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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tales of Royal Tragedies

Had some of the chapters of this book revised for historical accuracy and quality content. Available in two versions: Kindle and paperback. Please check this link in We are currently running a year-end promo for each version.

paperback cover

Kindle edition cover


Tragedy and the Royal Court. Two metaphors of great contradiction. One manifests disaster, the other demonstrates splendor. However, in the exalted world of European royalty, disaster and splendor often go along.

Contrary to the allegory of fairy tales, the lives of royals are far from beautiful legends and happy endings. Back to the old days, the royal houses had a series of catastrophic reigns and were plagued by all types of crisis, from political to psychological.

Royals suffering from a certain form of genetic damages were too common the thrones often had mentally deranged, criminally-insane and physically-deformed monarchs.

There were adulterous royals who took scandal to the extremes, stacking the royal bedroom with a succession of mistresses. As though infidelity during their time was cool. There were neurotic emperors who were delighted with tortures and murders, and delusional kings who made themselves believed they were something else other than human beings.

Bad genes. And though some of them found an antidote to  pass the test of times, only few managed to survive in the 20th century. The conclusion of World War I brought a tragic end to some of Europe’s most powerful royal houses. The Hapsburg in Austria, the Hohenzollern in Germany and the Romanov in Russia, all failed to pass the ordeal.

After World War II, more Kings were knocked off from the throne. Kingdoms were significantly reduced and German princely states were thoroughly abolished. The 21st century saw only ten surviving hereditary royal houses in Europe: Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

The European monarchy today is not quite the same as it was in the beginning of the 20th century. By the end of 1970s, royals too realized they needed to be more responsive to the call of times and needed to adopt new reforms to survive in the next decades.

This prompted them to overhaul some of their ancient royal customs, ditching the unnecessary one. The archaic law of succession was changed, from male-preference primogeniture to absolute succession, giving equal rights to daughters of the sovereign.

The tradition of marrying within the upper-class was also abandoned, granting royals their liberty to choose who they want to take as lovers. This freedom of choice made royals to take a commoner spouse, a situation considered inconceivable before the 20th century.

However, some of them went too far with their intention to get in touch with the outside world. They allowed themselves too accessible to the public, lowering the barrier between commoners and royalty, too low, they unwittingly welcome more controversies to penetrate the palace walls.

This book compiles the most interesting anthology of scandals and intrigues that outshine the luster of the royal crowns, highlighting the disastrous side of the royal myth: Crime mysteries, vicious family secrets, tragic deaths, scandalous marriages and lunatic royals.

Fairytale that went bad. However, despite these spectacles of scandals and shocking intrigues, European monarchy is still an enchanting institution to watch. Royals still mesmerize the public with their finest regalia, sparkling jewelry and horse-drawn carriages.

The serious defects, both in genes and in the royal court, thank God, were not entirely shipped to the modern age. But the current generation of European royals found another way to amuse the world with their antics and misadventures, making royal watching a delightful pastime.

This compelling account of royal tragedies is prepared in a very plain and simple context to help readers, especially those who are not devoted royal followers, understand the intricacies of the royal world in a clear-cut sense.

This compilation of scathing royal intrigues, which includes the long-forgotten saga of the pretenders to the throne and the changes adopted by the modern royals, is beyond history.

This book exposes the dark side of royalty, the foolish antics, the waywardness, the misadventures, the savageries, and other nonsensical assortments of royal behavior. Dark tales that will make us realize that royals, after all, “never live happily ever after”.





Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Best Royal of the Year 2015

If you would be given a chance to choose a royal of the year, who would it be?

I could almost hear screeching voices of royalists shouting their choices: Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, The Duke of Cambridge, Princess Mary of Denmark, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Queen Letezia of Spain. However, my choice remains to be the beloved Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. 

He has done so much for the monarchy and devoted all his life to his role as Queen's husband. At 94, His Royal Highness is still very much visible in public. He is still actively gracing ceremonial and public events.  As the longest-serving prince consort in British history, the Duke of Edinburgh is aware how it is to just be relegated to the best supporting role, it is almost a major blow to a man's ego. But he carried it on very well.

More than a spouse of the ruling sovereign, a consort is someone who tries to make the monarchy appear more dignified and a strong support to the significant-other who functioned as a unifying symbol to the country. But it is not as easy as it sounds, it has no power or authority. It is even more “undefined” if the consort is a male.

In European monarchy, there’s no clear distinction of the role of a Prince Consort in the constitution. When the sovereign is a male, his wife is always crowned with him and always given the title rank of a Queen. But not if the sovereign is a female. There’s no way in the constitution that the husband of a Queen is given the title of a King.

In England, the last King Consort was King Philip, the husband of Queen Mary I (Tudor), who, after his wife’s death, went on to become the King of Spain, Philip II (to whom the Philippines was named). After chaos in Philip’s role where he almost functioned as a King regnant, the role of the Queen’s husband was altered after the reign of Queen Mary. Although the next Queen’s husband was William III, he co-ruled with his wife, Mary II (Stuart), thus, functioned a King regnant.

The first British Queen’s husband who became the Prince Consort was Prince George of Denmark, husband of Queen Anne (Stuart). Since then, well only two female sovereigns followed Anne, Victoria and Elizabeth II, the constitution prohibited the Queen’s husband from taking any official role other than a member of the Council of State during the absence of his wife. The next powerful person in the kingdom after the Queen is always the heir-apparent.

In the present-day Europe, only two monarchs are female, Elizabeth II of Britain and Margrethe II of Denmark. The most visible and popular however is Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He is my best pick for European Royal of the Year 2015.

However, Prince Henrik, the husband of Queen Margrethe II, is also a hardworking consort in his own way and so with the rest of European Queen Consorts: Mathilde of Belgium, Maxima of the Netherlands, Letezia of Spain, Sonja of Norway and Silvia of Sweden. But Prince Philip is different. He is the oldest and the long-serving consort in Europe and at 94, he is still actively doing his duties to the monarchy.


Trivia: Did you know that Prince Philip was not really awarded with the title, Prince Consort, when his wife ascended the throne in 1952? He was only honored by the Queen with the title, Prince of the United Kingdom in 1953. It was Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, who was officially named Prince Consort. However, since a husband of the Queen is always known as Prince Consort let’s call Prince Philip that way. J

His critics would claim the Duke of Edinburgh lacks refinement because he would express openly what’s on his mind even if it is already off-beat. His humor often rankled the liberals and the conservatives and misinterpreted his outspokenness as invasive bordering arrogance. For them, he is a bit of a character, but I like his openness and sense of humor, it makes him more totally connected with the modern world.

He never feared criticism and he stroke back like a thunderbolt when confronted. He has taken his role into the extreme beyond wave, smile and nod and has been protecting the reign of his wife from controversies and scandals.

His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh is not your ordinary man. He was born a royal prince, HRH Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark and was sixth in line of succession to the Greek throne when he was forced to relinquish his royal title in 1947 to marry the then Princess Elizabeth.

A grandson of a King (George I of Greece), a great great grandson of a Queen (Victoria of England), a great great great grandson of an Emperor (Nicholas I of Russia), Philip is more royal than the Queen. He is also a decorated war veteran (a navy officer at the outbreak of World War II), a staunch defender of the firm (the royal family’s term for the British monarchy) and the long-serving British Prince consort in history.

He is the last true-blooded European prince to marry into the British royal family (coincidentally, the last true-blooded European princess to marry into the British royal family was his first cousin, Princess Marina, the wife of Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle, Prince George, Duke of Kent). Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth are third cousins through Queen Victoria and second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark. They are blood related to most of the European royal families.

In 2015, he had taken more official engagement than Kate Middleton, endearing him more to the royalists. At 94, Prince Philip is still sprightly active, mentally and physically able, gracing public engagements, attending ceremonial functions and supporting the Queen. He had survived several health scares in the past years and showed no signs of slowing down. Long live Prince Philip!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Carl Philip of Sweden wed ex-topless model

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, 36, and Sofia Hellqvist, 30, tied the knot last June 13, 2015 at the Stockholm's royal palace in Sweden. The wedding was attended by most members of European royalty. Britain was represented by Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex. 

Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden.
Photo from the Daily Mail UK

Norway's Queen Sonja attended with her son, Prince Haakon, and Haakon's wife, Mette Marit. Denmark's Queen Margrethe, who is first cousin of the groom's father, King Carl XVI Gustav, attended with her son, Crown Prince Frederick, and daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Mary. Other prominent royal guests were Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Queen Mathilde of Belgium. It is  a little bit surprising that none of the Spanish royal family members attended the ceremony and so with the Monegasque royals and the Luxembourgian royals.

The newly wed with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Eric Hellqvist and the 
King and Queen of Sweden. Photo from the Daily Mail UK

The royal couple with their siblings

Carl Philip's choice of a partner attracted controversies in 2010 when he began dating Sofia. The woman, not only commoner, but also a controversial figure. She once posed half-naked in a magazine photo shoot and admitted to have "making out" with an American porn star.  She also starred in a reality TV show in Sweden where she engaged in a heated argument with another fellow contestant. Something unheard for a wife of a European prince.

Sofia wore a couture lace gown in three shades of white with a hand-cut long train held in place by an elegant tiara surrounded with delicate diamond and emerald stones. This jewelry piece looked like part of the Crown heirloom. Upon marriage, Sofia was conferred with the title of Princess which allowed her to be addressed as Princess Sofia publicly. 

And so...even a woman with a racy and unconventional past is now free to dream to scale the ancient castle and became a fairy tale princess. The choice of a spouse of the European royals in the 21st century eroded the prestige of the crown that the term "royalty" almost has no meaning to the modern world.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Remembering Lord Mountbatten

Perhaps, one of the most influential figures in the British royal court during his lifetime, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Earl of Burma, was the maternal uncle of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Known privately as Dickie to the royal family, Lord Mountbatten was considered by the Prince of Wales as his dear grandpapa. Mountbatten directly descended from Queen Victoria’s second daughter, Princess Alice, who married the Grand Duke of Hesse-Cassel, Louis IV.

Lord Louis Mountbatten, maternal uncle of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh
and Prince Charles's mentor whom he referred as his honorary grandfather.

He was born His Serene Highness, Prince Louis of Battenberg, the youngest child of Prince Louis of Battenberg, and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (eldest child of Princess Alice). He married a wealthy British aristocrat, Edwina Ashley, and had two daughters, Patricia and Pamela.

His connection to the most powerful royal houses in Europe, made him to flaunt in pride. Aside from being the great grandson of Queen Victoria, he had other royal connections to boast. His older sister, Princess Alice of Battenberg, married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, son of King George I of Greece. His other sister, Louise, married King Adolf VI of Sweden. His maternal aunt, Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine became Empress Alexandra of Russia (wife of Emperor Nicolas II of Russia). 

His father and namesake, Prince Louis of Battenberg, was a German Prince. He and his wife, Princess Victoria, moved to England. Battenberg then served in the British Royal Navy. He was the first Sea Lord of England during the outbreak of World War I. However, England was fighting against Germany and English detested everything about Germans. Almost every German living in England was suspected as a spy and despite his devotion to England and achievement in the royal navy, Prince Louis was not exempted from this angst.

His wife’s first cousin, King George V, determined to save his Kingdom from the rant of his volatile subjects, advised Battenberg to resign from his post. Louis was also forced to relinquish his Princely title. The King made him an English nobleman. He was given the title, Marquess of Milford-Haven. The final humiliation came when Louis was advised to anglicize his name, so he obliged and changed Battenberg to Mountbatten. He retired from the naval service and settled quietly in Kensington Palace for the rest of his life.

Except for Princess Alice, who by then married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, Louis, his brother, George, and sister, Louise, took the status of being children of a British nobleman, thereby assuming the courtesy title of Lord and Lady. So the youngest Louis became Lord Louis Mountbatten

Lord Louis Mountbatten was not disheartened by the turn of events, instead, he made his way up to the top of the royal service and became a decorated war hero and naval officer. His influence in the lives of the British royal family became even more strong when King George VI ascended the British throne.

Deeply shy, nervous and reluctant with his role as monarch, the King would often rely on the brilliant advises of his distant cousin. Louis Mountbatten excelled in every service he held. He was assigned a Viceroy of India and was made Earl of Burma. He also served as a Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Southeast Asia Command during World War II and just like his father, Louis became the First Sea Lord of England. He had reached the highest rank in the British royal navy by becoming an Admiral of the Fleet.

Despite all these achievements, the Earl of Burma seemed looking for something greater. May it be his ambitious streak to grip hard on the throne or his concern over the future of his dear nephew, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, who, at the age of 10, had no home of his own, history would prove that Lord Mountbatten played a significant role in molding the future of the British throne.

Smart and brilliant, Lord Mountbatten would do anything to lift his family from obscurity. He considered having a royal status a ticket to greatness, privilege and honor. He belonged to the old seat of royalists who considered royal marriages must be kept only within the upper class.

When his nephew, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, became homeless at the age of 10, he offered to bring him to England. By 1931, Philip’s parents separated and his mother suffered a nervous breakdown and was institutionalized in Switzerland. All his sisters had married German princes and Lord Louis thought his nephew deserved a better place in this world, having been born to the exalted blue-blooded family of Europe.

Prince Philip eventually moved to England and studied in English schools designed for children of aristocrats. At the behest of his uncle, Philip attended a naval school and became a naval officer. He became a sub-lieutenant during World War II and started corresponding with his cousin, Princess Elizabeth. But all throughout this time, Philip was not yet a British subject. He also remained a Prince of Greece and Denmark.

By 1940s the handsome Greek prince knew where his destiny would lead him. His relationship to the future Queen of England became closer and, according to some accounts, his uncle actively worked on the possible marriage, bombarding his nephew with advises how to conduct a royal affair

In 1946, when it becoming clear that the relationship is edging towards marriage, Lord Mountbatten moved forward to work on Philip’s British citizenship (although in sentiments this was not the case because as a direct descendant of Princess Sophia of Hanover whose son became King George I of England, Prince Philip, just like the rest of European royals descended from Sophia, automatically became a British subject at birth through The Act of Settlement).

Philip became a naturalized British subject in 1947 several months before the royal wedding. Philip reduced to a status of a commoner when he was advised to give up his Greek royal title and his claim to the Greek throne. He adopted his maternal grandfather’s surname, Mountbatten and he was known as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. The royal wedding took place on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey. The Duke of Edinburgh was able to take back his royal status in 1953 when the Queen made him Prince of the United Kingdom.

When the couple’s first child, Prince Charles, was born, Lord Mountbatten became more than an adviser, he was determined to oversee the upbringing of the boy and his training as a future king. His constant guidance earned him a special place in Charles’s heart. The Prince of Wales considered Lord Mountbatten as his dear grandfather.

It was Lord Mountbatten who advised Charles to marry within the royal circle and his phrase, “Love is not an option for the man who would be King of England”, was initially took by Charles devotedly. It was suspected also that Lord Mountbatten was the one who discouraged Charles to pursue a romance with Camilla Shand in 1971 because of her commoner status, so Charles broke up with Camilla and she married Andrew Parker Bowles instead. 

Determined to keep the name within the family, Mountbatten arranged Charles to marry his granddaughter, Amanda Knatchbull. Charles agreed. But before the arrangement could take place, a fatal accident happened.

In August 1979, everything would change. Lord Mountbatten, his daughter, Patricia Knatchbull, two grandsons, Patricia's husband, Lord Brabourne and Brabourne's mother, were aboard Mountbatten's fishing boat to go Lobster-potting and Tuna fishing in the sea side of County Sligo in Ireland when it exploded. Lord Mountbatten, his grandson, Nicholas and Baroness Brabourne died from the explosion.The Irish Republican Army claimed the responsibility of planting the bomb.

His death sent a terrible blow to Prince Charles who considered Lord Mountbatten his closest supporter and dearest grand papa he never had. As a royal, Charles was trained to restrain emotion in public. But during the church service where he read a passage from the bible, the Prince of Wales's voice faltered and he almost broke in tears. He was visibly forlorn and unimaginably emotional all throughout the service.

The Prince of Wales followed the wish of his great uncle and proposed marriage to Amanda Knatchbull sometimes in 1979 but Amanda flatly refused the proposal. A year later in July 1980, Prince Charles met Lady Diana Spencer in a country house party organized by their friends. Six months later they got engaged and married on July 29, 1981 at St. Paul's Cathedral, London and the rest is history.

Nearly 40 years after losing Lord Mountbatten to a fatal explosion, the Prince of Wales still fondly remembered the man he considered one of the most influential figures in his growing up years.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Princess Charlotte: How the name changed British History

The whole Kingdom was swathed in pink when Princess Charlotte of Cambridge was born. It's been 25 years since Britain welcomed the birth of a royal princess so near to the throne, Princess Eugenie of York, youngest daughter of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who was born in 1990.

Though Louise (born in 2003), the daughter of Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, is Princess by birth, she was given the title of a Lady and not a Princess to relieve her from the trappings of royalty, making her the only granddaughter of a reigning British sovereign to carry a non-princess title. So the birth of the Duke of Cambridge's daughter brings delight to royal watchers.

The joy became more intense when the baby's three names were revealed in the media. She is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana and will be known simply as Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. Among the three names, the public focuses on the last name because it is a name of a royal who was not born a princess but left a tremendous mark in the consciousness of the masses and who had captured the world's imagination with her unique warmth, compassion and beauty. The late Princess of Wales, Diana, whose entire adult life was almost spent in misery and distress brought by her lonely marriage to the heir of the British throne.

The memories of William's late mother still lived among her supporters and there's nothing more significant to those who continue honoring her memories than knowing her granddaughter took her name.

But for me, it's not the name Diana that made the naming of this latest addition to the British royal family something historical and significant, it's the first name itself - Charlotte.

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge
reliving history in the British monarchy

Although the British press insisted the first name of the Cambridge infant princess is given in honor of Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, I saw it the other way around, not the Queen consort of George but their granddaughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales.

Few ever remembered maybe that the name Charlotte has a defining moment in  the timeline of the British monarchy. In 18th century, this name ultimately changed the course of British history, redrawn the line of succession of the British throne and gave the world with another story of a modern fairy tale.

Princess Charlotte of Wales was born in 1796 to the Prince of Wales, who would become King George IV, and his wife, Caroline of Brunswick. During her lifetime, she was the only legitimate granddaughter of King George III and the sole heiress to the British throne. All her paternal uncles lived an unconventional existence, either buried in debt, sired illegitimate children and lived with their commoner lovers.

Her parents did not get along ever since their wedding day and after providing the throne with a legitimate heir, they quickly separated. Caroline left Britain even before her husband could ascend the throne.

Charlotte married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield and in 1817 the couple happily announced they would be having a child. But in November 1817, Princess Charlotte died due to a difficult childbirth together with her son. The Kingdom mourned her untimely death and her father was profoundly devastated.

On the death of Princess Charlotte, Britain left with no legitimate heirs, prompting the remaining bachelor sons of King George III to look for a suitable royal bride. One of these sons was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent. He married the widowed sister of Prince Leopold, Princess Victoria.

Edward and Victoria had one child, Princess Victoria, but nine months after the birth of the princess, the Duke of Kent died. Edward was the fourth son of George III, this means that in the event his older brother, Prince William, Duke of Clarence would have no legitimate children, his only daughter, Victoria would be the next monarch.

In 1830, George IV died and William ascended the throne as William IV, he and his wife, Queen Adelaide, had no children, making his niece, Victoria, the heir presumptive. In 1837, when Victoria became of age, her childless uncle died and she mounted the British throne as Queen Victoria, but due to Salic law, she did not inherit the Hanover crown in Germany and it was given to her uncle, Prince Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland. She reigned under the royal house name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

If Charlotte had lived, Victoria would never become a Queen and British history might have been very different.

Since the death of Charlotte, no daughters of the succeeding British monarchs ever carried this name and the Duke of Cambridge would be the first future British King since the death of George IV to have a daughter named Charlotte.

Even Queen Victoria avoided using the name of her cousin whose sad fate paved the way of the British line of succession to be remapped. Victoria had five daughters: Vicky, Alice, Helena, Louise and Beatrice.

Succeeding British monarchs seemed forgotten the name Charlotte too. Victoria's successor, Edward VII named his three daughters: Louise, Victoria and Maud. Edward VII's successor, George V, had one daughter named Mary, while George V's successor, George VI, had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. The reigning Queen also avoided the name Charlotte and named her only daughter, Anne.

Although it did not represent tribulation in the British royal family (unlike the name Catherine :-P), it's still a little bit intriguing why succeeding generations of British princesses did not carry the name Charlotte. Until today.

Prince William might have chosen the name for her daughter in honor of her father, Prince Charles. Charlotte is a female French version of the name Charles.

More of the royal tragic stories in my TRAGEDIES IN THE ROYAL COURT book where I tackled an expanded version on tragic life of Princess Charlotte of Wales. You may read the description of this book HERE.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Affair of the Diamond Necklace

Also known as The Queen's Necklace, the Affair of the Diamond Necklace was a royal controversy in the 18th century that rooted in the scheme initiated by Jeanne De La Motte, accusing Queen Marie Antoinette of France as the key player of defrauding the Parisian jewelers. The affair was believed to have been triggered the French Revolution and the destruction of the French monarchy. It remained one of the most scandalous affairs that happened in the European royal court.

The necklace intrigued historians down the centuries that its story gradually tainted with tales of black magic. But whether the misfortune attached to the necklace was under the spell of a witch's magic or plainly the result of the public mistrust against the French monarchy, history would prove that the leading personalities  in the necklace's drama suffered a gruesome fate.

The story of the diamond necklace started in 1770 when King Louis XV of France commissioned Parisian jewelers, Boehmer and Bassenge, to create a splendid necklace, that has no match in the world, for his mistress Madame du Barry. The jewelers began collecting precious diamonds for this project and crafted an intricate design that magnified luxury beyond imagination.

In 1772, before the necklace could be completed, Louis XV died, the precious necklace was not paid and the King's mistress was banished from the court and imprisoned at the instigation of the new Queen consort, Marie Antoinette.

The splendid design of the Diamond Necklace originally commissioned
by King Louis XV of France for his mistress, Madame du Barry. 
The intricate design composed of large diamonds elaborately arranged in festoons, pendants and tassels. This necklace was  surrounded 
with intrigues and scandals that ultimately led 
to the destruction of the French monarchy

Desperate to recover their investment, Boehmer and Bassenge tried selling it to the new King, Louis XVI, for his wife, who was known with her extravagance and excesses. The young King initially agreed but when Marie Antoinette knew the amount of the jewelry (1,600,000 lives, almost $100 million in today's currency) she declined and advised the King to spend the money instead on some serious business like buying armaments.

Everything seemed rested in peace and the Parisian jewelers threw their effort in finding buyers across Europe, to no avail. In 1785, the story began to change. Jeanne De La Motte, a distant relative of King Henry II of France, created a scheme that would ultimately open the door of the destruction of the French royals, particularly Queen Marie Antoinette.

De La Motte was a swindler and a schemer who dreamed a life of comfort and wealth. Her expertise in the field of swindling was considered high end that not long after, a French nobleman called Cardinal de Rohan, fell into her trap. This nobleman was a former French ambassador to Vienna and had a fallout with Marie Antoinette. She detested the fact that he furnished her mother, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, with detailed information of her misconduct in the French royal court.

But De Rohan had an ambition to become one of the King's courtiers so he longed to patch up the difference between him and the Queen. He saw an opportunity of fixing this problem in the person of De la Motte who by then became his mistress. The woman was not the sweet girl he thought to be. Later, she initiated a scandalous fraud that would ultimately trigger the angst of the French populace against Queen Marie Antoinette.

De La Motte convinced De Rohan to pose as a buyer for the jewelry in the name of the Queen and started a correspondence with Boehmer and Bassenge. Marie Antoinette was appeared to have no knowledge with this negotiation. The jewelers were convinced with this scheme and agreed to the installment arrangement until they handed the necklace to De La Motte and De Rohan. The balance of the amount was not paid and the jewelry was transported to London by the De La Mottes, dismantled and sold the diamond by piece.

When the Jewelers did not receive the unpaid balance, they decided to go to the Queen to demand for payment. The Queen and her husband were incensed when they found out the fake negotiation and demanded an investigation. The controversy created an unprecedented intrigue all throughout France.

The increasing public mistrust of the French towards the monarchy that commenced the French revolution rolled into animosity and anger. Although the result of the investigation was favorable to Queen Marie Antoinette (De La Motte was imprisoned, De Rohan was exiled and the Queen was cleared), the rumor that she had been the primary figure of defrauding the Parisian jewelers could not be shaken off.

It triggered a series of events that ultimately led to the imprisonment of the royal family and the culmination of the French revolution. In 1792, King Louis XVI was forced to abdicate and France declared republic. He was tried, found guilty of high treason and condemned to die by guillotine. He was beheaded in January 1793. His wife was beheaded nine months later. Madame du Barry was also beheaded, for a separate offense, on December the same year.

Asking what happened to the primary schemer of the scandal? Jeanne De La Motte escaped from her prison cell in Paris and went to live in London. In 1791, two years before the death of the King and Queen, Jeanne leaped to her death from a hotel window and died from massive physical injuries. Reports had it that her body was severely mangled suggesting that she was killed by royal agents although this allegation was not substantiated.

The black magic story surrounding this necklace began in 19th century when historians presented their views how the primary figures attached to the story of this jewelry suffered a terrible fate. Affair of the Diamond Necklace remained one of the most notorious scandals in European monarchy.

More of this story and some of the most scandalous affairs in the European royal court are included 
in my royal book, 
Please check the description of this book HERE. Ready to order this book? You may place your order HERE. If you don't like the paperback, you can purchase the e-book and Kindle edition, place your order directly HEREThank you for appreciating this book!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Kate Middleton: No more Princess of Wales

Kate Middleton, officially known as Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, might never become Princess of Wales and Diana could be the last spouse of the future British King to have known as Princess of Wales. 

The current wife of Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, is officially the Princess of Wales, but she was given the title Duchess of Cornwall, assuming the second title of Charles, Duke of Cornwall, to avoid public disapproval. Camilla is still viewed as the primary cause of the collapse of the royal marriage.

This royal love triangle and the sad story of the English Queen Consorts with a name Catherine is included in my royal book TRAGEDIES IN THE ROYAL COURT.

Although no discussion yet is brewing regarding the limitations and treatment of the Princess of Wales title in the present Britain, the speculation that Kate Middleton could no longer take this title is somehow logical.

Historically, in British monarchy, female Heir Presumptive could not take the title Princess of Wales because this is reserved for the wife of the Prince of Wales. 

In 1936, following the accession to the throne of King George VI, there were suggestions heard that he should grant his heir presumptive, Princess Elizabeth, with the title of Princess of Wales, but Buckingham Palace maintained this title would only be given to the future Queen consort and not to the future Queen regnant. 

However, the British monarchy already adopted the absolute primogeniture succession in 2013 which repealed some of the provisions in the succession law. The eldest child of the reigning sovereign, irrespective of gender, would be the next monarch, this means that an eldest daughter would no longer be pushed aside by a younger son in the line of succession.

Since the title of the British Heir-Apparent is always the Prince of Wales, his female counterpart naturally would be known as the Princess of Wales, this means further that the wife of the Prince of Wales could no longer take the title Princess of Wales since this is reserved for the future Queen regnant.

So what would be the title of Kate Middleton when Prince Charles ascends the throne and the Duke of Cambridge would be the new Prince of Wales? Would she retain her title Duchess of Cambridge? Or be given another one.

This title confusion was already raised in 2003 following the wedding of then Prince Wilhelm-Alexander, now the King of the Netherlands. As Heir-Apparent to the Dutch throne his title was Prince of Orange but his wife was not given the title Princess of Orange, instead, she was known as Princess of the Netherlands, because at that time, Netherlands already changed its constitutional law on succession from male-preference primogeniture to absolute. The Princess of Orange title is reserved for the future Dutch female sovereign.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

In April 2013, following his accession to the throne, King Wilhelm-Alexander’s eldest daughter, Catarina-Amalia, the Heir-Apparent, became known as the Hereditary Princess of Orange. 

This situation might be applied also to Kate Middleton following Britain's adoption of absolute succession law. She would never be called Princess Catherine because the British monarchy does not traditionally create the spouse of the royals Princess or Prince in their own rights. Unless the sovereign will issue a letter patent granting her the title Princess, she would never be known as such.

So far, this issue is not yet discussed publicly in the British establishment, however, granting history and the royal customs regarding correct styles and treatment of royal titles, the possibility that Kate Middleton would never become Princess of Wales is very probable.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Royal Love Stories

It's Valentine's Day once again and as everyone else in this planet thought this day as a celebration of love and a day to talk nothing but love and affection, let's have a run down of royal love stories that caught worldwide interest.


Who could forget the love story between a King and a commoner that intrigued the whole world in 1936? Their love story might not want to be remembered by the British royal family as something very romantic but let's bring it out once again to take a look back how Mrs. Simpson changed the face of the British monarchy and how she had influenced the only voluntary abdication by a British King all because of LOVE.

Wallis Simpson was nowhere ideal, not even near from it, when talking about the characteristics and qualifications of a suitable Queen Consort. At the time she met Edward, who was still Prince of Wales, she was already divorce and on the verge of separating from her second husband. She was American and worst, a commoner. So disgraceful to the standard of the British royal family that they called her as "disgraceful" and unholy.

By then, no British Kings ever married a commoner with no aristocratic background. Divorce was considered sacrilege and no divorce people were allowed to join the company of the monarch. Wallis Simpson was a real threat to the prestige of the British crown. Giving her unsuitable background, she never deserved to be called Queen of the British Empire.

But Edward was totally besotted with this "disgraceful" woman that few months after his accession, he began discussing the possibility of marrying her much to the horror of the royal family,especially his mother, Queen Mary.

When the commonwealth ministers reported that the public would never accept Wallis Simpson as their Queen, Edward decided to give up the throne to be with his lover. Eleven months later after he ascended the throne as Edward VIII, he voluntarily abdicated and went to live in exile for the rest of his life.

Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson's love affair lasted for their lifetime. They did not have any children but they were reportedly happy and spent for the most part of their union in France. The King was made Duke of Windsor by his brother and successor, King George VI, and never regretted his decision to abandon the British throne for the woman he loved. Wallis Simpson paid a high price for the acrimonious crisis she created in 1936, She was never fully accepted in the British royal family and was never accorded with the style of Her Royal Highness, she was only referred as a wife of British Duke not born of royal blood.

But the couple had no brush of regrets for the sacrifices they made in the name of love. They traveled extensively and lived happily for the rest of their lives until the Duke of Windsor died in 1972 from throat cancer. Mrs. Simpson died in 1986.


Unlike the arranged marriage tradition of European royals prior to the 20th century, the future Russia's Tsar, Nicholas, had set his eyes in marrying the young Princess Alix the day he met her in Darmstadt when she was 12. For Nicholas, it was love at first sight. Alix was the youngest surviving daughter of Princess Alice, second daughter of Queen Victoria of England, and Grand Duke Louis of Hesse.

Nicholas first met Alix, one of the favorite granddaughters of Queen Victoria, at the wedding of her older sister, Princess Elizabeth, and his uncle, Grand Duke Sergei. In 1894, they met again in Coburg, Germany, at the wedding of their mutual cousin, Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, to Alix's brother, Ernst of Hesse. Almost everyone in the family attended including Queen Victoria, Emperor William II of Germany and King Edward VII of England.

Nicholas proposed but Alix reportedly turned him down because she did not want to convert to Russian Orthodox religion. She finally yielded when her first cousin, William II of Germany intervened, urging her to accept the proposal of the Tsarevitch. Death struck the family of the Romanovs when Nicholas's father, Tsar Alexander III, died in November that year. At 26, he found himself the new emperor of Russia, a role he was quite unprepared to take. That moment he needed someone to be at his side, and who else to look for but the woman he was so devoted and in-love with, Princess Alix. The original wedding plan was supposed to be in 1895, but the Tsar cut it short and declared he wanted to marry Alix weeks after his father's death, so they married on November 26, 1894.

All through out their marriage, Nicholas was so devoted with his wife and would yield to all her wishes, which, according to some historians, partly attributed to the downfall of the Romanovs. In 1917, Nicholas was forced to abdicate, and he, his wife and five children were held under house arrest by the revolutionists until they were massacred on the early morning of July 17, 1918 in the mountain of Yekaterinburg.


It was during their marriage that Windsor Castle earned a moniker of being "The Most Romantic Castle in the World". Victoria was only 18 years old when she ascended the British throne in 1837 following the death of her paternal uncle, William IV, who had no legitimate children. As monarch should get married to provide the throne with legitimate heirs, her maternal uncle, Prince Leopold, who would become King Leopold I of Belgium, found her match in her first cousin, also a nephew of Leopold, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

Victoria fell in-love with the young German prince the moment she saw him, and by most accounts, he to her. Historical records would claim that it was Victoria who proposed to Albert in 1839 at Windsor Castle and he gladly accepted. They got married on February 1940 and Windsor Castle became their favorite country home. Victoria was known to have loved her Prince Consort through out her life and when he died suddenly on December 14, 1861 from typhoid fever, she never gotten over his death and wore black for the rest of her life.

Victoria increasingly became melancholic following her husband's death and gradually gave up her social life, she lived in seclusion at Windsor Castle for the most part of her life. She would spend long vacation days at Osborne, a royal retreat house in Isle of Wight which was one of the favorite royal residences of Prince Albert. Victoria and Albert had nine children, most of whom married into the powerful European royal court, The current royal houses of Spain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden directly descended from Queen Victoria. She died in 1901 after reigning in Britain for more than 63 years.


Their marriage was an arranged one, however, it was noted that their relationship was based on affection and love. Maria Theresa was the only Queen Regnant of Austria and the House of Hapsburg and her ascension to the throne triggered the Austrian War of Succession. Her husband became Holy Roman Emperor. Despite being ravaged by war and preoccupied with political tension, Maria Theresa and Francis had an intimate marital relationship and were known to have consummated their marriage with burning passion.

In between war problems, the empress had given birth to 16 children, 13 of whom survived infancy including Queen Maria Antoinette of France and two Holy Roman Emperors, Joseph II, and Leopold II. Her happy home life was ended on August 18, 1765, when her husband died. Maria Theresa was extremely devastated and her life was never been the same again. She had painted her room black, withdrew from social life and public events and, just like Queen Victoria, she wore a mourning dress for the rest of her life. She died in 1780.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Elizabeth II's 63rd on the Throne

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland celebrates her 63rd anniversary on the throne today, February 6, 2015. At 88, the Queen continues to show sign of excellent health and she might inherit the long life of her mother, also named Elizabeth, who died at the age of 101 in 2002.

However, the longest reigning British monarch was Elizabeth's great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years, seven months and 28 days. The Queen will surpass Victoria's record, if she will remain on the throne until September 7, 2015.

Trivia about the Queen:

In a surprising twist of fate, Elizabeth's moment in history significantly drew a closer resemblance to Victoria's reign. Like the reign of Victoria, Elizabeth now also has three male heirs in direct succession to the throne. Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince George of Cambridge.

During Queen Victoria, her male heirs in direct succession to the throne were: Her son, Prince Bertie, the Prince of Wales, who would become Edward VII, Prince George, the Duke of York, who would become George V, and Prince David, who would become shortly as Edward VIII.

Elizabeth is also the second British monarch after King George I who was not in England at the time of accession. She was in Kenya with her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, when her father, King George VI, died from coronory thrombosis, on February 6, 1952. The Queen received her ascension rite at a royal lodge in Kenya. She left England a Princess and returned as Queen.

On the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia last January 23, 2015 at the age of 90, Queen Elizabeth II, is now the world's oldest monarch and the current second longest reigning monarch in the world after King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.

Queen Elizabeth might be the last British monarch to wed a fellow royal (though it's hard to tell what will happen in the future royal marriages). Her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is royal by birth as the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. He is also a grandson of King George I of Greece and great great grandson of Queen Victoria of England, as with Elizabeth, Philip is related to all royals in Europe. Philip is also the last true blooded European royal who married into the British royal family as of the current time.

The Queen is also Head of State to 16 nations under the Commonwealth Realms including New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

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