zondag 12 juni 2016

Douglas Smith - Former People, The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy

Epic in scope, precise in detail, and heart-breaking in its human drama, Former People is the first book to recount the history of the aristocracy caught up in the maelstrom of the Bolshevik Revolution and the creation of Stalin’s Russia. Filled with chilling tales of looted palaces and burning estates, of desperate flights in the night from marauding peasants and Red Army soldiers, of imprisonment, exile, and execution, it is the story of how a centuries’-old elite, famous for its glittering wealth, its service to the Tsar and Empire, and its promotion of the arts and culture, was dispossessed and destroyed along with the rest of old Russia.

Yet Former People is also a story of survival and accommodation, of how many of the tsarist ruling class—so-called “former people” and “class enemies“—overcame the psychological wounds inflicted by the loss of their world and decades of repression as they struggled to find a place for themselves and their families in the new, hostile order of the Soviet Union. Chronicling the fate of two great aristocratic families—the Sheremetevs and the Golitsyns—it reveals how even in the darkest depths of the terror, daily life went on.

Former People was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, was chosen Book of the Year by Salon, and won the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize sponsored by Waterstones in 2013. It is being published in ten foreign languages.

Source: douglassmith.info

donderdag 7 april 2016

Jaap Scholten - Comrade Baron: a Journey Through the Vanishing World of the Transylvanian Aristocracy

The aristocracy was officially outlawed in Hungary and Romania in 1947. In "Comrade Baron," true narratives from these once-powerful voices will bring an hidden era in world history to light.

In the darkness of the early morning of March 3, 1949, practically all of the Transylvanian aristocracy were arrested in their beds and loaded onto trucks by the secret police working for the Communist regime. Under Gheorghiu-Dej, and later Ceaușescu, the aristocracy led a double life: during the day they worked in quarries, steelworks and carpenters’ yards; in the evening they secretly gathered and maintained the rituals of an older world.

To record this unknown episode of recent history, Scholten travelled extensively in Romania and Hungary and sought out the few remaining aristocrats who experienced the night of March 3, 1949. He spoke with people who had survived the Romanian Gulag and was told tales of humiliation, night-time interrogation and labor camps. Family histories began to converge with the vast, systematic destruction that took place in this part of Europe over almost half a century ago. Scholten uncovered horrors that people preferred not to talk about.

According to author and former ABC News correspondent Kati Marton, Scholten combines "a warm heart with the tenacious pursuit of truth," while Petroc Trelawny of BBC Radio 3 admitted: "I have enjoyed this book so much - such a great tale, with brilliant original research and source material, and so many stories, tragic, humiliating, painful, yet all engrossing and highly readable.”

About the auhor
Jaap Scholten was born in Enschede in 1963. He studied Industrial Design at the Technical University in Delft, Graphic Design at the Willem de Kooning Academy of Arts in Rotterdam (BA), and Social Anthropology at the Central European University in Budapest (MA). He has published seven books: collections of short stories and three novels. His novel, "De wet van Spengler" (Atlas Contact, 2008), was chosen “novel of the year” in the Netherlands. His latest book, "Kameraad Baron" (AtlasContact, 2010) is the winner of the Libris History Prize 2011. His novels and short stories are translated into German, French, Hungarian, Croatian. In 2011, Scholten created and presented a six- part television series for the VPRO about hidden worlds in Central and Eastern Europe. He has lived in Budapest since 2003. The English edition of "Comrade Baron" will be released by Helena History Press and distributed worldwide through Central European University Press in May 2016.

Source: Duch Culture USA

donderdag 11 februari 2016

Aanrader: Nederland’s Patriciaat 1972-2009

In december 2015 is ‘Nederland’s Patriciaat 1972-2009. Tweeëndertig jaargangen uitgelicht’ van de hand van dr. Jochem Kroes verschenen. 

Deze studie is een familie-, cultuur en sociaal-historische analyse van 32 jaargangen van de reeks Nederland’s Patriciaat, waarin genealogieën van 406 vooraanstaande families zijn opgenomen. Dit aantal is ongeveer een kwart van de gehele populatie van zo’n 1800 Nederlandse families in deze ruim honderdjarige reeks.

In 1973 is er gepubliceerd over de eerste 57 jaargangen van deze reeks. Dit boek is een vervolg daarop waarin de ruim vierhonderd families van de jaargangen 1972-2009 uitvoerig zijn onderzocht naar hun sociale kenmerken.

Daarin komen vragen aan de orde als in hoeverre kwamen voorouders van patriciaatsfamilies uit het binnen- of buitenland? Hoe waren hun relaties met de adel en werd er met adel gehuwd? Wat was de invloed van de kerk en in hoeverre waren predikanten belangrijk in deze families? Hoeveel belang had het nationale en lokale openbare bestuur binnen patriciaatsgeslachten?

Welke andere beroepen waren typerend voor deze families, zoals in de rechtspraak, wetenschap, gezondheidszorg en het bedrijfsleven? Hoe gewichtig waren de koloniën voor deze geslachten, in het bijzonder Nederlands-Indië?

En ten slotte, werd de Nederlandse elite meer bepaald door de koophandel dan door de (protestantse) kerk en haar predikanten? Welk imago was belangrijker, dat van de dominees of dat van de kooplieden?

De auteur, Dr. Jochem Kroes (1951) was redacteur van Nederland’s Patriciaat van 2002-2015. Hij publiceerde eerder o.a. over Chinees porselein met Nederlandse familiewapens in Chinese Armorial Porcelain for the Dutch Market (Waanders 2007).

Bestellen bij Uitgeverij VerLoren van Themaat.

zaterdag 16 januari 2016

Monumental limited edition of Blasones y Apellidos

Grupo Impresores Unidos has made the second edition of Blasones y Apellidos available, now in a complete monumental limited edition three boxed set in Spanish.

The set has been completely redesigned with imitation leather and foil stamping to form an elegant boxed set. In 1987, Fernando Muñoz-Altea, the author, first published his work which included approximately 250 last names. The books sold out in 10 days. The goal of this republication is to preserve the original work and subsequent extensive investigation.

Fernando Muñoz Altea, 
signing a copy of 
Blasones y Apellidos
The remastered three boxed set includes more than 750 names, genealogy, origin, code of arms, heraldry of Spanish, English, Italian and French settlers in Spain and Latin America. This editorial project includes historic data and preserves it for future generations. It also provides the reader the opportunity to learn the relevant aspects of the history and a better understanding of the social coexistence for more than 700 years in Spain and Latin America

About the Author
Muñoz Altea was introduced to the study of heraldry, genealogy and nobility by Don José de Rújula y Ochotorena, Marqués de Ciadoncha, Dean of the Corps of Chronicler King of Arms (Cuerpo de Cronista Rey de Armas), and by Don Julio de Atienza y Navajas, Barón de Cobos de Belchite, author of the well-known work “Nobiliario Español”. Both became his mentors and friends.

Fernando Muñoz Altea (r)
and the Queen consort of Spain
On 10 November 1962 Muñoz Altea was appointed King of Arms of the Royal House of the Two Sicilies by HRH Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro, and Head of the Royal House. The Kingdom of Sicily did not have actual heralds (to grant coats of arms and issue certificates of nobility) in recent times, but rather a Commission for Titles of Nobility based in Naples until 1861. This commission concerned itself with the administration of certain nobiliary institutions, recognition of titles of nobility and heraldry. The appointment of the King of Arms continues this tradition. Certifications of arms and certificates of nobility issued by Muñoz Altea's office in the name of the Royal House are, in effect, documents of a dynastic nature. Muñoz Altea is the King of Arms of the Royal House of the Two Sicilies. He does not have a governmental position but has the status of Private Officer of Arms. In addition to his office as King of Arms, Muñoz Altea is delegate of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George.

Fernando Muñoz Altea (left)
with the Duke and Duchess 
of Castro

Among many memberships, he is the founder and life time President of the Genealogic and Armoury Academy of Mexico. He has dedicated more than 60 years of his life to the study of Heraldic, Coat of Arms, and Hispanic family history.

He has ordered and cataloged several historic archives of many municipalities in Spain. Knight of the Mexican Legion of Honor. He is the author of several books, among them, the biographies of the 64 Viceroys of Mexico, The House of Los Pinos History (the Presidencial Residence of Mexico), and The biographies of the Signers of the Independence Act.

More information
How to order

maandag 10 augustus 2015

The indifference that could end of one of Britain’s oldest titles

The honour of baronetcy is one of the most peculiar and, on the whole, little-understood hereditary honours in the Britain, yet this illustrious organisation of hereditary knights, whose predecessors actions were enough to merit honour (though not quite enough for a peerage) faces continuing threat of demise. One of the strangest ironies though is it’s not a threat from Parliament, or even necessarily from opponents of the honour, but rather very much from itself.

The baronetage seems to have its origins in the 14th century, though it wasn’t until the reign of James I that issuing of the honour became more prevalent. It was used as a means of creating an dignity that was just below the peerage, but ranking above commoner and was James’s way of raising money for his military campaign.

Baronets use the same title and style as an ordinary knight, prefixing ‘Sir’ to their names and wives of baronets prefixing “Lady” to their surname though the difference is once the holder dies, the honour is inherited. Although not very well know, this honour is associated with some perhaps better-known people. For example, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer – George Osborne – is the heir to a baronetcy, meaning he’ll one day be Sir George Osborne. Like most hereditary honours, almost all baronetcies can only pass in the male line. In the normal way of things, this would pose no threat to the existence of the institution of the baronetcy itself – this lifespan for the honour meant as old honours died out, new ones would be issued to others, thus keeping the numbers form inflating without end. However, since the complete halt on the granting of all hereditary honours outside of the Royal Family in the late twentieth century (and it being highly unlikely they will be granted again), the baronetage now suffers a unique problem. The last baronet to be created was for the husband of the late Baroness Thatcher in 1990, made Sir Denis Thatcher. Prior to that, no baronet was created since 1965.

According to the roll of baronetage (which lists all the baronets in existence and their holders), there are now only 1023 baronets left and over 240 baronetcies which have either not been claimed or are now extinct from the last few decades alone. Officially, anyone who does not register their title on the roll of baronetage is not acknowledged as a baronet, even if they have a rightful claim.

Exclusive research done by Royal Central shows, however, that by far the biggest danger to the baronetage is the increasing numbers of baronets who are turning their backs on the honour they inherit too as they choose not to claim them and the rate at which the baronetage is declining in membership has increased rapidly in recent decades. From 1990-2005 alone, 90 baronetcies have not been claimed and as proving succession becomes more difficult the longer the time since the death of the last claimant, most of these will now be lost in the mists of time, and with many of the 69 baronetcies unclaimed from the last ten years looking to go the same way.

The baronetcy confers no special rights like peerages traditionally did. There was no right to sit in the House of Lords and holders are only afforded precedence after sons of life barons and only just ahead of knights of the Thistle and there is no automatic right to supporters on a baronet’s coat of arms so the honour exists as just a title, less the privileges and rights enjoyed by some peers.

It is, however, not all doom-and-gloom as the future of the baronetcy could itself see a turn for the better in the form of efforts to create a law to allow females to succeed to hereditary titles.

Lord Trefgarne’s bill in the House of Lords seeks currently to allow females to succeed to peerages, though currently doesn’t encompass a provision for the baronetage – though it seems unthinkable that an amendment wouldn’t be included to do this since many peers involved in debating the bill will themselves be holders of baronetcies too. Ultimately, the survival of the baronetage will be determined by how long people are willing to act to preserve this ancient link with our past as a nation and also how long the baronets are willing to accept the honour.

Source: royalcentral.co.uk

zaterdag 4 juli 2015

Fourth of July: The longest-lived (and last surviving) signatory of the Declaration of Independence

Charles Carroll (September 19, 1737 – November 14, 1832), known as Charles Carroll of Carrollton or Charles Carroll III to distinguish him from his similarly named relatives, was a wealthy Maryland planter and an early advocate of independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and Confederation Congress and later as first United States Senator for Maryland. He was the only Catholic and the longest-lived (and last surviving) signatory of the Declaration of Independence, dying at the age of 95, at his city mansion (largest and most expensive in town) in Baltimore's neighborhood of Jonestown on East Lombard and South Front Streets, by the Jones Falls.

Source: Wikipedia

woensdag 4 maart 2015

Entitlement to the prefix of 'sir'

Today, in the UK and in certain Commonwealth realms and in the Philippines, a number of men are entitled to the prefix of 'sir', including knights bachelor, knights of the orders of chivalry and baronets. Although in the UK foreign nationals can be awarded these honours, they are explicitly excluded using the prefix. Instead they use the associated post-nominal letters. Dual nationals holding a Commonwealth citizenship that recognise the British monarch as head of state are entitled to use the styling. Common usage varies from country to country: for instance, dual Bahamian-American citizen Sidney Poitier, knighted in 1974, is often styled "Sir Sidney Poitier", particularly in connection with his official ambassadorial duties, although he himself rarely employs the title.


United Kingdom and Commonwealth

  • Baronet (Bt.) is a British hereditary dignity, first created by King James I of England in May 1611. The baronetage is not part of the peerage, nor is it an order of knighthood. A baronet ranks below barons but above all knights except, in England, Knights of the Garter and, in Scotland, Knights of the Garter and of the Thistle. In England and Ireland a baronetcy is inherited by the male heir, but in Scotland ladies may succeed to certain baronetcies where it has been specified at the time of their creation.
  • Knight of the Order of the Garter (KG).The Order of the Garter is the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry and was founded by Edward III in 1348.The Order, consisting of the King and twenty-five knights, honours those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally.The patron saint of the Order is St George (patron saint of soldiers and also of England) and the spiritual home of the Order is St George's Chapel, Windsor.
  • Knight of the Order of the Thistle (KT).The Order of the Thistle represents the highest honour in Scotland. It is second only in precedence in the UK to the Order of the Garter.The Order honours Scottish men and women who have held public office or who have contributed in a particular way to national life.The date of the foundation of the Order is not known, although legend has it that it was founded in 809 when King Achaius made an alliance with the Emperor Charlemagne.
  • Knight Commander or Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (KCB/GCB). Originally membership comprised the British monarch, a great master of the order, and 36 knights. Membership regulations have undergone numerous changes over the centuries. Three classes of knights were instituted in 1815 to commemorate the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Corresponding classes were added in 1847 for a civilian division. The order currently includes the monarch, members of the royal family, foreigners (known as “honorary members”), and the classes of knights—115 Knights or Dames Grand Cross (GCB), 328 Knights or Dames Commanders (KCB or DCB, respectively), and 1,815 Companions (CB). Investiture into the two highest classes (Knight/Dame Grand Cross and Knight/Dame Commander) means induction into knighthood, if the candidate does not already hold that honour, and the right to the title of “Sir” or “Dame” as appropriate. (Knights and Dames Grand Cross, together with Knights of the Garter and of the Thistle, may be granted the use of supporters with their arms.) The officers of the order are the Dean (usually the Dean of Westminster), Bath King of Arms, Registrar, Usher of the Scarlet Rod, and Secretary. Ladies are admitted to all classes of the order.
    In 1725 King George I created a new military Order and called it the Order of the Bath; the civil branch was established in 1847. Broadly speaking, the Order is awarded to officers of the armed forces, and to high-ranking civil servants.
    The Order now consists of the Sovereign, a Great Master (presently the Prince of Wales, who was installed in 1975), and three classes of members, each of which is divided into civil and military divisions: Knights and Dames Grand Cross; Knights and Dames Commanders; Companions.
    - See more at: http://www.debretts.com/people/honours/orders-chivalry/order-bath#sthash.sqHBJYcj.dpuf
    In 1725 King George I created a new military Order and called it the Order of the Bath; the civil branch was established in 1847. Broadly speaking, the Order is awarded to officers of the armed forces, and to high-ranking civil servants.
    The Order now consists of the Sovereign, a Great Master (presently the Prince of Wales, who was installed in 1975), and three classes of members, each of which is divided into civil and military divisions: Knights and Dames Grand Cross; Knights and Dames Commanders; Companions.
    - See more at: http://www.debretts.com/people/honours/orders-chivalry/order-bath#sthash.sqHBJYcj.dpuf
    In 1725 King George I created a new military Order and called it the Order of the Bath; the civil branch was established in 1847. Broadly speaking, the Order is awarded to officers of the armed forces, and to high-ranking civil servants.
    The Order now consists of the Sovereign, a Great Master (presently the Prince of Wales, who was installed in 1975), and three classes of members, each of which is divided into civil and military divisions: Knights and Dames Grand Cross; Knights and Dames Commanders; Companions.
    - See more at: http://www.debretts.com/people/honours/orders-chivalry/order-bath#sthash.sqHBJYcj.dpuf
  • Knight Commander or Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG/GCMG). William IV instituted the three classes of knights of the order, which (in descending order of rank) are Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (GCMG), Knight Commander or Dame Commander (KCMG or DCMG, respectively), and Companion (CMG). Membership is limited to 120 Knights Grand Cross, 390 Knights Commanders, and 1,775 Companions. Conferment of the two highest classes of the order entails admission into knighthood, if the candidate is not already a knight or dame, and the right to the title of “Sir” or “Dame” as appropriate. (Knights and Dames Grand Cross may be granted the use of supporters with their arms.) The order’s officers are Prelate, Chancellor, Secretary, King of Arms, Registrar, and Gentleman Usher of the Blue Rod.
  • Knight Commander or Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO/GCVO). The Royal Victorian Order is given by The Queen to people who have served her or the Monarchy in a personal way. These may include officials of the Royal Household, family members or perhaps British Ambassadors who have helped organise a State Visit to a particular country. The Order was founded in April 1896 by Queen Victoria as a way of rewarding personal service to her, on her own initiative rather than by ministerial recommendation. The Order was, and is, entirely within the Sovereign's personal gift. The anniversary of the institution of the Order is 20 June, the day of Queen Victoria's accession to the throne.There have never been any limits on the number of appointments made. Today, people receive their award either privately from The Queen or another member of the Royal Family, or during an Investiture.
  • Knight Commander or Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (KBE/GBE). The Order of the British Empire recognises distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organisations of all kinds.Today the Order of the British Empire is the order of chivalry of British democracy. Valuable service is the only criterion for the award, and the Order is now used to reward service in a wide range of useful activities. Citizens from other countries may also receive an honorary award, for services rendered to the United Kingdom and its people. There are more than 100,000 living members of the Order throughout the world.
  • Knight Bachelor (Kt.).A knighthood (or a damehood, its female equivalent) is one of the highest honours an individual in the United Kingdom can achieve.While in past centuries knighthoods used to be awarded solely for military merit, today they also recognise significant contributions to national life.Recipients range from actors to scientists, and from school head teachers to industrialists.A knighthood cannot be bought and it carries no military obligations to the Sovereign. The Queen (or a member of the Royal Family acting on her behalf) confers knighthoods in Britain, either at a public investiture or privately. The ceremony involves the ceremonial dubbing of the knight by The Queen, and the presentation of insignia.

Antigua and Barbuda

  • Knight of the Order of the National Hero (KNH). The honour of the Order of National Hero may be conferred upon any person who was born in Jamaica or is, or at the time of his or her death was, a citizen of Jamaica and rendered to Jamaica service of a most distinguished nature. National Heroes are entitled to be styled “The Rt Excellent” and the motto of the Order is “He built a city which hath foundations”.
  • Knight Commander, Knight Grand Cross, or Knight Grand Collar of the Order of the Nation (KCN/KGCN/KGN). The honour of the Order of the Nation (ON) may be conferred upon any Governor-General of Jamaica and upon any person who has been appointed as Prime Minister of Jamaica, not being a person upon whom the honour of the Order of National Hero has been conferred. A member of the Order is styled “The Most Honourable” and the spouse of the member is also entitled to be so styled. The motto of the Order is “One Nation Under God”


  • Knight of the Order of Australia (AK; for male Australian subjects only)The Queen is the Sovereign Head of the Order of Australia and the Governor-General is the Principal Knight or Dame, as the case may be, and as Chancellor is charged with the administration of the Order. The Official Secretary to the Governor-General is the Secretary of the Order of Australia. From 1976 to 1986 there was provision for the appointment of Knights and Dames in the Order of Australia. On 25 March 2014, Knights and Dames were reinstated as the highest awards in the Order of Australia. Knights and Dames are already included in the Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards above Companion.


  • Knight of St. Andrew of the Order of Barbados (KA). The Order of Barbados was instituted by Letters Patent on July 25, 1980, as part of the Barbados National Honours and Decorations System. The Knight or Dame of St. Andrew is the highest order given by the Queen of Barbados, and is awarded for "extraordinary and outstanding achievement and merit in service to Barbados or to humanity at large".

New Zealand

  • Knight Companion or Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM/GNZM).The New Zealand Order of Merit was instituted by Royal Warrant dated 30 May 1996. The Order is awarded to those “who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and the nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions, or other merits”. On 10 April 2000 it was announced that The Queen had approved the discontinuation of titles (damehoods and knighthoods) within the Order. The new designations were principal companions and distinguished companions. The first appointments to the re-designated levels were made in The Queen’s Birthday Honours on 5 June 2000.
    On 8 March 2009 it was announced that The Queen had given approval for the reinstatement of the titles of Knight and Dame Grand Companion and Knight and Dame Companion. The first appointments to the redesignated levels were made in The Queen’s Birthday Honours on 31 May 2009.


  • Sir is the title for members of the Order of the Knights of Rizal; a fraternal and cultural organization created to honor and uphold the ideals of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal. Established on December 30, 1911, the organization was granted a legislative charter by the President of the Philippines as a civic and patriotic organization on 14 June 1951 by Republic Act 646. The sword and kneeling ceremony during dubbing states: "Vested upon the By-Laws of the Order, I dub (name of new member) - By virtue of the Order (he taps left shoulder with sword). Arise, Sir (name of new member)." (Sir Justo P. Torres, KGCR, Supreme Commander, Manila, Philippines, December 30, 1985). Some notable members of the Order, such as King Juan Carlos of Spain, former American Foreign Secretary and Nobel peace prize laureate, Henry Kissinger and other noted Filipinos who are recipients of the Order’s decoration certainly give credence and dignity to it. The Archbishop of Manila is also a member of the Order dispelling any notion that the Order could be Masonic. The late Jaime Cardinal L. Sin was honored with the highest degree of the Knighthood. He also blessed the building where the Order established its international headquarters in Manila. Other famous members include:
    • H.E. Sir Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III – President of the Philippines 
    • H.E. Sir Fidel V. Ramos, KGCR – Past President of the Philippines
    • H.E. Sir Joseph Estrada, KGCR – Past President of the Philippines
    • Sir Halario Davide Jr., KGCR – Past Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
    • H.E Sir Anwar Ibrahim, KGCR – Past Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
    • Sir Juan Ponce Enrile, KCGR – Senator
    • Sir Edgardo Angara, KGCR – Senator
    • Sir Jovito Salonga, KCGR – Senator
    • Sir Salvador H. Laurel III, KGCR – Senator
    • Sir Arturo Tolentino, KGCR – KGCR – Senator
    • Sir Cesar Virata, KGCR – Senator 
    • Sir Feliciano Belmonte – KGCR, Speaker of the House of Representatives
    • Sir Jose H. Laurel III, KGCR – Senator
Picture: Spain's King Juan Carlos (L) is conferred the Knight Grand Cross of Rizal by Sir Rogelio Quiambao (R) the Supreme Commander of the Order of the Knights of Rizal on 11 February 1998. 
Source: britannica.com
Credit: ROMEO GACAD / staff

dinsdag 23 december 2014

Birthday of the Head of the Russian Imperial House, Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess (de jure Empress of all the Russias) Maria Wladimirovna

The Head of the Russian Imperial House, Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess (de jure Her Imperial Majesty the Empress of all Russias) Maria I Wladimirovna was born the 23rd of December 1953 (new church calendar) in Madrid, Spain. She is the only daughter of the late Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. Grand Duke Wladimir III Kirillovich, and His Most August Spouse H.I.H. Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna (born H.R.H. Princess Bagration-Muhkrani of Georgia). Following the tradition of the Imperial Family, the Grand Duchess was brought up in the spirit of the Orthodox Faith and devotion to the interests of Russia.

Because Her Father was the only male dynast of the Imperial House to contract an equal marriage after 1917, it became highly likely that the young Grand Duchess would in due course become the heiress to the Russian throne. Because of this, Her Father the Grand Duke Wladimir III Kirillovich determined that She had reached Her dynastic majority at the age of 16 (Article 40 Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire), and on December 23, 1969, the Grand Duchess swore the prescribed dynastic oath of allegiance of loyalty to Her Fatherland and Her August Father. The same day the Head of the Russian Imperial House issued a Decree ordaining that, should He die prior to the deaths of the several then living Princes of the Imperial Blood who have entered into morganatic marriages, the Grand Duchess Maria would become the Curatrix of the Imperial Throne.

On the 22nd of September 1976 the Grand Duchess contracted an equal marriage with H.R.H. Prince Franz-Wilhelm of Prussia. Since the Grand Duchess would eventually be the head of the Romanoff Dynasty, a dynastic agreement was entered into and legally formulated between the Russian Imperial House and the Prussian Royal House prior to the wedding, in which Prince Franz-Wilhelm converted to the Orthodox Faith and became a member of the Russian Imperial House with the name Mikhail Pavlovich and the title of Grand Duke. He also promised that any issue from this marriage would be brought up in the Orthodox Faith. The status of the Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich was determined by the provisions of Article 6 of the Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire.

In any event, the Decree of 1969 did not need to come into force. In 1989, Prince of the Imperial Blood Vassily Alexandrovich (Prince Vassily of Russia) died, leaving the Head of the Imperial House, the Grand Duke Wladimir III Kirillovich, as the only surviving male dynast of the male line of the dynasty. From that point, the Grand Duchess became first in line after Her Father.

The Grand Duke Wladimir III Kirillovich was the last male dynast in the male line of the Romanoff Dynasty. At His death and in accordance with Article 30 of the Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire, the succession passed to the female line in the person of His Daughter. The Grand Duchess thus became the Head of the Russian Imperial Dynasty (de jureEmpress of all Russias) Maria I.

Her Imperial Highness studied at Oxford University. In addition to Russian, the Grand Duchess is fluent in English, French, and Spanish. She also speaks and reads German, Italian and Arabic. Her first visit to the Fatherland was April 1992 to attend the funeral of the Grand Duke Wladimir III Kirillovich in St. Petersburg. Since that time, Her Imperial Highess has repeatedly been in the Fatherland, carrying on the duties of Her Father and attempting to help Her compatriots in a difficult transitional period. In Her speeches She constantly emphasizes that She is ready to respond to a call from the people, but that under no circumstances does She wish Monarchy to be imposed on the Russian people against their will.

Like Her Father and Grandfather, the Grand Duchess Maria I Wladimirovna loyally and steadfastly discharges the service entrusted to Her by God, completely dedicating Her life to Her beloved Fatherland.

woensdag 1 januari 2014

Britain's 'Downton Law' Would End Gender Discrimination for Nobility Titles

Soon, you may not need to marry your cousin to save the title

For all of his wealth, land, servants, and evening jackets, Downton Abbey’sRobert Crawley, the fictional Earl of Grantham, lacked one very important asset: a male heir. Under the British law of entail, which dates back to the Middle Ages, none of Lord Grantham’s three daughters could inherit his property or title.

Instead, his earlship would pass to Matthew Crawley, a distant cousin. So began the plot line of Downton’s most delicious soapy couple: Lord and Lady Grantham’s attempting to fix up Matthew with their daughter Mary, Mary resisting, Mary finally falling in love at an inopportune time, and so forth.

The uncertain fate of Downton provided for hours of crumpet-munching TV drama, but now it’s become fodder for British aristocrats who want to change the country’s anachronistic primogeniture rules.

A new bill making its way through the House of Lords would for the first time allow noble fathers to pass their titles onto their daughters, the Daily Telegraph reports. The name of the legislation? “The Downton Law,” naturally.

The bill was originally written with “peer” titles, such as earls and dukes, in mind, but it was recently amended to include baronets, a non-noble title that’s sort of like a super-knight. The Telegraph describes how the current system impacts baronets and their female progeny, including making parents disappointed that their newborns are girls.
The campaign to include baronets was led by Sir Nicholas Stuart Taylor Bt [the baronet abbreviation], who has two daughters and no heir. If the law is not passed, the Stuart Taylor baronetcy will become extinct. His daughter, Virginia Stuart Taylor, 24, is a graduate recruit at an international telecoms business and runs an award-winning travel blog in her spare time. Her parents were so disappointed not to have an heir that her mother cried when she learnt she had given birth to a girl. Miss Stuart Taylor said: “I don’t mind if I am the first, the 10th, the 100th [baronetess] but I’ve been brought up the rest of my life — apart from those first years of disappointment of not being a boy — as completely equal to men.
The newspaper added that not only would the law put an end to de jure sex discrimination among Britain’s upper classes, it will also, “do much to stop the historical titles dying out for want of an heir.” Yes, thank goodness for that.

The legislation would also allow dukes, earls, viscounts, and other hereditary peers to pass their titles along a female line of succession.

Granny will have a conniption, I dare say.

Source: www.theatlantic.com

maandag 23 december 2013

Cinque sentenze riguardanti la dinastia Paternuense hanno confermato la consanguineità con la casa d'Aragona -Maiorca - Sicilia e la legittimità della Fons Honorum

La prima della pretura unificata di Bari, 03.03.1952, n. 485, divenuta irrevocabile nelle forme di legge, ha accertato che " la Famiglia Principesca dei Paternò ebbe origine da Giacomo I il Conquistatore, discendente dai Conti di Guascogna, del Re di Navarra e dei Re di Castiglia ".

La seconda sentenza del 05.06.1964, n. 119, del Tribunale Penale di Pistoia, sezione unica, ha espressamente confermato la legittimità della fons honorum del rappresentante massimo della Real Casa Paternò, in quanto la legittimità del pretendente della famiglia Paternò deriva dalla discendenza legittima e provata di un membro della Real Casa d'Aragona.

La terza sentenza arbitrale del 08.01.2003, n. 50, dichiarata esecutiva con decreto del Presidente del Tribunale Ordinario di Ragusa 17.02.2003, n. 177, ha dichiarato che competono al Capo della Real Casa " le prerogative sovrane connesse allo jus majestatis ed allo jus honorum, con la facoltà di conferire titoli nobiliari, con o senza predicato, stemmi gentilizi, titoli onorifici e cavallereschi relativi agli ordini ereditari di famiglia; la qualità di soggetto di diritto internazionale e di gran maestro di ordini non nazionali ai fini della legge 3 marzo 1951, n. 1978 ".

La quarta, sentenza arbitrale del 05.12.2009 n. 709/09 dichiarata esecutiva nel territorio della Repubblica Italiana con decreto del Tribunale Ordinario di Ragusa, ha conefrmato al Capo della Real Casa Paternò Castello di Valencia e Sardegna la fons honorum con tutte le prerogative annesse e connesse alla Sua qualità di Altezza Reale, con la facoltà di poter concedere Titoli Nobiliari con o senza predicato, stemmi gentilizi, titoli onorifici e cavallereschi relativi agli ordini equestri di famiglia; la qualità di soggetto di diritto internazionale e di gran maestro degli ordini non nazionali ai fini della legge del 3 marzo 1951, n. 178.

La quinta sentenza della Corte d’Appello del Tribunale di Bologna (appello svoltosi a seguito di richiesta della Pubblica Accusa) che in data 06 giugno 2012 con sentenza numero 3902/11 R.G.N.R.P.M. RE sull’accusa degli articoli 416 c.p. , 64 c.p., 91 c.p. art. 8 legge 178/51 il Presidente del Tribunale di Bologna si è così Pronunciato: “…per la legittimità del conferimento, in Italia, di onorificenze, decorazioni e distinzioni del Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem – Knights of Malta, da parte del Paternò Castello, si pone una duplice condizione:

La titolarità, in capo al Paternò Castello, in quanto trasmessogli jure sanguins, dello jus honorum, vale a dire della facoltà di “crear nobili ed armar cavalieri”: diretto che –chiarisce la consolidata dottrina- inerisce alla sovranità (al pari dello jus imperii, o diritto al comando, dello jus gladii, o diritto d’imporre l’obbedienza col comando, nonche’ dello jus maiestatis, o diritto di essere onorato e rispettato), e che, diversamente dallo jus imperii e dallo jus gladii, si conserva, unitamente allo jus majestatis, in capo al sovrano estromesso dal dominio politico di un territorio, senza però compiere atti abdicativi o di acquisiscenza all’ordinamento politico subentrante, che valgano a qualificarlo sovrano debellato.

Dopo un ampia riflessione su parte di documentazione presentata dalla Real Casa si parla poi del Sovrano Ordine di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme:

Quanto, poi, alla riconducibilità del Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem – Knights of Malta, del quale l’appellato, Altezza Reale Principe Don Thorbjorn Francesco Giuseppe Nicola Roberto Paternò Castello dei Duchi di Carcaci Guttadauro d’Ayerbe d’Aragona di Valencia e d’Emanuel, è l’attuale 74° Gran Maestro, al novero degli Ordini non nazionali di cui l’art. 7 L. 178/51, debbono valere le considerazioni di cui appresso ….
In definitiva, non solo l’indagato-appellato Paternò Castello era titolare del necessario fons honorum, ma il Sovrano Ordine di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme- Cavalieri di Malta o Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem – Knights of Malta, si inscrive al novero degli Ordini non nazionali, il conferimento delle cui onorificenze non è vietato, e dunque non penalmente sanzionabile"

zondag 21 juli 2013

Belgium greets new king Phillipe after father abdicates

King Philippe I became Belgium's seventh monarch on Sunday's national day after his father Albert abdicated as the head of this fractured nation.
After he took the oath at the parliament filled with representatives of the six million Dutch-speaking Flemings and 4.5 million francophones, Philippe insisted "the wealth of our nation and our institutions consists in turning our diversity into a strength."

The ceremony capped a day of transition which started when Philippe's father, the 79-year-old Albert, signed away his rights as the kingdom's largely ceremonial ruler at the royal palace in the presence of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, who holds the political power in this 183-year-old parliamentary democracy.
Less than two hours later, the nation got a new king when Philippe, 53, pledged to abide by Belgium's laws and constitution.

While crowds of well-wishers cheered the royal family's every move Sunday, far from everybody in Belgium was happy with the new king.
One Flemish separatist group, the Flemish Interest party, boycotted the parliamentary ceremony, while the legislature's biggest party, the N-VA New Flemish Alliance, sent only a limited delegation without its leader, Bart De Wever.

"We are full-blooded democrats and the purest form of democracy is the republic," said Jan Jambon, the parliamentary leader of the party, which has surged to become the main opposition party seeking Flemish independence through transition.

Their absence also highlighted one of the biggest challenges Philippe will face in his reign — how to remain relevant as a unitary symbol in a nation ever more drifting apart between the northern Flemings and the southern francophones.
Philippe made no attempt to paper over those cracks, instead casting the country's division as one of its strengths.

"Time and again we find the balance between unity and diversity," King Philippe said. "Belgium's strength is precisely that we make room for our differences."
Unlike a disturbance during the oath-taking by King Albert 20 years ago, when one legislator shouted "Long live the European Republic," Sunday's ceremony in the packed legislature was flawless, with Albert and Philippe's wife, Queen Mathilde, looking on as he confidently took the oath.


'A great head of state'

Philippe has long been contested as a worthy successor of Albert, but after years of wooden and timid public performances, the silver-haired, bespectacled monarch came over as confident and pressure proof.

"Belgium is modernizing itself and it gives me joy," Albert said. In a rare show of public affection for his son, the two embraced warmly when Albert signed away his rights as the kingdom's largely ceremonial ruler at the royal palace.
Under crystal chandeliers in a gilded hall at the royal palace, Prime Minister Di Rupo called Albert "a great head of state" and told the outgoing king, "You are closing an important page in the history of our country."

Albert announced his abdication plans less than three weeks ago, so there was little time to turn the occasion into a huge international event. No foreign royals were at the ceremony. Since the royal transition coincides with Belgium's national day celebrations, a military parade had already been planned.

Philippe will face a tough task in the coming months. The fractious nation, divided by language, holds parliamentary elections in June 2014 amid calls for even more autonomy for the language groups.

After the last elections in 2010, it took a record 541 days before a government could be formed amid bickering about how much more power should be sapped from the central state to profit the separate language groups. Then, as likely next year, the N-VA will play a key role.

Unlike his five predecessors, Albert tried to avoid politics as much as possible and Philippe is expected to do likewise. Philippe has been groomed for the job as a leader of foreign trade delegations over the past two decades. "He is a very wise person, a person who is very well prepared," said EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who attended the ceremony. "He knows the politics of Belgium and Europe very well."

zaterdag 25 mei 2013


Dans son titre, le directeur des affaires civiles et du sceau a l’honneur d’avoir en commun avec le Garde des Sceaux, l’usage du mot « sceau ». Dans le cas du ministre, ce terme est néanmoins utilisé au pluriel alors qu’il est au singulier pour le directeur. On pourrait voir là l’affirmation de la supériorité du ministre sur son subordonné. Cette explication est bien sûr exacte mais nécessite d’être précisée.

Dans le cas du Garde, le mot « sceaux » renvoie aux cachets qui scellent les lois. Le pluriel souligne que le ministre garde tous les sceaux, ceux des rois qui ont fait la France, ceux des Républiques passées et ceux de la Vème République. Cette variété des sceaux renvoie à la tradition ancienne selon laquelle chaque sceau de souverain était brisé à sa mort ou biffé à sa chute. On retrouve d’ailleurs toujours cette pratique du brisement dans celui de l’anneau du souverain pontife à la mort de celui-ci. 

vrijdag 24 mei 2013

Adellijke gunsten in België

Datum: 16 juli 2012

Op voordracht van de heer vice-eerste minister en minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Didier Reynders, heeft de Koning bij koninklijke besluiten van 13 juli 2012 de volgende adellijke gunsten verleend:

* vergunning van de persoonlijke titel van barones aan mevrouwen Ingrid DAUBECHIES, Kristine DE MULDER en Simone WEINBERGER, weduwe van de heer David SUeSSKIND;
* vergunning van de persoonlijke titel van baron aan jonkheer Pierre-Olivier BECKERS en aan de heren Thierry BOON-FALLEUR, Roger COEKELBERGS, Desire COLLEN, Jef COLRUYT, Olivier DE SCHUTTER, Julien DE WILDE, Didier MATRAY, Arie VAN LYSEBETH en Piet VANTHEMSCHE;
* vergunning van de persoonlijke titel van ridder aan jonkheer Nicolas de COCK de RAMEYEN en aan de heren Guy de CORDES, Christian DELLOYE, Raphael DE RYCKE, Frans DE WEER, Geert GIJS, Philippe SAMYN, Pierre GOLDSCHMIDT en Luc VANDEWALLE.

Mevrouw Ingrid DAUBECHIES, doctor in de fysica (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), is hoogleraar wiskunde eerst aan de Princeton University en daarna aan de Duke University (USA). In 2010 werd ze verkozen tot voorzitster van de "International Mathematical Union". Ze kreeg wereldwijde bekendheid met haar "wavelets" (gebruikt bij beeldcompressie).

Mevrouw Kristine DE MULDER is directeur-generaal van "Europalia International" sinds 2003.

Mevrouw Simone SUeSSKIND, geboren WEINBERGER, weduwe van de heer David SUeSSKIND, is sociologe van opleiding (Universite Libre de Bruxelles) en gewezen voorzitster van het "Centre communautaire laic juif" (CCLJ) in Brussel; als stichtend voorzitster van "Actions in the Mediterranean" wil ze de dialoog tussen Israel en de Palestijnen bevorderen alsook tussen joden en arabieren in Belgie.

Jonkheer Pierre-Olivier BECKERS is gedelegeerd bestuurder en voorzitter van het Uitvoerend Comite van de Delhaize Groep sinds 1999 en voorzitter van het Belgisch Olympisch en Interfederaal Comite sinds 2005.

Dr. Thierry BOON-FALLEUR, specialist in immunologie, is emeritus hoogleraar van de "Universite Catholique de Louvain" en gewezen directeur van de Brusselse tak van het Ludwig Instituut voor Kankeronderzoek en het "Institut international de Pathologie cellulaire et moleculaire" ('Institut de
Duve'); hij is een internationaal erkende autoriteit op gebied van kankeronderzoek en laureaat van talrijke prestigieuze prijzen, waaronder de Francqui Prijs (1990) en de Prijs Louis Jeantet (1994).

De heer Roger COEKELBERGS, lid van de Weerstand, doctor in de fysische en scheikundige wetenschappen, emeritus hoogleraar van de Koninklijke Militaire School, was jarenlang voorzitter van het Nationaal Gedenkteken van het Fort van Breendonk.

Dr. Desire COLLEN, emeritus hoogleraar van de Katholieke Univeristeit Leuven, is een wereldautoriteit inzake medisch onderzoek. Hij stichtte ThromboGenics, waarvan hij achtereenvolgens CEO en voorzitter van de Raad van Bestuur was. Zijn wetenschappelijk werk werd bekroond met tal van eredoctoraten en prijzen, o.m. de Francqui Prijs (1984), de Prijs Louis Jeantet (1984) en de Interbrew Baillet-Latour Gezondheidsprijs (2005).

De heer Jef COLRUYT is voorzitter van de Raad van Bestuur van Colruyt N.V. sinds 1994 en werd verkozen tot Manager van het Jaar in 2002 (Trends).

De heer Olivier DE SCHUTTER is doctor in de rechten, hoogleraar aan de "Universite Catholique de Louvain", speciale VN-verslaggever inzake het recht op voedsel (2008-2011) en secretaris-generaal van de "International Federation for Human Rights" sinds 2004.

De heer Julien DE WILDE was CEO van Alcatel Bell en Bekaert vooraleer bestuursvoorzitter van Agfa-Gevaert en Nyrstar te worden; hij is erevoorzitter van Agoria en voorzitter van het Prins Albert Fonds.

Meester Didier MATRAY is advocaat en stafhouder van de Orde van Advocaten van de Balie van Luik, regent van de Nationale Bank van Belgie en bestuurder van de Belgisch-Luxemburgs-Duitse Kamer van Koophandel.

De heer Arie VAN LYSEBETH, gewezen directeur van het Koninklijk Conservatorium te Brussel, is voorzitter van de Jury van de Internationale Muziekwedstrijd Koningin Elisabeth van Belgie.

De heer Piet VANTHEMSCHE, dierenarts van opleiding, was gedelegeerd bestuurder van het Federaal Agentschap voor de Veiligheid van de Voedselketen vooraleer in 2007 voorzitter van de Boerenbond te worden.

Jonkheer Nicolas de COCK de RAMEYEN is thans ondervoorzitter van "Malteser International" (Internationaal agentschap voor humanitaire hulp van de Orde van Malta), waarvan hij het voorzitterschap waarnam van bij de oprichting in 2005 tot 2011.

De heer Guy de CORDES, gewezen voorzitter van onder meer "Union miniere" en van de "Compagnie immobiliere de Belgique", zet zich als vrijwilliger samen met zijn echtgenote en familie in voor tal van sociale werken.

Dr. Christian DELLOYE is orthopedisch en oncologisch chirurg, professor aan de "Universite Catholique de Louvain", pionier inzake beendertransplantaties en skeletreconstructies en oprichter van de eerste beender- en weefselbank in Europa; hij is stichtend lid en voorzitter van de "European
Association of MusculoSkeletal Transplantation".

De heer Raphael DE RYCKE is sinds 2006 gedelegeerd bestuurder van het Provincialaat der Broeders van Liefde (actief in de sectoren onderwijs, buitengewoon onderwijs, welzijn en verzorgingsinstellingen); hij is ondervoorzitter van Zorgnet Vlaanderen en bestuurder van tal van organisaties in de sector van de geestelijke gezondheidszorg.

Dr. Frans DE WEER is chirurg, stichter en voorzitter van Artsen Zonder Vakantie en zeer actief bij "Caritas International" en bij de Orde van Malta.

De heer Geert GIJS is diensthoofd Crisisbeheer van de Federale Overheidsdienst Volksgezondheid en hoofdcooerdinator van B-FAST (Belgian First Aid and Support Team).

De heer Philippe SAMYN is architect met realisaties in binnen- en buitenland en corresponderend lid van de "Academie royale des Sciences, des Arts et des Lettres de Belgique".

De heer Pierre GOLDSCHMIDT, doctor in de toegepaste wetenschappen, was van 1999 tot 2005 adjunct-directeur-generaal en hoofd van het Departement Waarborgen van het Internationaal Atoomagentschap, dat in 2005 de Nobelprijs van de Vrede kreeg.

De heer Luc VANDEWALLE maakte vooral carriere in de ING Groep, waarvan hij gedelegeerd bestuurder was. Hij is voorzitter van het Streekfonds West-Vlaanderen van de Koning Boudewijn Stichting, voorzitter van de Beschutte Werkplaats Waak en voorzitter van het Centrum voor Algemeen Welzijnswerk Stimulans.

dinsdag 30 april 2013

Historical news - Banking patriarch Guy de Rothschild dead at 98

PARIS - Baron Guy de Rothschild, who managed his family's French banking empire and saw it taken over first during the Nazi occupation and then by a Socialist government 40 years later, has died. He was 98. Rothschild, also known for his family's renowned wines and his thoroughbred racehorses, died Tuesday in Paris, his family said in an announcement in Le Figaro daily on Thursday. The cause of death was not given. Guy de Rothschild was born May 21, 1909, in Paris' upscale 8th district, or arrondissement, into the House of Rothschild, whose complex family tree included financiers of European royalty and some of France's most prominent names. After the war, Rothschild rebuilt his family's financial empire, and went on to chair de Rothschild Freres bank from 1967 until 1979.During the Nazi occupation, the collaborationist French government stripped his family of its French nationality -- and its assets -- because they were Jewish. Rothschild fled to the United States and later to London, where he joined Gen. Charles de Gaulle's resistance force. In 1981, the bank switched to government hands through nationalization under Socialist President Francois Mitterrand. Rothschild left France and briefly moved to New York, after writing an editorial in Le Monde accusing the Socialists of falling victim to French anti-Semitism. Later his son David followed his father's example and began reconstructing the family banking network which in 1987 became Rothschild & Cie Bank. Guy de Rothschild founded and presided over the United Jewish Welfare Fund, France's primary Jewish philanthropic agency from 1950 to 1982. He and his second wife, Marie-Helene, were stars of France's elite social scene until she died in 1990. He is survived by sons David and Edouard among other relatives. A funeral service was planned in Paris' main synagogue on June 21. Published Thursday, June 14, 2007 7:01AM EDT

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

After more than 120 years, a king for the Netherlands

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated the throne on Tuesday, ending 33 years as the country's monarch and paving the way for her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, to become the first Dutch king in more than 120 years. The 75-year-old monarch handed over power in a constitutionally ordained ceremony. The transfer became official as she signed the "instrument of abdication." In a televised address Monday night, the queen said she knows the new royal couple will have the loving trust of the nation. "My oldest son will now take over a beautiful task which is filled with great responsibility," the queen said. "I am absolutely convinced that Willem-Alexander will be committed in faithful devotion to be a good king and to do what a good King is asked to do." Beatrix stepped down on the national holiday known as Queen's Day, an opportunity for people across the Netherlands to dress up and party. The investiture of the new king will be the high point of a year of celebrations marking the end of the Napoleonic occupation in 1813. The queen announced her abdication in January, saying it was time for a new generation to lead. "I have always considered it as an extraordinary privilege to be able to put a big part of my life at the service of our country and in accordance with my task to add substance to my kingship," said Beatrix, who acceded to the throne when her mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated in 1980.

City turns orange to celebrate new king Dutch Queen Beatrix to abdicate throne
"Until today, this beautiful task has given me a lot of satisfaction. It is inspiring to feel close to people, to sympathize in grievances and share times of joy and national pride." The Dutch media has speculated that the queen was abdicating to spend more time with her second son Friso, who was injured in an avalanche at an Austrian ski resort last year. He remains in a coma in a London hospital.

A king for the 21st century
Prince Willem-Alexander, 46, was educated in Wales and Holland, where he earned a history degree at Leiden University. He served in the Dutch Royal Navy from 1985 to 1987. As Prince of Orange -- the title given to the person first in line to the Dutch throne -- he has been interested in sustainability and innovation. He is married to Princess Máxima, who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has a degree in economics and has worked for HSBC and Deutsche Bank. The couple have been married for 11 years and have three daughters. Last week, the couple gave their first joint TV interview in which Willem set out how he intended to rule. "I want to be a king who is first of all traditional, built on the tradition of my predecessors, who stands for continuity and also for stability in the country ... but also a king who in the 21st century can bind together and represent society as a whole." Asked how he intended to do that, Willem told the NOS state broadcaster: "By being present where you think people need support or help, by giving extra attention and presence to worthwhile events and by supporting people who are in need."

Notable absence
One notable absence at Tuesday's ceremony will be the new queen's father, Jorge Zorreguieta, who was a minister during the 1976-1983 Argentinian military dictatorship. Princess Maxima said her family would not attend her swearing-in as queen because of her father's controversial past. "This is a constitutional event, when my husband becomes king and my father doesn't belong there, especially if there are issues," the princess told NOS. "He remains my father, we still enjoy our private moments." Source: CNN

maandag 9 juli 2012

Dr. Ralf G. Jahn - Das Schicksal von Schillers Schädel

» It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.« (Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes). »Es ist ein schwerer Fehler, Theorien aufzustellen, bevor man Tatsachen hat. Dann fängt man unmerklich an, die Tatsachen zu verdrehen, bis sie zu den Theorien passen, statt die Theorien den Tatsachen anzupassen.« (Arthur Conan Doyle: Die Abenteuer des Sherlock Holmes).

Seit Mai 2008 ist bekannt, daß die Friedrich v. Schiller zugeschriebenen Gebeine in der Weimarer Fürstengruft nicht dem Dichter gehörten. "Der Friedrich-Schiller-Code", das interdis-ziplinäre Wissenschaftsprojekt des Mitteldeutschen Rundfunks (MDR) in Zusammenarbeit mit der Klassik Stiftung Weimar, hatte dies zweifelsfrei bewiesen. 150 Jahre lang galt Schil-lers Schädel als echt, auch wenn sich der Wissenschaftlerstreit darüber immer wieder entzün-dete. Das hat Fragen aufgeworfen, die zuvor niemand stellte. Wieso könnte der Fürstengruft-Schädel ein Zwilling Schillers sein, wenn doch anthropologisch Doppelgänger extrem selten sind? Was geschah mit Schillers Schädel? Wo blieb Schillers Skelett? Läßt sich ein Schädel-raub beweisen? Wie groß ist der Kreis der Verdächtigen, die zu einer solchen Tat die Kennt-nisse und Möglichkeiten gehabt hätten? Wohin führen die Spuren? Was sagen die Quellen, und wo weisen sie eventuell Leerstellen auf? Dr. Ralf G. Jahn, Historischer Fachberater des MDR und der Klassik Stiftung Weimar bei den Fernsehdokumentationen ,,Der Friedrich-Schiller-Code" und ,,Schillers Schädel-Schicksal", außerdem Co-Moderator beim ,,Goethezeitportal", beantwortet diese Fragen und andere.


Source: grin.com

donderdag 5 juli 2012

Historisch nieuws: de valse hertog van Abrantes - Kat in de zak

Rocheraux, Jean-Andoche Junot, duc d'Arrantès,
Musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau
PARIJS 9 februari 1979— De schoonvader van prinses Caroline van Monaco, Michel Junot, moet ten overstaan van de rechtbank van Parijs bevestigen dat er geen bewijs bestaat voor de adeldom die hij opeist. Bovendien moet hij schriftelijk beloven dat hij in het vervolg niet meer zal beweren dat er blauw bloed door zijn aderen vloeit.

De president van de rechtbank deed het voorstel dat de strijdvraag tussen de onbetwistbaar ,,echte" hertog van Abrantes en „de heer" Michel Junot uit de wereld wordt geholpen door de ondertekening van een officieel stuk. In dit stuk zou de vader van prinses Carolines echtgenoot Philippe Junot vastleggen, dat hij er geen bewijs voor heeft dat hij, zoals hij hardnekkig staande houdt, afstamt van de Napoleontische generaal Junot, Duc d'Abrantes. De beide partijen moeten voor 7 maart hun standpunt bepalen. De zaak was aanhangig gemaakt door Hertog Maurice Abrantes, die er bezwaar tegen heeft dat Michel Junot zich telg uit zijn geslacht noemt.

De titel van hertog van Abrantes was een Spaanse adellijke titel, op 23 maart 1642 toegekend door koning Philips IV van Spanje aan de Portugese edelman Alfonso de Lencastre, markies van Porto Seguro. Een tweede toekenning in de vorm van een erkenning (die niets met de voorgaande van doen heeft) vond plaats op 9 december 1753 door koning Jozef I van Portugal aan Ana Maria Catarina Henriqueta de Lorena, 3e markiezin van Abranntes en 9e gravin van Penaguião. Als gevolg van de weigering van de Portugese continentale blokkade zond Napoleon generaal Jean Andoche Junot  met een leger om het land binnen te vallen. Junot stak de grens richting Lissabon over bij Abrantes, waar het leger een tijdelijke  rustplaats inrichtte. Napoleon kende aan Junot hiervoor in 1808 de titel Duc d'Abrantès toe als een overwinningstitel. De titel is in Portugal nooit erkend. De titel is sinds 1982 uitgestorven.


Nobreza de Portugal e do Brasil, Vol. II, pp. 203-208, Lisbon, Zairol, 1989.

Chartrand, René. Vimeiro 1808. London: Osprey Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84176-309-8

Reformatorisch Dagblad, 9 februari 1979

Haythornthwaite, Philip. Napoleon's Commanders (1) c1792-1809. London: Osprey Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84176-055-2