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Messages - IslandDweller

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The Greek Royal Family / Re: King George II & Queen Elizabeth (nee Romania)
« on: February 11, 2012, 03:02:41 PM »
Well I guess that's par for the course for exiles. I was hoping that the alleged fact that she tried to establish a salon in Paris meant that she had ample resources for entertaining. I confess I try to believe that this woman wasn't quite as bad as tradition has it, and that her later circumstances also weren't so bad.

Thanks for responding.

The Greek Royal Family / Re: King George II & Queen Elizabeth (nee Romania)
« on: February 10, 2012, 09:44:40 AM »
Elisabeth has always fascinated me. Are reports that she died in poverty true? Were the ten items of jewelry she was allowed to take out of Romania all she had in the world? It'd be nice to think there was some foreign property or bank accounts.

Scandanavian Royal Families / Re: King Harald and Queen Sonja
« on: August 18, 2005, 12:42:27 PM »
Hi Prince,
It didn't occur to me until later that you must have been referring to area.

A little more digging has revealed to me a little more of how Crown Prince Olav and CP Martha lived. It seems they were necessarily closer to their subjects than other royals of their generation since he grew up in Norway and she was raised by parents who weren't heirs to any throne and, thus, lived slightly less in the royal cocoon. Harald and his sisters went to school with other children in the States and after their return to Norway. In retrospect, of course they were all going to end up married to commoners.

But I'd still love to learn more about the Haraldsens...

Scandanavian Royal Families / Re: King Harald and Queen Sonja
« on: August 17, 2005, 09:50:18 PM »
According to a bio I read of Princess Ragnhild on "The Royals Forum", she and Erling Lorentzen moved to Rio so that he could start a branch of his family's "shipping empire". But the young couple was obliged to live in a 3-room apartment in the early years of the marriage before the Rio concern took off.

Scandanavian Royal Families / Re: King Harald and Queen Sonja
« on: August 17, 2005, 05:39:02 PM »
If I'm not mistaken, the population's between 4 and 4.5 million. That's half the size of Sweden's; and smaller than those of most Western European countries by a good bit.  I don't recall the population size of your own lovely Ireland, where I lived for a very happy period in County Cork.

Scandanavian Royal Families / King Harald and Queen Sonja
« on: August 17, 2005, 12:14:35 PM »
I've always tried to get a sense of Queen Sonja's background, but with very little success. I know that Norway is a small country and that Sonja grew up when the country was recovering from the war, but I also know that there is a band of old families and families that were titled until Norway did away with titles in the first decade of the 20th century. So there must have been something like a polite society. Would the Haraldsen's have been part of this?

I know that they owned some sort of clothing store, that Harald and Sonja met at a party held by the very rich Johan Sternerson, that Sonja's brother built the apartment building near the palace that her mother lived in, and that the NRF used to holiday at a ski home inherited from Sonja's family. Sonja grew up in Vinderen, which I've heard described as a rather quiet section of Oslo, though I don't know if it's a particularly fashionable or affluent area. There are some things that would indicate her background is quite cushy, and others that indicate it isn't particularly top-drawer. It's been reported that she worked in a pub in England while perfecting her English in her student days; and then the Ecole Professionelle des Jeunes Filles she attended in Lausanne doesn't exactly sound like a finishing school.

My sense is that she comes from a comfortably middle class background, and that it would have been possible for Harald to have taken a Norwegian bride from a more distinguished one. I wonder, for instance, if he would have had an easier time getting permission to marry a Wedel Jarlsberg? (None of this is to say that I think he SHOULD have taken a more upper class girl).

If anyone knows anything more about the Haraldsens, I would very much appreciate having it passed along. It's always been extremely difficult to learn more about them. Ditto the Ferner and Lorenzen families. It's easy to discover that the Hoiby and Behn families, on the other hand, were definitely pretty ordinary, run-of-the-mill working folk.

She apparently very publicly verbally renounced her allegiance to and affiliation with her native land upon the outbreak of war.

I've always seen her described as a very winsome, warm-hearted person.

Thank you very much for posting these pieces.

I'm fairly certain that the "Count Wedel Karlsberg" mentioned as CPM's aide de camp during her American sojourn should actually read "Count Wedel Jarlsberg", of the family that originally owned Skaugam. I also think he wasn't technically a Count anymore, the nobles of Norway having been "de-nobled" (if you will ;)) in the first decade of the twentieth century.

The Wittlesbachs / Re: German Catholic Royal Families
« on: August 08, 2005, 06:06:35 PM »
Thanks for all the replies. :)
Also, it seems I was wrong about a detail. After doing more research, I found the Isembourg-Birstein family was "demediatized" in the Vienna Conference, which I think is a bad thing  ??? The family I was talking about is actually named von Isenburg.

Having Fun! / Re: Your Personal Top Ten Favorite Royal List
« on: August 08, 2005, 11:58:41 AM »
These are my favourite living royals, in no particular order.

1) Queen Silvia of Sweden - a beautiful woman who seems to do the job and have fun doing it. And she's the best-dressed queen.
2) and 3) Juan Carlos and Sofia of Spain - his institution of democracy evokes a time when monarchs were actually rulers. She's very simple and effective in her work and very original in her thinking. And I find it endearing that she's, IMO, the worst-dressed queen - her mind's on other things. She also might just mark the end of an era in being the last royal-blooded queen consort the world will ever see. This is, perhaps, as it should be, but it does make her interesting.
4) Queen Anne-Marie of Greece - a beautiful woman whose grace has lent the GRF a greater air of dignity than other deposed and exiled royals often have.
5) QEII - I've heard the criticism and can't argue with a lot of it, but, to me, she's not just a woman but an institution in and of herself. I love her!
6) Queen Anne of Romania - she's another who's so simple. She proves that a queen doesn't have to be rich or aloof to be majestic. She's funny and open.
7) Duchess of Kent - She seems kind and gracious, and I admire that she gave up her HRH, saying it's not relevant to today's world. HRH's are a bit crass when you think about it. What is "highness"? Why not call them something that's a quality that the person theoretically has or can try to live up to, like "Your Royal Virtuousness" or "Your Royal Graciousness" or "Your Royal Magnanimousness". But to call them "highness" is to have to say, Yes, you are above me. I don't blame her for getting sick of it.
8) Duchess of Cornwall - I'm treading on dangerous ground here, and I sympathise with those who aren't happy about the situation. But I like her horsey lack of grandeur, and I find her family background and early life very interesting. And I like her "Never complain, never explain" philosophy. And with all the punishment she's taken, she's gotta love him.
9) Alexandra Manley of Denmark - she's what a modern royal should be, IMO. I like that she came to the DRF speaking several languages and having had a career that took brains. And she knows when to keep her mouth shut.
10) Victoria of Sweden - I think she'll make a great monarch. She's dedicated and she seems like she'll really embrace the role. Plus, while she's attractive, it's cute the way she's looking a little dowdy lately. The specs make her look like a young Margrethe.

The Windsors / Re: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
« on: August 07, 2005, 06:15:27 PM »
I wasn't being insulting; just honest.

And, no, I'm not interested in pursuing it.

The Windsors / Re: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
« on: August 07, 2005, 05:35:24 PM »

I think that your value judgements and rather dismissive attitudes have taken us way off topic, and perhaps now is the time to draw this particular area of discussion to a close.

We have been treated to your views about how society sets too much emphasis on appearance, how you do not consider modelling to be a suitable career and how much store you set on education - all very worthy no doubt, but taking us too far off the topic and perhaps likely to cause serious dissent and potential offence.

So my suggestion is that we return to the original topic of this thread, which is 'the Future of the Duchess of York'.......

The idea of causing offence worries you?!?!?!?

Strange, given every single post you've put on this thread. Somebody states an opinion, and you launch a personal tirade on their value systems, using words like "naive" and "silly". In no post have I read into your psyche and I don't particularly want to hear your take on mine.

Oh, and I don't need a middle-aged person telling me which words are in fashion.

The Windsors / Re: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
« on: August 07, 2005, 01:14:25 PM »
And quite honestly, do you really not think that the granddaughter of the Queen will have any problem having the doors that she wishes to be opened, swung wide before her approach, when it comes to a career?!  [/quote]

I expected to hear that argument. First of all, Beatrice insists she doesn't want to coast on her royal title all her life. Second of all, I wouldn't hire someone just because she was royalty and I honestly don't think most employers - whatever their industry - would either. And while I wouldn't hold someone being royal against them, I might hold something like this Tatler spread against them.

I'm less than ten years older than Beatrice and I've spent most of my life studying in New York and the UK and have also worked in both places. Trust me, this photo shoot is not going to make Beatrice seem cool. It's what Americans call cheesy and the British call naff.

The Windsors / Re: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
« on: August 07, 2005, 12:14:04 AM »
I don't think the Yorks are bad parents. I just think they made a bad decision here. And not because I think the photo shoot is so provocative or shocking. I just think it's stupid. The interview with Beatrice posted earlier on this thread stressed that she plans to have a career of some sort one day and that she isn't interested in being just a society girl. If that's the case, she could one day be applying for a job or to an academic program and whoever's considering her might remember this photo shoot. Even people who see nothing wrong with it will have to concede that it will create a negative impression of this girl in many other people's minds (as evidenced by the fact that we're having this discussion). And not because they're puritans who think young girls should be cloistered. To many people, it will just make her look like an idiot. I'll say again, Beatrice is too young to know the direction she wants her life to go in or to foresee all the ways this could come back to haunt her.

And I don't think it's impossible for minor royals to carve out more anonymous lives for themselves if they want to. Zara Philips, Lady Helen Taylor and that Ogilvy woman have all done many things to put themselves in the public eye. But the only photo I ever saw of Lady Sarah Chatto in the papers during the several years I was living in the UK was at her mother's funeral. Of course it's not easy, but it can be done.

The Windsors / Re: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
« on: August 06, 2005, 01:52:10 PM »
I agree with the people who are a little disturbed and disappointed by this.

I do respect the D of Y, partly because she's the first to admit - on the Larry King interviews I've seen her on - that she played a huge part in her own downfall. She said words to the affect that it didn't occur to her until too late that there were boundaries, that becoming D of Y didn't mean she could have every material thing and every ounce of fun her little heart desired.

She's clearly grown up a lot, but I think letting her daughter do this photo shoot indicates that doing what's wisest isn't her first instinct. When I saw this shoot had happened, my first reaction was - Why? Why is a photoshoot fit for a starlet a rite of passage for any teenager, let alone a royal one? A teenager in Beatrice's position should be encouraged to tread carefully. At sixteen, none of us knows what direction we will ultimately want our lives to go in. Beatrice can't know what she will ultimately want her public persona or role in life to be, and this move was something pretty irrevocable. If she were thirty, I would still think this a tacky move, but at least the chances would be slimmer of her regretting it.

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