Author Topic: Unpretentious Royalty  (Read 6060 times)

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Offline Kalafrana

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Unpretentious Royalty
« on: April 02, 2016, 04:46:51 AM »
It's Easter, and spring is uncertainly springing (in Britain at least), so time for a fun topic.

Lots of examples of royalty who behaved in a delightfully unpretentious fashion (Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna and Princess Marie Louise spring immediately to mind), but I will kick off with the little-known Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Altenberg.

On the outbreak of WW1, Ernst, born in 1871, resigned his appointment as a General a la suite, turned down the Kaiser's offer of a cushy number at his headquarters, and went straight to the front as a Colonel and regimental commander.

Ann 

Offline TimM

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2016, 07:07:38 AM »
A week late, but Happy Easter, Ann.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2016, 08:55:35 AM »
Thank you, Tim. You too.

Another unpretentious royal gentleman was Karl Theodor, Duke in Bavaria (father of Elizabeth of the Belgians). He first qualified as a doctor and then practised in Munich as an ophthalmic specialist.

Ann

Offline DNAgenie

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2016, 06:29:20 PM »
How about Prince William of Gloucester (1941-1972)? Although he was the king's nephew he went to University and got degrees at Cambridge and Stamford, then joined the British diplomatic service where he served overseas in Lagos and Tokyo. He was keen on flying and died during an air race, aged 31.  William, Prince of Wales is named after him.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2016, 12:06:55 AM »
Also his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who worked as an architect before inheriting the dukedom.

William was quite a dashing fellow, and regularly in the news with his flying just before he was killed (I was 12 at the time).

Ann

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2016, 06:23:59 PM »
In Ernest II's case there were a number of men of noble and royal backgrounds who volunteered for service at the front even though they could of sat the war out in the rear in WW I.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2016, 12:41:35 AM »
Hello James

Could you add them to this topic, please.

Ernst II was also very keen on science, and was an early radio ham.

Ann

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2016, 05:49:45 PM »
Ann

There are really too many to list. In WW I especially in the early years in the French army a regular officer was almost reguarded as a coward if he asked for a transfer to the rear and he wasn't wounded or sick. I name some later.

Offline TimM

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2016, 07:13:26 AM »
Be interesting to see some of those names.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2016, 11:07:02 AM »
I'm looking forward to seeing them as well.

Meanwhile, how about King Olav V of Norway, in the habit of travelling to the ski slopes outside Oslo by bus?

Ann

Offline Превед

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2016, 03:01:11 PM »
Meanwhile, how about King Olav V of Norway, in the habit of travelling to the ski slopes outside Oslo by bus?

Very true. PS it was by tram.
Березы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и березы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2016, 08:18:46 PM »
Russia:
Prince Oleg Romanov could have stayed at the rear but went to the front 27 September 1914 WIA 29 September 1914 DOI only Romanov to be KIA in WWI

Prince K.A. Bagration-Muskrhranski was a Adjutant but volunteered for the front was a cavalry officer but volunteered to serve in the infantry do to a shortage of infantry officers. Was given command of the 5th company 13th Erivansk Grenadier regiment KIA

France:
Georges Guynemer 2nd highest scoring French ace of WW I came from a family of the nobility, was rejected as unfit for frontline service, served as mechanic after 4 tries he was accepted and became a pilot. This man had a bad case of 1000 yard stare when he was KIA.

to name a few

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2016, 11:55:18 AM »
I didn't know about Guynemer.

KA Bagration-Mukransky was the husband of Tatiana  Konstantinovna. He was killed in May 1915.

Prince Heinrich of Bavaria was killed in 1916 while serving as a battalion commander, shortly after returning to the front after being wounded.

Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia was a fighter pilot and died of wounds after being shot down.

Prince Maurice of Battenberg was killed in October 1914, as a platoon commander in the King's Royal Rifle Corps. He was the only prince killed while serving on the British side.

And, of course, the future King George VI took part in the Battle of Jutland, under the nom de Guerre of Sub Lieutenant Johnson.

Ann

Offline TimM

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2016, 07:27:49 AM »
Quote
And, of course, the future King George VI took part in the Battle of Jutland, under the nom de Guerre of Sub Lieutenant Johnson.

I knew about his participation in that battle.  However, I was unaware he used an alias.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Unpretentious Royalty
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2016, 09:10:02 AM »
Not sure it was an official alias, but, apparently, he was known to his brother officers as Johnson.

Ann