Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gen Z Royalty are Starting or Going Back to School

Some things remain the same. Mother worries about her little ones going off to school. Do they have enough food in their lunch boxes? Do they have the no-talking-to-strangers code drilled into their skulls enough times? Are the buckles on their shoes too tight, or loose enough to become unfastened, and thereby cause them to trip and suffer a sprained ankle, or worse? Of course, royal moms have a lot of assistance. The bodyguards are there, in the shadow of the royal kids' every step, and the nannies and cooks at the palace ensure no little high-born darlings are going to be underfed or neglected in anyway.  Of more pressing concern to the royal moms of Generation Z, perhaps, are things like texting or tweeting when they should be attending to the lessons. Bullying, too, is a potential, and much more serious problem. Just look at what happened to poor Princess Aiko of Japan! Aiko's uncle Akishino and his wife, Kiko, decided not to send their little son, Hisahito, to Aiko's school, which their daughters have attended. What a blow to the Gakushuin school, which prided itself on being the choice of Japanese royalty! Perhaps Gakushuin, like other schools around the world, will embrace Save the Children's anti-bullying campaign. That in itself was a major factor in the decision of Denmark's crown princely couple, Frederik and Mary, regarding their eldest child's early education.

Today there is much concern about the future of Generation Z. Some reports have called these kids a lost generation because many are finishing school and unable to find work, and still many more are dropping out of school because financial hardships. Being royal does not exempt the following kids from such problems. In fact, as the world changes at ever more dizzying paces, there must be serious questions as to how much longer monarchies can remain relevant. If monarchies don't survive, what happens to the lives of these royal children? Will they too be forced into an incomprehensible new age?

****      ****     ****     ****     ****     ****     ****     ****       ****       ****
Belgium:
  1. The children of Prince Philippe and Mathilde, Duke and Duchess of Brabant:
    1. Princess Elisabeth--then three, now ten--entered the maternelle division @ Sint-Jan Berchmanscollege, a Dutch-language school in Brussels on 1 September 2004. In September 2007, Elisabeth began studies @ an academy of fine arts and dance in Asse, Flemish Brabant.
    2. Prince Gabriel probably began classes @ Sint-Jan Berchman's school in September 2006.
    3. Prince Emmanuel began classes @ Sint-Jan Berchman's on 1 September 2008. {See Zimbio Gallery}
    4. Princess Eléonore will probably start school next year.
  2. The children of Princess Astrid and Archduke Lorenz:
    1. Prince Joachim attended Malvern College, England through 2010. He is currently an officer in the Belgian Navy.
    2. Princess Luisa-Maria, who will be 16 this October, attends Sint-Jan Berchman's.
    3. Princess Laetitia-Maria was seen arriving @ Sint-Jan Berchman's, ready for school with her Hello Kitty backpack, in September 2008. {See Zimbio Gallery}
  3. The children of Prince Laurent and Princess Claire:
    1. Princess Louise attended a French-language private school in Tervuren, {Source} where she studied in the French language, and studied English as well, but never learned a word of Dutch. Since the age of six, she has attended Lycée Français de Bruxelles in suburban Uccle. Her parents have been criticized for not sending their children to Dutch-language schools. {Source}
    2. Her twin brothers, Nicolas and Aymeric, who are a year younger than Louise, should have started at LFB in September 2010.
Denmark:
  1. Prince Christian, who will be 6 on 15 October, started school at Tranegårdsskolen, which is a public school instead of a private school. It is located in Hellerup, a very affluent area to the south of Copenhagen. In order to prevent disruption at the school, his parents, the Crown Prince Frederik and Mary, only appeared with him outside the Palace of Amalienborg on Thursday, 11 August. Their choice of school was a big surprise in the Danish media. It had generally been expected that Christian would be enrolled with his cousins @ Krebs--see next points. But this particular school happens to have implimented Save the Children's anti-bullying campaign of which Crown Princess Mary is a champion. See video of Christian and his parents leaving the palace: TV2. Christian appeared excited. He could hardly stand still as he held onto his parents' hands and tried to answer the reporters' questions. He nodded a lot, always smiling, and seemed to want to set off every moment. He had his new school supplies on his back (no lunch box--apparently that is to be a state secret.) After the press conference, parents and son reentered the inner courtyard of the Palace and apparently made the journey to the school in privacy. It is expected that Christian will be a student @ Tranegårdsskolen (Tranegård's School) for the next ten years. Presently, he is in class 0 (kindergarten) where the children are assigned and reassigned throughout the term into four groups, each represented by a color. The reassignments allow the children to get to know more of each other throughout the term. {Source} Tranegård is a cozy school; it only has 510 pupils and 55 teachers, and it is among the top percentile of all Denmark.
  2. Princess Isabella is a pre-K student @ Garnison Parish Church, near Amalienborg, since last January. Christian and their cousins Felix and Nikolai also were enrolled there for pre-K. In Danish, it is: Garnison Sogns Menigheds Børnehave.{Source}
  3. Prince Nikolai, who turns 12 this month, attends the Krebs School in Copenhagen. It is a very elite private school, previously attended by his father, Prince Joachim and uncle Fred (Christian's father.) On his and his brother's first day back @ Krebs, a reporter asked how things went, and he said they were fine, overall, besides the slight annoyance of French being added to his schedule!
  4. Prince Felix, 9, also attends Krebs. Krebs is described in the Danish press as a very "fashionable" boys-only school. It is actually in the Copenhagen suburb of Østerbro. Prince Felix took up English on his schedule for this year.
Great Britain:
  1. Lady Louise, 8, attends St George's School, Windsor Castle. She will be in year 4.
  2. Her brother, James, 4, should be in the last year of nursery school.
The children of the royal Earl and Countess of Wessex are attending the same school chosen by Sir Elton John and David Furnish for their child, Zachary, who is two years old. St. George's School, Windsor Castle was founded by King Edward III in 1348 to train choristers for St. George's Chapel. The school is, of course, most notable for its emphasis on music. All students begin training with an instrument around the age of seven and the best are eligible for the 24-boy choristers @ the Chapel. Tuition is about £18,000. {Source} Lady Louise and James' cousin, Princess Eugenie, was a pupil at the school.

Japan:
  1. The only daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito and Masako, Princess Aiko, might be enrolling @ a Swiss boarding school. Last year, she was bullied by some boys @ Gakushūin, a private school in Tokyo. She missed enough classtime to raise eyebrows in the media, apparently because she stayed home from emotional distress.{Source 1, Source 2} In April 2010, it was reported that she would continue @ Gakushūin almost as normal. She began the third grade only attending morning classes, accompanied by her mother, and not eating with the other children in the cafeteria. She also skipped the opening ceremony of the school term.{Source} From that time, she slowly increased her attendance to afternoon classes.{Source} But now it is rumored that she might be sent to a boarding school either in Switzerland or Australia.{Source}
  2. Her cousin Prince Hisahito, now four, entered "kindergarten" (nursery school?) back in April 2010. The school is in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, and is run by Ochanomizu University. {Source}
  3. His eldest sister, Princess Mako, attended the Gakushūin School through high school and then entered the International Christian University in Tokyo.{Source} She did the summer 2010 abroad, in Ireland, at the University College of Dublin.{Source 1, Source 2} Now she should be doing her second year @ ICU.
  4. Princess Kako, the middle child of Prince Akishino and Kiko, is a high school student @ Gakushūin.{Source}
Norway:
  1. The son of Norway's Crown Princely couple Haakon Magnus and Mette-Marit, Prince Sverre Magnus, began school @ Jansløkka School in Asker on 18 August.{Source} See the video of the prince arriving for his first day at the school with his parents and to a sweet, singing welcome from the other children.
  2. His older sister, Princess Ingrid Alexandra, began school @ Jansløkka in August 2010. It was reported as a break from tradition for Norwegian royalty to attend not only a public school, but one that is so close to the royal home. Ingrid's father and aunt attended Smestad, an elite and private school that was a long distance from their childhood home @ Skaugum. Like Sverre Magnus got this past week, Ingrid was greeted on her first day by the children singing the "welcome song" and was accompanied by her parents and her grandfather, King Harald V. But unlike her brother, who had a sunny first day, Ingrid skipped to her first schoolday in a drizzle!
  3. Their older half-brother, Marius Borg Høiby, 14, began school @ Jansløkka on 18 August 2003. His royal mother and stepfather, and his biological father, Morten Borg, accompanied him to the door of the school on his first day.{Source} On picture showed Marius outside the school, just as his parents were preparing to leave, with a mobile phone pressed against his ear, and Haakon reaching out as if demanding that Marius surrender the phone! Oh, those Gen Z kids!
  4. Their cousin, Princess Märtha Louise of Norway's oldest child, Maud Angelica Behn, attends the private Bærum Waldorf School in Bærum, Norway. Maud will be in her third year at the school, having begun her enrollment on 17 August 2009.{Source} According to the same source, Maud's father, Ari Behn, is an alumnus of the Waldorf School, which translates from "Steinerskolen" in Norwegian. (Märtha Louise, Maud's mother, began first grade @ Smestad School in 1978. Smestad is the more traditional school for Norwegian royalty and nobility.)
  5. Leah Isadora Behn, who turned six this past eighth of April, must be joining her sister @ the "Steiner" (Waldorf) school in Bærum. It is possible that her parents successfully prevented any reporters from covering Leah's big day, because it is said that they were extremely upset by the publicity that Maud had to endure two years before.
Maud and Leah live with their parents about 15km outside the town of Bærum, west of Oslo. They also have a summer home, Bloksbjerg, at Hankø, which was Leah's birthplace--her mother made the interesting decision to have the second child born with a midwife at home, and she repeated this for the third child, Emma Tallulah, in April 2009, only Emma was born at their main home of Lommedalen. It is said, in the aforementioned source, that the girls ride the bus to school. But the girls are accompanied by a police escort, as reported in originally in Norwegian Aftenposten. Märtha Louise has received death threats, so the local police around Lommedalen provide a measure of protection for her family, though the details are strictly confidential.
The Netherlands:
  1. The daughters of Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima attend school in Wassenaar, which is an affluent suburb of The Hague. Their school, which is a state school, is an easy distance from the family's home, Villa Eikenhorst.
    1. Princess Catharina-Amalia (mostly known just as Amalia) began kindergarten @ Bloemcamp School in Wassenaar in December 2007. She was four years old then. {Source}
    2. Princess Alexia also started school @ Bloemcamp at the age of four. Her first day was on a Monday in June 2009. {Source}
    3. Princess Ariane, now 4, started school @ Bloemcamp on this past fourth of April. {Source}
  2. The two daughters of Prince Johan Frisco and Princess Mabel van Oranje-Nassau: {probably attend school in London, where their father does a lot of his work}
    1. Countess Luana, Jonkvrouvwe (Heiress/Dame/Lady) van Amsberg {a title inherited from the grandfather Claus van Amsberg, the late prince consort of Queen Beatrix}
    2. Countess Zaria, Jonkvrouvwe van Amsberg
  3. The children of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien:
    1. Countess Eloise, Jonkvrouvwe van Amsberg, attends school in Brussels, to which the family moved after April 2004 for career reasons. .
    2. Countess Leonore, Jonkvrouvwe van Amsberg, attends school in Brussels.
    3. Count Claus-Casimir, Jonkheer (Heir/Sir/Lord) van Amsberg, attends school in Brussels.
Spain:
  1. Infanta Leonor and Infanta Sofía--the daughters of Felipe and Letizia, who are the Prince and Princess of Asturias--attend Santa Maria de los Rosales, Arvaca, near Madrid. Leonor is in her fourth year at the school and Sofia will begin her second year. {Source} This school was also attended by their father and aunts. It is a private school, of course Catholic, and the children wear a uniform of the colors navy blue and grey. Even the blue backpacks seem to be part of the uniform code. {Source} Prince Felipe has called his ten years @ Santa Maria his "golden years." He said that he made "great friends, which I still have. It was the happiest time of my life." {Source} Besides being a family tradition, the school was chosen largely for its convenient distance to the Palace of La Zarzuela, in which the family of the Prince and Princess of Asturias officially reside. {Source}
    1. Infanta Leonor attended nursery school for one year @ the Palace of El Pardo. (See Point 3.)
    2. Infanta Leonor began Kindergarten @ Santa Maria on 7 September 2008. {Source}
    3. Infanta Sofía began preschool @ El Pardo in September 2009. {Source} Leonor also attended nursery school @ the Palace of El Pardo, which is in a zone restricted by the Royal Guard--La Guardia Real. Hence why the daughters of the Prince and Princess of Asturias opened their earliest education among the children of the Guard.
    4. Infanta Sofía began Kindergarten, with a pale blue Hello Kitty bag on wheels similar to the one Leonor used, @ Santa Maria on 15 September 2010. See video: http://youtu.be/nUTnaV2jGIQ
  2. The children of Infanta Cristina--Juan Valentín, Pablo Nicolás, Miguel, and Irene Urdangarín--live in Barcelona, the capital of Catalan, which culture happens to be heavy on the Occitan language. The Urdangarín children, whose father is the former handball player, Iñaki Urdangarín, are the first members of the Spanish Royal Family to be born and raised there. Per Spanish tradition, the children were christened with the double parental surname--in their case, de Todos los Santos Urdangarín y de Borbón. Todos los Santos (literally, in English: All Saints) is a unique sobriquet for members of the Spanish Royal Family. The kids also have the honorific prefix of Don, or in Irene's case, Doña, due to being children of ducques. Being children of an Infanta--which is the exclusive title of a King's daughter--the Urdangarín kids are "Grandees" of Spain, who additionally carry the style of His/Her Excellency before their names. Despite that Cristina and Iñaki are the Duchess and Duke (pluralized as Los Duques) of Palma de Mallorca, they are obviously hands-on parents. Iñaki walks with the boys to school everyday and the boys often travel alongside him on their scooters, bikes, or skateboards. Cristina typically walks Irene to school, and on the girl's birthday--5 June--takes treats for her classmates. There is a bane, however: Paparazzi!
    1. The three boys attend a French school. Occitan is, after all, the marriage of Spanish and French.
      1. Juan Valentín--also known affectionately as Juanito--began school @ the Carlos Riba preschool in January 2002. {Source}
    2. In November, Irene will start her sixth year @ the Carlos Riba preschool. She first donned the Carlos Riba colors--yellow and blue--at the age of three in November 2006. {Source}
  3. The children of Infanta Elena are Felipe Juan Froilán and Victoria Federica Marichalar de Todos los Santos Marichalar y de Borbón, or more casually, just Felipe and Victoria Marichalar. The Spanish media sometimes refer to young Felipe as Froilán in order to distinguish him from his uncle. However, no one in the family circles calls him anything but Felipe. As in the case with the Urdangarín kids, Felipe and Victoria have a noble rank and style. As children of the Duchess of Lugo, they are respectively Don and Doña, and they are "Grandees." Elena and her now-ex-husband, Jaime de Marichalar, have raised them in an affluent suburb of Madrid. Felipe and Victoria began their formal education at Madrid's Colegio San Patricio. But in the summer of 2010, it was reported that, in September 2010, Felipe would be sent to a boarding school in Sussex, England, in order to improve his English and detach from the media attention in his homeland--attention which intensified with the legal separation of his parents. {Source 1,Source 2} It could be Ardingly College or Worth School, which are both in West Sussex, are Catholic in religious affiliation, and provide the International Baccalaureate alternative to the GCSE/A-level system. If he attends Worth, he is a Worthian. If he attends Ardingly, he is an Ardinian. Victoria continues on at San Patricio, which is a private school, in Madrid.
Monaco:
  1. Princess Alexandra, the youngest of four of Princess Caroline, will be in Cinquième (5) @ Collège François d’Assise Nicolas Barré. {See the List of Formations at FANB} FANB is a private Catholic school in Monaco.
  2. Her cousins, the children of Keith Sébastien and Donatella Knecht de Massy
    1. Christine is a year behind Alexandra @ FANB, so she will be in Sixième (6). Christine and Alexandra are friends.
    2. Alexia is now either in 7ème or 8ème. Either way, she's still in the primaire (primary) division @ FANB.
    3. Vittoria could be in the second year of the two-year nursery school.
    4. Andrea could be starting the first year of nursery school this year. (If anyone knows if Andrea is a boy or a girl, please comment on this article. Thanks!)
  3. Antoine de Massy, the youngest child of Christian Louis and Cécile Gelabale de Massy, should be attending 3ème (kind of like ninth grade; he was born in 1997) at a Lycée in Monaco--probably Lycée Albert Ier. He previously attended the public Collège Charles III, like his cousin Camille Gottlieb.
  4. The children of Laetitia de Massy (daughter of Christian Louis de Massy) and Thomas de Brouwer--Rose and Sylvestre, who are fraternal twins and were born in 2008--could be starting nursery school this year in Antwerp, Belgium.
  5. Camille Marie Kelly Gottlieb, younger daughter of Princess Stéphanie, will be in Quatrième (4) at Collège Charles III--this is roughly equivalent to 8th grade, because after it, Camille will enter the three-year "Lycée" (secondary) level of Monegasque-French education, and she will probably be enrolled @ Lycée Albert Ier, as did her elder siblings.
  6. Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet, elder daughter of Princess Stéphanie, passed the general Bac exam this year. She is believed to be attending university somewhere or perhaps is taking a year off to focus on her Olympic goal as a competitive diver. 
  7. Louis Robert Paul Ducruet, only son of Princess Stéphanie, will be attending his second year of university, at the SKEMA Business School's Sophia Antipolis campus. He passed the technological Bac exam back in 2010.
  8. Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, only daughter of Prince Albert and Tamara Rotolo, will be attending her second (sophomore) year at university as well, at Fordham University in New York, NY, USA. Jazmin was a previously an honors student in her native southern California.
  9. Alexandre Éric Stéphane Coste, only son of Prince Albert, will be in 10ème in a school, probably in the Villefranche-sur-Mer, France area, where he reportedly lives in a villa owned by his father. This is equal to the second grade in the US System. His mother, Nicole Coste, has an apartment in Paris as well, so he might go to school there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

46 Facts about Sophie, The Countess of Wessex

While Katie Nicholl and crew @GMA would say, unequivocally, that 2011 has been the Year of The Duchess of Cambridge, we at @TheRoyalFanzine have something to say about that! Of course, it is true that the Royal Duchess Formerly Known as Catherine Elizabeth Middleton has had more magazine covers than her 17-years-older aunt-in-law. As Catherine Middleton alone--forget about her marital covers--she was on the cover of People magazine, and even made Vanity Fair's best-dressed list, almost every year of the last decade. Sophie? Sure, she's been mentioned in those magazines a few times. She was even on the cover of People at the times of her engagement and marriage to Prince Edward in 1999. But mostly, she's lucky to be on the cover of Majesty or Hello! I mean, let's face it. Most People readers are likely to furrow their brows in some confusion if you ask them what they think about Sophie, The Countess of Wessex.
-Sophie? Countess of Where?
-Prince Edward's wife.
-Prince Edward? Which one is he again?
-Fourth kid, third son of The Queen. You know, the Queen of The United Kingdom?
-Oh right. Um.
That pretty much says it all. Yet she's been a royal wife, and the only daughter-in-law of Her Majesty The Queen, for twelve years. Her 12th wedding anniversary was on 19 June. She still hasn't been an HRH as long as Diana--whose divorce from The Prince of Wales became final after 15 years of disaster--and Captain Mark Phillips was married to The Princess Royal (bka, Princess Anne) for 19 years. In December 2012, Princess Anne will celebrate 20 years of marriage to Sir Timothy Laurence, a vice-admiral of the Royal Navy who, bless him, hasn't even been on the cover of Majesty. That's no reflection on Timmy, mind you. Gentlemen, even the ones married to princesses, are as profitable to magazines, even the ones devoted to royalty, as are ladies. In fact, the only royal men who are top cash cows are the ones whose mothers are cash cows--Prince William, Prince Harry, Andrea Casiraghi, Pierre Casiraghi--because they, and their mothers, have a certain je ne sais quoi. Oh, sure, Carl Philip and Amedeo do all right for, respectively, Sweden and Belgium. But we're way off topic here. This is supposed to be about Sophie.

12 years of marriage. Successful marriage, mind you. Nine years of full-time royal service. And only one tabloid scandal to date. That's not too shabby when you compare Sophie's royal years to the Di-and-Fergie rollercoaster ride of the 1980s and 90s. There have been some bumps in the road--ectopic pregnancy, two high-risk Caesarean births, a broken rib, loss of her shoe at Royal Ascot--all got through with minimal trauma. The ectopic pregnancy didn't kill her; the Caesarean births resulted in two wickedly cute children without any apparent deformities; the broken rib was painful, but didn't prevent her attendance at the "royal wedding of the century"; and the shoe was quickly recovered by a passing Good Samaritan. Well, there was that time, shortly before William's wedding, when Sophie was papped on the street getting "a bit tetchy" with her bodyguard. The Mail on Sunday quoted "a source" saying Sophie "does have a temper and tends to take it out on the person nearest to her. She’s not timid, not at all. She happily gives it out with both barrels. She can be rather grand, much grander than her husband, Edward." {More} Isn't it annoying when cowards gossip about people and don't even have the guts the do it on the record? What spineless "source" ratted Sophie out to the Mail on Sunday royal reporter? Hey, here's a thought! What if it was the bodyguard? How's that for getting even?

Despite the occasional public gaffe, and in spite of not being a royal cash cow for the mainstream media, Sophie seems to have what you might call staying power. She doesn't make waves, but she's not drowning. She's not trying to surf. She's just swimming, and for the most, she swims outside of the "lamestream" radar. She's better known, surely, than the Duchess of Gloucester, but still much beyond the radar of the readers of Catherine-obsessed People magazine. And yet, Sophie beat Catherine by 1195 reader votes in a recent poll in Hello! magazine. The poll asked readers to vote for the most fashionable lady guest at Zara Phillips's wedding. Sophie got the crown! It goes to show that the readers' choice doesn't always match the hype.

And now, without further ado, the 46 things:
  1. Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones was born in Oxford on 20 January 1965.
  2. She is the daughter of Christopher Bournes Rhys-Jones, a retired tire salesman, and his wife, Mary, a secretary.
  3. She has an older brother named David.
  4. Sophie was named after her paternal Aunt Helen, who died before she was born.
  5. Sophie was educated at Dulwich Preparatory School; Kent College, Pembury; West Kent College, Tonbridge.
  6. At West Kent College, she trained as a secretary.
  7. She began a career in public relations, working for four years at Capital Radio, where she was assigned to the press and promotions department.
  8. She later worked @ the PR firms of The Quentin Bell Organisation and MacLaurin Communications & Media.
  9. She spent time working abroad, first in Switzerland as a "ski rep" and then traveling through Australia.
  10. In 1996, with enough professional experience to beef up her CV, she & Murray Harkin launched their mutual PR agency, RJH Public Relations.
  11. In 2001, a News of the World undercover reporter (the same guy who scammed Sarah Ferguson on videotape in May 2010) recorded the Countess making disparaging comments about certain members of the British government. News of the World didn't publish the story itself, but the tape was leaked to other tabloids, first the Mail on Sunday, and it went viral from there. It portrayed the Countess seeming to use her royal status in order to gain clientele. Buckingham Palace released a statement saying the reported comments were "selective, distorted and in several cases, flatly untrue." 
  12. After a very stressful couple of years for the couple, in 2002, the royal Earl and Countess announced that they would quit their business interests (Prince Edward resigned from his documentary work @ Ardent Productions) in order to focus on royal duties and aid the Queen in her Golden Jubilee year.
  13. Sophie is left-handed.
  14. Sophie Rhys-Jones and Prince Edward began dating in 1993. Sophie Rhys-Jones met Prince Edward, the Queen's third and youngest son, at a game of Real Tennis. One of her colleagues at MacLaurin  Communications had to cancel meeting with Edward for the charity game, and Sophie was assigned to be the replacement.
  15. As a royal girlfriend throughout the 90s, Sophie Rhys-Jones was sometimes a paparazzi target, going about her business in London, but it was nothing like Lady Diana's or Kate Middleton's experiences.
  16. Sophie Rhys-Jones, as a royal girlfriend, lived in the same flat complex where Lady Diana Spencer lived before her royal engagement. This was Coleherne Court in the very posh Earl's Court neighborhood of London.
  17. On 14 July 1994, Prince Edward brought Sophie as his +1 to his cousin Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones' wedding to Daniel Chatto. Sophie was pictured on the steps of St. Stephen's Church, London talking to Diana, who was still HRH the Princess of Wales. But Diana, being separated from Prince Charles, arrived separately from him, and she was seen entering the cathedral at the same time as Sophie. This picture was included inside Andrew Morton's book Diana: Her New Life.
  18. Prince Edward was one of Diana's few really good friends in the royal family and Sophie had a good relationship with her as well. 
  19. Prince Edward and Sophie finally announced their engagement on 6 January 1999.
  20. For their wedding stamp, issued by the Royal Mail, Sophie and Edward wore matching black turtlenecks.
  21. They got married on 19 June 1999 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
  22. As a royal bride, Sophie's "something borrowed" was a diamond tiara from the Queen's private collection.{pics and more info}
  23. For "something blue" she was covered amply: 1) her eyes, 2) the chapel's aisle carpet, 3) a chapel full of "blue bloods!" 
  24. The Countess supported to the Born in Bradford research project in 2006, which carries out research into causes of low birth weight and infant mortality and is particularly involved with charities relating to children, disabilities and communication problems.
  25. She is also a trustee of both the Jill Dando Fund and the Haven Trust.
  26. Sophie suffered a dangerous ectopic pregnancy in 2001.
  27. Sophie gave birth to her first child, Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor via emergency Cesarean section on 8 November 2003 at 23:32 GMT at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey.
  28. Sophie gave birth, also by C-section, to her second child, James Alexander Philip Theo Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn at 16:20 UTC on 17 December 2007 at Frimley Park Hospital.
  29. The Countess enjoys a special closeness to her mother-in-law, the Queen, with whom she rides and shares an interest in military history. (Edward is also a keen rider.)
  30. Sophie, like Edward, also loves skiing. Annually, the couple take their kids to ski at the Swiss resort of St. Moritz. (See #9.)
  31. And more about skiing: Sophie eagerly tags along with Edward in his "duties" (I want those "duties"!) as patron of the British Ski and Snowboard Federation. (They've tried their feet at snowboarding, by the way. #JustSayin'.)
  32. The Countess enjoys the rare privilege to ride in the State Limousine with HM The Queen at Sandringham on Christmas Day.
  33. She has received the following appointments, orders and decorations since her marriage
    1. Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II (2004)
    2. Dame of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (DStJ) (2005)
    3. Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (2010, GCVO)
    4. Saskatchewan Centennial Medal (June 2005)
  34. She has the following honorary military appointments in both Canada and the United Kingdom:
    1. Colonel-in-Chief of the South Alberta Light Horse
    2. Colonel-in-Chief of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment
    3. Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps
    4. Royal Colonel of the 5th Battalion The Rifles
    5. Honorary Air Commodore Royal Air Force Wittering, Ship's Sponsor of HMS Daring
  35. Sophie's style and title in full: Her Royal Highness The Princess Edward Antony Richard Louis, Countess of Wessex, Viscountess Severn, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Dame of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem
  36. In 2003, Sophie succeeded the late Queen Mother (who died the previous year) as Royal Patron of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Sophie is only the third Royal Patron of the RCSLT. The first was King George VI, the second the late Queen Mother.
  37. She resides with her children, and husband at Bagshot Park, Surrey.
  38. She lost her shoe while attending the Royal Ascot in 2010. The shoe was promptly retrieved and returned by a person standing nearby.
  39. She is said to have hired a trainer to "keep up with the younger royals".
  40. She was injured  in a riding accident days prior to her nephew Prince William of Wales's wedding to Catherine Middleton. It was reported that she broke a rib, and bruised several others. Even though she was in great pain, she chose not to miss her nephew's wedding, where her daughter was a bridesmaid.
  41. She has royal ancestry as a descendant of Henry II of France, and both Welsh and Scottish ancestry.
  42. Sophie is the 11th cousin once removed (why don't people just say 12th cousin? Is there really such a difference between an 11th and a 12th cousin? It's barely a relation at all!) of her husband, through their common ancestors Nicholas St John of Lydiard Tregoze and his wife, Elizabeth (née Blount, a relative of royal mistress Elizabeth Blount).
  43. She wore a red dress by Bruce Oldfield for the wedding eve party for Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
  44. She again wore a creation by Bruce Oldfield for Zara's wedding to Mike Tindall on 30 July.
  45. She has an iPhone.
  46. 2011 has been the Year of Her Favorite Nude Pumps. They look a lot like Catherine's LK Bennett ones. Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie each have a similar pair, though Eugenie's pair are peep-toe. This plays well to the idea that Sophie is trying to keep up with her fashion-conscious nieces.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Monaco Red Cross Gala: A Brief History

With this week's passing of the 63rd annual Red Cross Gala, the editors of The Royal Fanzine thought it would be a good idea to explore the history of Monaco's annual summer Gala. Marcia Tracy reports.
The Monegasque Red Cross Gala -- or, Gala de la Croix Rouge -- has been held every late July/early August in the Salle des Etoiles in the Sporting Club -- Sporting d'Eté de Monte-Carlo -- since it's inception in 1948, by the present sovereign's great-grandfather, Prince Louis II. It's presidency is served by the sovereign, Prince Albert II. Until 1957, the year after Prince Rainier III gave Monaco a new princess, the event remained low-key. The purpose of the ball is to raise funds for Monaco's division of The Red Cross. It was in 1957 that the Red Cross Gala became what it is today. Since 1957, the ball has hosted performers including: Eddie Fischer, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Gloria Gaynor, Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesais, Elton John, Liza Minelli, The Beach Boys, Gloria Estefan and this year's performer was Joe Cocker.
Usual attendees from the Princely family include: Prince Albert, Princess Charlene, Princess Stephanie, and Baron Jean-Leonard Taubert-Natta (however, he was last seen in 2007), Melanie-Antoinette and Elisabeth-Anne  de Massy. On the rare occasion, Princess Caroline (last seen at the 2008 ball before this year's event) and Pierre Casiraghi (last seen in 2006) join the family as well. In recent years, Princess Charlene's younger brother Gareth and his girlfriend, Roisin Gavlin have joined in on the fun as well-Gareth attended in 2009, and again attended with Gavlin this year. When Princess Antoinette was alive, she often attended the ball as well, last attending with the family in 2007.
Of course, throughout the years, like many events involving the Princely family of Monaco, the Red Cross Ball is no exception to dramatic moments. In 2002, Princess Stephanie canceld her Red Cross Ball appearance at the last minute due to a dispute with her sister over her chosen date for the evening-Princess Stephanie had chosen to ask  Richard Lucas, her father's married butler. The story goes that Princess Caroline asked her sister and her chosen date to lay low to avoid further scandal. Of course, Princess Stephanie would have nothing to do with her sister's request, and the two ended up in a large argument-leaving their father and brother in the middle. Typically, until the ball of 2010 when he began opening the ball with his then fiancee, Prince Albert would open the dancing with his baby sister. Prince Rainier was just in the middle, trying not to take sides with his two daughters. In 2002, it was decided that instead of Prince Albert and someone else opening the dancing that everyone at the royal table sat it out while the band played on.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Inconvenient Children of Monaco: Camille Marie Kelly Gottlieb

Camille Marie Kelly Gottlieb is considered one of the "lucky" ones of the illegitimate child coverage. She is fully acknowledged by her mother, a princess, and is rarely hidden from family events (her uncle Albert's enthronement, the circus festivals of 2009 & 2010, and more recently her uncle's civil and religious wedding ceremonies).

Marcia Tracy reports for The Royal Fanzine!

She is the illegitimate daughter of Her Serene Highness Princess Stephanie of Monaco and (allegedly anyway, Princess Stephanie has never publically admitted exactly who her father is) former Monaco palace bodyguard, Jean-Raymond Gottlieb. She was born in Monaco at the Le Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace on July 15, 1998.

Her name is Camille Marie Kelly Gottlieb.
Camille-likely a name her mother liked, however it could also be speculated that it is after Prince Honoré Camille Léonor Grimaldi de Goyon de Matignon

Marie-likely, a name Princess Stephanie liked, but it could also be speculated that the name could be after her great-grandmother, Marie Juliette Louvet. Marie is a common name, too, in general and in the Grimaldi family. Camille's cousin Charlotte is Charlotte Marie Pomeline Casiraghi.

Kelly-in honor of her late grandmother, Grace Patricia Kelly.

While she was young, her mother picked up her, and her older half-siblings, Louis and Pauline Ducruet, and whisked them off to travel with the circus from 2001 to early 2004. It was during these years that Camille was home-schooled by Princess Stephanie and she discovered an interest in gymnastics and theatre.

Upon their return to Monaco in 2004, she continued to attend local public schools. Presently she attends College Charles III in Monaco, where she should be in the 4e (equivalent to US 8th Grade) this fall.

As a youngster, due to her media shy father, she was often registered as Camille Marie Kelly Grimaldi.

Illegimate children are nothing new to Monaco's Princely courts. She is preceded by her great-grandmother Princess Charlotte of Monaco, three of her mother's paternal cousins (Elisabeth-Anne, Christian-Louis and Christine-Alix), two older half siblings, and 5 cousins. The Catholic Church did not consider her older Casiraghi cousins illegitimate until 1992 due to her mother's previous marriage to Phillipe Junot not being annulled. However, once Princess Caroline's marriage to Junot was annulled after the death of Stefano Casiraghi (father of Princess Caroline's older children) in 1992. Her uncle Prince Albert II of Monaco’s two older children, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi and Alexandre Coste, are also illegitimate. Her older maternal half-siblings, Louis and Pauline Ducruet, were born prior to the marriage of their parents, Princess Stephanie and Daniel Ducruet, legitimized them after the marriage in 1995. Her mother's cousins were, like her older brother and sister, legitimatized by marriage in 1951 (however, with the change of sucesion laws of 2002, the two surviving de Massy children lost their claims to the throne with the death of Prince Rainier in 2005). Her great-grandmother, Princess Charlotte was the only child of Prince Louis II and Marie Juliette Louvet, and had been adopted later by Prince Louis II, placing her in line for the throne of Monaco. However, in the case of Camille, Jazmin and Alexandre, due to the 2002 changes of the constitution of Monaco it is not possible for Princess Stephanie to adopt her (or for Prince Albert to adopt Jazmin or Alexandre) in order to place them in line for the throne. The only way Camille would be in line for the throne is that if her father was confirmed to be Jean-Raymond Gottlieb and he and Princess Stephanie were to marry. If that were to happen, Camille would be placed in line after her older sister, Pauline, in the 9th position for the throne. However, due to the passage of time and the fact that Princess Stephanie and Jean-Raymond broke up many years ago, this does not seem likely.

The Convenient Child of Monaco: Charlotte Louise Juliette Grimaldi

Charlotte Louise Juliette Grimaldi was born 30 September 1898 and was the daughter of Louis II, Prince of Monaco, and the mother of Prince Rainier III. She was the only child and illegitimate daughter of HSH Prince Louis II of Monaco.

She was born in Algeria, the daughter of a prince and cabaret singer, Marie Juliette Louvet. Due to Monaco’s constution at the time of her birth, Monaco was due to pass to her father’s cousin, Prince Wilhelm of Urach, Count of Württemberg, 2nd Duke of Urach upon his death. To prevent this, on 15 May 1911, when Charlotte Louvet was only twelve years old, a law was passed recognizing Charlotte as Louis's daughter, and making her a member of the sovereign family. Though it was later held to be invalid under the 1882 statutes, an Ordinance of 30 October 1918 allowed her to be adopted. Louis legitimated and adopted Charlotte in Paris on 16 May 1919, when she was twenty years old, bestowing on her the surname Grimaldi and granted her the title Duchess of Valentinois for life; she was thus his heir presumptive as Hereditary Princess from 1922 until 30 May 1944.

She was so admired by her father, that when she was just four years old, he had construction of the Villa Charlotte, of which was often used for visits from Jacques Foccart, a former Secretary General of the Elysee to African and Malagasy Affairs from 1960 to 1974. Very close to General De Gaulle, it stayed there often to receive the heads of African states and at the end of his life to write his memoirs.

Some still questioned the legality of the adoption (which seems all the more absurd when Charlotte was the natural daughter of Louis II and according to the Prince never illegitimate in the first place) because of age requirements for adoption in the Monegasque legal code.Nonetheless, Louis II was sovereign prince and as far as he was concerned the whole issue was settled and his daughter would be his successor. Moreover, by that time, the family was already growing larger.

On the 18th of March 1920, her father arranged for her to marry Pierre de Polignac of Guidel, Morbihan, Brittany, France who, by the Prince's ordinance, took the surname Grimaldi and became a Prince of Monaco. It was from that day forward she was known as:
Princess Charlotte, Herditary Princess of Monaco, Duchess of Valentinois, Countess of Polignac
Princess Charlotte and Prince Pierre went on to have two children:

Princess Antoinette Louise Alberte Suzanne of Monaco in Paris, France on 28 December 1920.
Prince Rainier Louis Henri Maxance Bertrand of Monaco in Monaco on 31 May 1923.

Their marriage was said to be unhappy, and they separated on 20 March 1930 when Charlotte left him to live with her Italian lover, Del Masso the year her mother, Marie Juliette Louvet, died. The couple was divorced on 18 February 1933 by ordinance of Prince Louis II. Princess Charlotte continued to appear at social functions and did charity work. It was during this time that she began to realize that a divorced woman who's legitimacy was controversial that it would be best for her to step aside as Heir to a Catholic throne in her turn. On the even of her only son's 21st birthday in May of 1944, with her father's full support, she renounced her rights to the throne of Monaco in his favor.

After Princess Charlotte rather gracefully bowed out of the monarchy, she went to college to become a social worker, and remained close to her two children.

In May of 1949, Princess Charlotte's father Prince Louis died and her son became Sovereign Prince of Monaco. Upon his death, Princess Charlotte moved to the Grimaldi estate outside of Paris, Le Marchasis. Her two children were concerned for their mother's safety there as she had turned the Grimaldi estate into a rehabilitation center for ex-convicts. Her good deeds were judged too dangerous by many and especially so when she became very close to one of her “patients” a former jewel thief named Rene Girier or “Rene the Cane”. There were even rumors that he practiced his trade on some of the guests at the wedding of Rainier III and Princess Grace. Princess Charlotte did not always see eye-to-eye with Princess Grace but adored her grandchildren and left her famous jewelry collection to Princess Caroline who bears a striking resemblance to her grandmother. The long and tumultuous life of Princess Charlotte of Monaco came to an end on the night of November 15/16 1977 in Paris, France. She was survived by her two children, a daughter-in-law, six grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Her great-granddaughter, Charlotte Casiraghi is named in her honor.

Inconvenient Children of Monaco: Elisabeth, Christian, and Christine

As previously reported, illegitimate children are nothing new to Monaco. Illegitimate children go back for many generations in the modern princely family of Monaco. Princess Charlotte of Monaco who is considered the "convenient" illegitimate Grimaldi; then eight of Princess Charlotte's great-grandchildren-Andrea, Charlotte and Pierre Casiraghi, Camille Gottlieb, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi and Alexandre Coste, and Louis and Pauline Ducuret and three of "The Convenient One"'s own grandchildren were also originally illegitimate at one point or another in their lives.

Marcia Tracy spotlights more of Monaco's inconvenient children for The Royal Fanzine.

Baroness Elisabeth-Anne de Massy was born in 1947, the eldest of the three de Massy children. At the time of her birth, her uncle Rainer III was single and childless, so many Moneguese looked to Elisabeth's mother, Princess Antoinette of Monaco  for security in the succession to Monaco. This increased when Elisabeth-Anne's brother was born two years after she. She and her two siblings were originally surnamed Grimaldi, but when her mother received the Barony of Massy in 1951, as a wedding present from her brother, then Princess Antoinette changed her children's last name to de Massy. However, Elisabeth and her siblings are not entitled to use Baron or Baroness of Massy as it is not considered hereditary nor do they have the courtesy titles as the children of a baroness. Elisabeth is a baroness via her first marriage. Today, Elisabeth-Anne is an active mother of two, Baron Jean-Leonard Taubert-Natta (b. 1974, m. 2005) and Melanie-Antoinette de Massy (b.1985), and in charity work in Monaco. She is President of the Monegasque Tennis Federation and of the Monte Carlo Country Club.

Christian Louis de Massy was born in 1949, the middle of the de Massy children. Christian-Louis was the focus of his mother's attention's because he was a potential heir to the throne of Monaco if his uncle failed to produce heirs. He attended Institut Le Rosey, but was expelled. He then attended Downside School from 1963-1967. Lastly, he attended Cambrige University for a short time, and was a member of Cambridge's boxing team, but never graduated. He has been married a total of four times, the latest and longest marriage Cécile Gelabale. He has three children, one from his first marriage, and two from his latest: Leticia de Massy (Noghès) (born in his first marriage in Argentina in May of 1971), Brice Souleyman Gelabale-de Massy (adopted by him and his 4th wife, Gelbale, born in 1988) and Antoine de Massy (born in 1997). Thanks to daughter Leticia, he became a grandfather to fraternal twins, Jonkvrouw Rose de Brouwer and Jonkheer Sylvestre de Brouwer, their father being Jonkheer Thomas de Brouwer in 2008.

Christine-Alix de Massy was born in 1951, a few months before her parents marriage, the youngest of the de Massy children. She married Princess Grace's first cousin once removed, Charles Wayne Knecht on 14 February 1972 in Monaco. from this union, there was one son, Keith Sebastian Knecht de Massy, who was born on 24 August 1972 in Philladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. They would later divorce in 1974. Christine-Alix would marry a second time in March of 1988 to Leon Leroy, of which there was no issue. Tragically, Christine-Alix de Massy died of leukemia on 15 February 1989, in Nice, France. She was survived by her parents, two older siblings, two nieces (Christian's daughter Leticia and Elisabeth's daughter Melanie), two nephews (Elisabeth's son Jean-Leonard, and Christian's son Brice), uncle Prince Rainier III, cousins Princess Caroline, Prince Albert, and Princess Stephanie, and first cousins once removed Andrea, Charlotte and Pierre Casiraghi, and her husband, Leon Leroy, and sixteen year old son, Keith Sebastian Knecht de Massy. Today, she would have just turned sixty years old and be the grandmother Keith's four children: Christine (2000, presumably named in her honor), Alexia (2001), Vittoria (2007) and Andrea (2008).

Royal Profile: Isabel Inês de Herédia, Duchess of Braganza

Isabel Inês de Herédia, Duchess of Braganza was born 22 November 1966 as the daughter of D. Jorge de Heredia and Dª Raquel Leonor Pinheiro ...