 in the video below), Prince Bernhard, Queen Beatrix, Princess Irene, Princess Margriet, Princess Christina, and Margriet’s husband Pieter van Vollenhoven followed the casket down the stairs to the royal vault for the internment. Prince Bernhard survived his wife by eight months, dying at the age of 93 on December 1, 2004.


Kingdom of the Netherlands Resources at Unofficial Royalty

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February 1915: Royalty and World War I

by Susan Flantzer

Not a Lord, but a Lady

Lord Gray

Gray family coat of arms; Photo Credit – http://www.tailoredtoursonline.co.uk

While researching the background of a son of a peer who died in February of 1915, I was perplexed because I could not find out what peerage his father had held. I thought there had been an error, but then I looked more closely at his mother, and sure enough, she was the peer. Most titles have traditionally been created for men with remainder to male heirs. However, some titles are created with special remainders to allow women to inherit them, and these women are peeresses in their own right. Eveleen Smith-Gray, 19th Lady Gray (1841–1918) was the mother of Henry Campbell-Gray, killed in action in February of 1915. Lord/Lady Gray is an old Scottish barony and most Scottish baronies, along with many old English baronies, allow the peerage to pass to the “heirs general,” so females can inherit them.

Lord Gray is a title in the Peerage of Scotland and was created in 1445 for the Scottish diplomat and politician Sir Andrew Gray (c. 1390–1469), who served three Kings of Scotland, James I, James II, and James III.

The Master of Gray trilogy by Nigel Tranter are historical novels based upon the life of Patrick Gray, 6th Lord Gray, a political schemer and diplomat during the reign of the young King James VI of Scotland (later King James I of England).

There have been four female holders of the barony:

Madelina Gray, 16th Lady Gray (1799–1869)
Margaret Murray, 17th Lady Gray (1821–1878)
Eveleen Smith-Gray, 19th Lady Gray (1841–1918)
Ethel Eveleen Gray-Campbell, 21st Lady Gray (1866–1946)

Wikipedia: List of Lord/Lady Gray titleholders


Timeline: February 1, 1915 – February 28, 1915


A Note About German Titles

Most of the royals who died in action during World War I were German. The German Empire consisted of 27 constituent states, most of them ruled by royal families. Scroll down to German Empire here to see what constituent states made up the German Empire.  The constituent states retained their own governments, but had limited sovereignty. Some had their own armies, but the military forces of the smaller ones were put under Prussian control. In wartime, armies of all the constituent states would be controlled by the Prussian Army and the combined forces were known as the Imperial German Army.  German titles may be used in Royals Who Died In Action below. Refer to Unofficial Royalty: Glossary of German Noble and Royal Titles.

24 British peers were also killed in World War I and they will be included in the list of those who died in action. In addition, more than 100 sons of peers also lost their lives, and those that can be verified will also be included.


February 1915 – Royals/Nobles/Peers Who Died In Action

The list is in chronological order and does contain some who would be considered noble instead of royal. The links in the last bullet for each person is that person’s genealogical information from Leo’s Genealogics Website  or to The Peerage website.  If a person has a Wikipedia page, their name will be linked to that page.

Thomas Knox, Viscount Northland

Francis Tyrrell

Henry Campbell-Gray

Graf Otto von Westarp

Heinrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Prince Hendrik of the Netherlands

by Susan Flantzer  © Unofficial Royalty 2015

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Prince Hendrik was the husband of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and thus far, is the longest-serving Dutch consort. Heinrich Wladimir Albrecht Ernst was born on April 19, 1876, in Schwerin in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, now in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.  He was the youngest of the four children of Friedrich Franz II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and his third wife Marie of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.

Heinrich had three full siblings:

Heinrich had six half-siblings from his father’s first marriage to Princess Auguste of Reuss-Köstritz:

Heinrich had one half-sister from his father’s third marriage to  Princess Anna of Hesse and by Rhine:

  • Duchess Anne (1865 – 1882), unmarried, died in her teens

Heinrich had seven half-siblings, five of which survived to adulthood.  Among his half-siblings were Friedrich Franz III, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, father of Alexandrine, Queen of Denmark and Cecile, last Crown Princess of Prussia and Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (Maria Pavlovna of Russia) who married Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia. Their son Kirill became a pretender to the Russian throne after the assassination of his cousin Nicholas II of Russia.

When Heinrich was seven years old, his father died. After finishing his secondary education in Dresden, he traveled to Greece and the British colonies of India and Ceylon.  He then joined the Prussian Army and served as a first lieutenant in the Garde-Jäger-Bataillon in Potsdam, Prussia.

In 1900, Heinrich and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands were introduced by their mothers. After spending part of the summer together, the two became engaged on October 16, 1900.  The wedding preparations were overshadowed by the deaths of Wilhelmina’s uncle Charles Alexander, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach on January 5, 1901, and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom on January 22, 1901.

The couple was married on February 7, 1901, at the Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk in The Hague in the Netherlands.  Following the wedding, Heinrich became a Prince of the Netherlands and also became known by the Dutch version of his name – Hendrik. Wilhelmina decreed that the Dutch royal house would remain the House of Orange-Nassau and not change to the House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.  Although the marriage was a peaceful one, Hendrik and Wilhelmina grew apart due to her religious mysticism and his unfaithfulness and frustrations over his lack of an official role in the Netherlands.

Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Wilhelmina had no surviving siblings at the time of her marriage and the fear that the Dutch throne would pass to a German prince made it imperative that she provide herself with an heir. The couple’s only child, the future Queen Juliana, was born on April 30, 1909, to her parents’ great relief.  Wilhelmina had several miscarriages before and after Juliana’s birth, as well as a stillborn child.

Juliana in 1910; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Throughout his marriage, Hendrik was plagued by financial problems.  He received no subsidy from the Dutch treasury, and instead received an annual sum of 100,000 guilders from his wife. His activities and pastimes cost money and he was expected to financially support charities and also provide funds to his impoverished family in Germany.  In addition, there was money Hendrik had to give to his mistresses who bore him illegitimate children.  Dutch historian Gerald Aalders has said Prince Hendrik had eight known illegitimate children.  After Hendrik’s death, Queen Wilhelmina continued to compensate the mothers of his illegitimate children.

Hendrik held various honorary appointments in the armed forces and also served on the Council of State, but his wife kept him out of all political matters. He deeply regretted his rather insignificant position and said about his situation, “It’s not nice when you always want some more bacon and all that’s ever left is beans.”

Prince Hendrik had a great interest in the social and economic life in the Netherlands. He oversaw the merger of the two scouting organizations to create De Nederlandse Padvinders (The Netherlands Pathfinders), an organization that still receives royal patronage.  He was chairman of the Dutch Red Cross and in 1928 he opened the Olympic Games in Amsterdam.

During the last years of his life, Hendrik’s health quickly deteriorated. His arthritis intensified, he gained much weight and had his first heart attack in 1929. The second heart attack followed on June 28, 1934. During the afternoon of July 3, 1934 while in his office, Prince Hendrik died at the age of 58 of cardiac arrest. As per his wishes, he had a white funeral and was buried in the royal vault at the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft.

Funeral of Prince Hendrik; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

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Kingdom of the Netherlands Resources at Unofficial Royalty

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