25 April 2018

King Harald V on sick leave

The Norwegian Royal Court informed earlier today that King Harald V is on sick leave for the rest of the week due to a strain and pains in one of his feet.

The court added that during the time the king is on sick leave, the Crown Prince will serve as regent in accordance with the Constitution Article 41. This is not entirely correct, however, as the Crown Prince is currently paying an official visit to Estonia, which means that it is the the Council of State, i. the Government, which «will conduct the administration of the realm» until the Crown Prince returns on late Thursday 26 April.

24 April 2018

UK: Third child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The Duke and Durchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine) became parents for the third time yesterday, 23 April 2018, at 11.01 a.m. The birth took place at the Lindo Wing of the St. Mary's Hospital in London, where also Prince George and Princess Charlotte were born. The announcement from Kensington Palace read:
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101hrs. The baby weighs 8lbs 7oz. The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth.

The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.
If you wonder about the weight, 8lb 7oz = 3.827185 kg. As far as I know nothing has been said about the baby boy's length. The «Notes to the editors» part, which was not published  by Kensington Palace's Twitter account, but found its way to among other Sarah Hewson of Sky News, said that the medical staff in support were Mr. Guy Thorpe-Beeston, Surgeon Gynaecologist to The Royal Household,  Mr. Alan Farthing, Surgeon Gynaecologist to HM The Queen, Dr. Sunit Godambe, Consultant Neonatologist at the Imperial College NHS Trust and Professor Huw Thomas, Physician to HM The Queen and Head of the Medical Household.

The notes meant for the editors said that «The name of the baby will be announced in due course». As I didn't have the time to blog yesterday, I had hoped to write a combined birth and name article today, but obviously we are still waiting for the name to be announced. Hopefully I can return with a follow-up tomorrow.

23 April is St. George's Day, so if the name had not already been taken by the baby boy's brother, George would have been an obvious choice. The favourite of the bookmakers is Arthur, followed by Albert. Other names being mentioned are James, Philip, Alexander, Henry, Edward. Frederick, Thomas, Alfred, Jack, Louis, Michael, Charles and William. The Duchess' father is named Michael, by the way, while her grandfathers were named Peter and Ronald respectively. Philip after Prince William's grandfather would be a good choice, but the Duke and Duchess might want a name which is not taken by a living member of the royal family. Now I am of course talking about the call name. I would be surprised if Michael isn't chosen as the second or third name, but I would be equally surprised if it is announced as his call name. Then again, it is very seldom that I get the correct answer in the guessing game ... My choice would be Alfred Michael Philip (or maybe Alfred Philip Michael sounds better?), but I guess Arthur is more likely. We all seem to guess on a traditional royal name, as with George and Charlotte, but for the third child the Duke and Duchess might feel less tradition-bound? The most popular male names in 2016 can be found at the website of the Office for National Statistics. Thomas and Robert should definately not be ruled out, but I just cannot imagine names like Oliver, Noah, Logan, Mason, Finley or Harrison.

The new-born Prince of Cambridge entered the world as no. 5 in the line of succession to the British throne. A point to be made her is of course «in the old days» the new prince would have pushed his elder sister Charlotte down the ladder. But the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which applies to «a person born after 28 October 2011» and which came into force in full on 26 March 2015 (to be more exact: «The day appointed for the coming into force of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, so far as it is not already in force, is 26th March 2015»), secured Charlotte's position in the line of succession ahead of any younger brother. So we can say that history was made yesterday.

Another point is that yesterday's royal birth meant that the Duke of York was pushed down to no. 7 in the line of succession and does not need his mother's consent to marry again if he so wishes. He could therefore remarry his ex-wife, as so many have speculated on. I am not convinced, however, that the Queen, under such a scenario, would have refused consent if it was still needed. The Duke of York might be content with the present status after all.

Finally, I must say I am pleased with the gift guidance released yesterday:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are extremely grateful for the support and goodwill being expressed at this happy time.  However, Their Royal Highnesses do not wish to encourage the sending of gifts to them on this occasion, and feel that any generosity of spirit felt by individuals should be directed to those more in need.

As such, they would be grateful if people wishing to give gifts look to provide their support in one of two ways:

(a) by donating to a children’s charity which is local to them (i.e. to the gift giver) as a way of marking the birth of Their Royal Highnesses' third child;

or, alternatively,

(b) by donating to Evelina London Children's Hospital:

http://www.supportevelina.org.uk/donate/congratulations

Gifts from commercial organisations will not be accepted.  They will be returned to the sender, unless the cost of shipping is too prohibitive, in which case the commercial gifts will be donated to an appropriate charity.
Kensington Palace might have published something similar in connection with the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte for all I know. Regardless, I like the stand the couple has made.

15 March 2018

UK: The Queen's Declaration of Consent to the marriage between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle


It was just a formality, but still a formality that had to take place before the wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle on 19 May 2018. The website of the Privy Council has published the following declaration:

«At the Court at Buckingham Palace
THE 14th DAY OF MARCH 2018
PRESENT,
THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY
IN COUNCIL
Her Majesty in Council was this day pleased to make the following Declaration. 
Richard Tilbrook.
MY LORDS,
I decleare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council.»

Sweden: More about the name of Princess Adrienne

I wrote the article about the name of Princess Adrienne on Tuesday evening because I didn't have the time to blog on Monday when the Council of State, in which the name was announced, took place. But I still managed to miss out on some additional information about the name, so I will have to write another blog article on the subject.

The Swedish magazine Svensk Damtidning wrote on 12 March 2018 under the headline «Svensk Damtidning avslöjar – hemligheten bakom Madeleines namnval» («Svensk Damtidning reveals – the secret behind Madeleine's name choice») that Adrienne was a name Queen Silvia had loved for many years. According to the Swedish pastor Adrienne Riddez on her Facebook wall (her message seems to have been deleted), they met eachother some time in the late 1990s and the queen had said: «Oh, is your name Adrienne, that is such a beautiful name. I should have given that to Madeleine!» And a generation later the name was given to Princess Madeleine's third child.

The head of the information department at the Royal Court in Sweden, Margareta Thorgren, seems to have confirmed the story, but also stressed that Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill had chosen the name for the simple reason that they liked it. «They chose Alice after Princess Madeleine's grandmother [«mormor» – «mother's mother»] and Josephine after Chris' grandmother [«mormor» – «mother's mother»]. But the name Adrienne stands on its own.»

The last piece of information is quite interesting. Naturally most commentators, myself included, pointed at Queen Josephine of Sweden as the source of inspiration for the name. I should of course have double-checked the ancestry of Chris O'Neill before I published my article on Tuesday night. After all, some information about his family has been published at the Nobiliana forum in the thread «Ancestors of Christopher O'Neill» (too many contributors to mention them all). Svensk Damtidning, and/or Ms. Thorgren, has messed up a bit, though. It is Chris' farmor («father's mother») who was named Josephine, not his mormor: Josephine Cesario, b. around 1896.

13 March 2018

Sweden: HRH Princess Adrienne Josephine Alice, Duchess of Blekinge

In the Council of State held at Stockholm Palace yesterday, 12 March 2018, King Carl Gustaf informed his government that his new granddaughter, who was born 3 days earlier, had received the name Adrienne Josephine Alice and the title Duchess of Blekinge. The name in daily use would be Adrienne.

As usual the choice of name immediately became a debate topic in newspapers, TV, blogs and other social media. It was not difficult to point at Queen Josephine, née Princess of Leuchtenberg (1807–1876) as the inspiration for the second name, and to Queen Silvia's mother Alice Sommerlath, née de Toledo (1906–1997) as the inspiration for the third name. Josephine is also the fourth name of Princess Madeleine, mother of the (now relatively) newborn princess, and also appear among the names of other members of the larger Bernadotte family. Princess Adrienne's aunt Crown Princess Victoria has Alice has her third name, as has Adrienne's great-aunt Princess Birgitta. Both Josephine and Alice are rather common names in royal European history.

But what about Adrienne? Of course it was once again a name no-one had guessed. It is has no roots in Swedish royal history and is French of origin, but considering the French roots of the Bernadotte family it is in my opinion a good choice, even if it is deemed «untraditional» in the European royal circle. So where have Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill taken inspiration from? In the Facebook group Royalty Digest Quarterly, its administrator – and editor of the magazine with the same name – Ted Rosvall mentioned yesterday that «The name ADRIENNE does appear in the Bernadotte family. The soon to be 102, Dagmar von Arbin, née Bernadotte af Wisborg, has two granddaughters by that name: JANA Adrienne De GEER [Gummeson] and ADRIENNE Ebba Sophie De GEER [Heurlin]. The former has a daughter named ADRIENNE Maria Madeleine Gummesson De GEER».

I followed up, after having read a Twitter message on the subject, by mentioning that one of Queen Josephine's ancestors (and of Princess Adrienne, of course) had the name Adrienne – Adrienne Dyel de Graville. There was some initial confusion about which Josephine I was actually referring to and the number of generations, and I have to take the main responsibility for that (such things happen when you write in haste during a short break), but eventually I think the connection was well settled:

Princess Adrienne (b. 2018) --> Princess Madeleine (b. 1982) --> King Carl XVI Gustaf (b. 1946) --> Prince Gustaf Adolf (1906–1947) --> King Gustaf VI Adolf (1882–1973) --> King Gustaf V (1858–1950) --> King Oscar II (1829–1907) --> Queen Josephine, née Princess of Leuchtenberg (1807–1876) --> Eugène de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg (1781–1824) --> Josephine, Empress of the French 1804–1810, née Tascher de la Pagerie (1763–1814) --> Joseph Gaspard de Tascher de la Pagerie (1735–1790) --> Marie Françoise Boureau de la Chevallerie (1709–1787) --> Marie Thérèse de Jaham (b. ca. 1686) --> Adrienne Dyel de Graville (ca. 1658–1729).

And if that is not enough, Adrienne's parents were named Adrien Dyel de Graville and Adrienne Dyel de Vaudroque. However, we should take some reservations about the eldest generations, as the tweet mentioned above based its information on the ancestry table given in the Wikipedia article about Empress Josephine, and as of today it is completely without sources.

There are also other Internet pages which either gives details about Adrienne Dyel de Graville and or mentions the connection between her and the Bernadottes, such as Geneanet.org and Généalogie et Histoire de la Caraïbe, including «G.H.C. Numéro 54 : Novembre 1993 Page 890» and «Généalogie et Historie de la Caraïbe No 115 Mai 1999» (rtf file)). The website covering French-Caribian genealogy seems to be rather serious, but unless my somewhat limited understanding of the French language has failed me, I can't find any sources stated there either.

I should add that the genealogist and author Ted Rosvall in his book Bernadotteättlingar (2010) shows on p. 114 Queen Josephine's ancestry back to Marie Françoise Boureau de la Chevallerie (1709–1787), the granddaughter of Adrienne Dyel de Graville. Chantal Cosnay is responsible for the genealogy research in France.

So, if we for the sake of the argument accepts the connection mentioned above – Adrienne of the 17th century would then be Princess Adrienne's 11 x great-grandmother, if I have not messed up the counting completely – has Princess Madeleine consulted her ancestry table in order to find a suitable name? She has most likely knows her de Geer relatives and can have taken inspiration from them. It is difficult to say for sure before she or her husband should one day in the future decide to comment on the name choice.

Adrienne is, by the way, not a very common name in Sweden, but according to Statistics Sweden there are currently (as of 31 December 2017, that is) 305 women with the name Adrienne, of whom 141 have Adrienne as their call name.

Following the birth of Princess Adrienne, the line of succession to the throne of Sweden is as follows:
  1. Crown Princess Victoria (1977)
  2. Princess Estelle (2012)
  3. Prince Oscar (2016)
  4. Prince Carl Philip (1979)
  5. Prince Alexander (2016) 
  6. Prince Gabriel (2017)
  7. Princess Madeleine (1982)
  8. Princess Leonore (2014)
  9. Prince Nicolas (2015)
  10. Princess Adrienne (2018)

10 March 2018

Royal birth in Sweden: Princess Madeleine's third child

Photo: © 2017 Christopher O'Neill.

The Swedish Royal Court (The Office of The Marshal of the Realm) announced yesterday morning 9 March 2018 that Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris O'Neill earlier that day had become parents for the third time.
Announcement from HE The Marshal of the Realm

The Office of The Marshal of the Realm is delighted to announce that HRH Princess Madeleine gave birth to a healthy child on Friday 9 March 2018 at 00:41 at Danderyd Hospital.

Both mother and child are in good health.

Svante Lindqvist
Marshal of the Realm
The announcement was later followed up by a press release in which the gender of the child was revealed:
HRH Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O’Neill have had a daughter

On Friday the 9th March at 00.41, Princess Madeleine gave birth to a daughter at Danderyd Hospital in Stockholm.

Weight: 3465 gram
Length: 50 cm

Mr O’Neill was present at Danderyd Hospital throughout the birth.

"We are thrilled about the new addition to our family. Leonore and Nicolas are looking very much forward to finally meeting their new little sister," says Mr O’Neill.
Salutes of 21 shots were fired at noon on the occasion of the birth . The parents returned home with their new daughter later the same day.

The newborn princess is the seventh grandchild of King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia. The baby has entered the line of succession to the Swedish throne as no. 10. The name and title will be announced in a Council of State to be held on Monday 12 March at 11:15. A Te Deum to mark the birth of the princess will take place the same day at 12:15.

It is more or less impossible to predict what name Princess Madeleine and her husband has decided on. Neither Leonore or Nicolas were traditional names in Swedish royal history. But maybe the couple will surprise us with Martha or Eugenie this time?

25 February 2018

Royal birth in Serbia

The Office of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia released the following statement this morning concerning the birth of a new prince of Serbia:
Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine announce with joy that the Royal Family just gained a new member. HRH Princess Danica, the wife of HRH Prince Philip, gave birth to a son Stefan, in Belgrade on Sunday, 25 February 2018 at 10:30 am. 
With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, the bells of Belgrade’s St. Sava temple rang as signal of the birth of the new born of the Karadjordjevic Royal family, and this was the first time in history that 49 bells of the biggest orthodox temple in Balkans will announce such a birth. The bells of St. George church in Oplenac rang as a sign of the birth as well. 
The mother and the baby are doing well. [...]
This male birth is the first one in the Royal Family in Serbia for 90 years when HRH Prince Tomislav was born in Belgrade, who was the brother of HM King Peter II, the grandfather of HRH Prince Philip.
His Royal Highness Prince Philip is the fraternal twin of Prince Alexander and second in line to the Throne after Hereditary Prince Peter. He is the son of HRH Crown Prince Alexander and HRH Princess Maria da Gloria of Orleans Bragança. Prince Philip is the grandson of HM King Peter II and HM Queen Alexandra. His Godparents are HM King Constantine of the Hellenes, HM the Queen of Spain and HRH the Duchess of Calabria.
Prince Philip was born at Falls Church, Virginia, USA on 15 January 1982. He married Danica Marinkovic, b. Belgrade 17 August 1986, in the Saborna Church in Belgrade, Serbia on 7 October 2017.