Wednesday, 20 June 2018

At the road's end: Princess Elisabeth of Denmark (1935-2018)

The Danish royal court has announced that Princess Elisabeth, a first cousin of Queen Margrethe II, passed away at 6.15 p.m. yesterday, at the age of 83.
Her Highness Princess Elisabeth Caroline-Mathilde Alexandrine Helena Olga Thyra Feodora Estrid Margrethe Désirée of Denmark was born on 8 May 1935 as the first-born child of Hereditary Prince Knud (the youngest son of King Christian X) and Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde (a first cousin of her husband). She later had two brothers, Ingolf and Christian, but this line of the family was "disinherited" in 1953, when a new Act of Succession introduced female succession and Princess Margrethe replaced her uncle Knud as heir to the throne, causing some bitterness within the family. At the time of her death, Princess Elisabeth was twelfth in the order of succession.
The Princess made a career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she worked from 1956 until her retirement in 2001. For twenty years she lived with the film director Claus Hermansen, but the ever outspoken Princess explained that they never married as she did not want to lose her royal title and did not want children anyway.
The Princess' funeral will take place in Lyngby Church (the date has not yet been announced) and her ashes will be buried next to Claus Hermansen, who died in 1997.
I will write a longer obituary of the Princess in a forthcoming issue of Majesty.

Monday, 11 June 2018

My latest article: Victoria's secret

I have forgotten to mention the publication of the June issue of Majesty (vol. 39, no. 6), which contains my article on the love story of Queen Victoria of Sweden and Axel Munthe. Locked in a desperately unhappy marriage to King Gustaf V, the ailing Victoria found true love with her doctor, Axel Munthe, author of the international bestseller "The Story of San Michele". In the article I relate the story of their secret love, from their first meeting in 1891 to Victoria's death nearly four decades later and how they were torn apart for several years.