Monday, July 25, 2011

Prince Albert's Paternity Suit 2011 Part Deux

Marcia Tracy responds to Ashley Michael’s Much Ado About Something: The Game is Afoot in Monaco.

There are several misconceptions about TSH Prince Albert and Princess Charlene attacking these "rumors" of his infidelity, and the "runaway bride" rumors as well as the lack of reaction from the Palace Administration. First, I believe due to protocol reasons none of the agencies are allowed to comment on the Prince's private matters such as his lovers, wife, or illegitimate children, and his relationships with the aforementioned. In making this one of the "rules" when working for the principality (that all staff members unless authorized may not comment on the princely families private affairs), it is not only logic, but also a standard public relations tactic. If everyone were allowed to comment to the press on the issues, then many more rumors could likely be spread across the global atmosphere, damaging the world's image of the Princely family, of which as many royal watchers are well aware, has been damaged many times over. It is as if it were a game of telephone-one person says something, someone else interprets it entirely differently, the story keeps getting twisted by different sources, and in the end no one but the story originator truly knows what the actual truth is. The reason for their stepping out and being so aggressive in attacking these rumors is because how viral the situation has gone and the exact timing of the situation. It is any public relations manager's nightmare. I cannot imagine what the Palace's press director, Laëtitia Pierrat is thinking now.
Ashley Michael's [quoting of] allegations that “‘practical reasons' -- and I can hear my friend Marcia giggle and say those ‘practical reasons’ were to do with Charlene's morning sickness", I react with this: Of course TSH Prince Albert and Princess Charlene had "practical reasons" for their stay apart during the International Olympic Committee meeting. But it’s not why you think, my friend. The Prince at the Hilton (where the meeting had been held) and she at the Presidential Suite at the Oysterbox Hotel, but Princess Charlene's morning sickness was not the case nor were problems within their new marriage. It was out of pure practicality and consideration of his Princess that Prince Albert chose to stay away from his princess during the meeting for a night or two. She had just traveled to Cape Town for charity work, of which is about a 16 hour drive (but I have high doubts that she was driven but that she flew from a Durban airport into Cape Town for the day) and was likely exhausted, and he did not want to disturb her when he had to be across town for a meeting at 7am the next morning.

[Ashley Michael begs leave to assert that her comments regarding Princess Charlene's morning sickness were humorously intended, and #notintendedtobeafactualstatement!]

The newlywed couple was busy with work related activities-him with the IOC, her with various charity activities. Besides, neither party considered themselves to be on their honeymoon until after the IOC meeting ended on July 9. If the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge can delay their honeymoon for work related activities, why can’t The Princely couple of Monaco? It seems really illogical and unfair of today’s media to pin that on them and not the Duke and Duchess for delaying their honeymoon.
There is a difference as to why the Palace has commented on this issue and has not commented on other certain situations. First, it depends on who exactly is involved (i.e. the palace is more likely to protect the senior members--in this case T.S.H. Prince Albert and Princess Charlene than the “lesser” members of the House of Grimaldi). Second, depends on how viral and untrue the situation at hand is-for example:

The alleged demise of the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Hanover has gone untouched because of the lack of interest in the situation. It is a three-year-old obvious rumor at this point, thus old news. Plus the fact that Princess Caroline is not considered the Head of State of Monaco, and Prince Ernest of Hanover…is well, Ernest of Hanover, technically, only a royal by courtesy. Why should the palace “protect” them? There is no real reason for it. Princess Caroline has proven she can protect herself from the media’s lashings, while her younger brother has clearly not.

Now, these new allegations of HSH Prince Albert’s love child, new, exciting gossip and something that media sources thrive upon in today’s internet media world. When the truth is finally revealed it will be that, the only one pregnant with Prince Albert’s child is Princess Charlene. The facts are there, and it was definitely a happening prior to the princely wedding and not during the honeymoon.

[Ashley Michael begs leaves to wonder why the timing of Princess Charlene's pregnancy, in fact or theory, is at all relevant. Whether the child of Prince Albert and Princess Charlene was conceived before or after their marriage, in Monaco or on the PACHA III or on Mozambique, does not pose any relevance to the principal question behind this op-ed debate: Prince Albert's alleged infidelity. At any rate, the "morning sickness" comment was truly intended to be a humorous, rather than factual statement.]

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Inconvenient Children - Part I

The Royal Fanzine editors Ashley Michael and Marcia Tracy decided to explore the subject of these “unwanted” -- or perhaps, just inconvenient -- children. Illegitimate children are as old as monarchies themselves, but the DNA to prove the relation between monarch and bastard isn't. DNA was just detected in the 20th century. As early as 1919, scientists began to recognize the microscopic substance that would later be used to hold deadbeat dads accountable and solve crimes. James Watson and Francis Crick constructed the double helix model in 1953, something they couldn't have done without the wizardry of Rosalind Franklin. There is no doubt in DNA. It doesn't lie. It either makes a liar or gives credit to a person's claims. It can be extracted from corpses and used to determine if a woman really is a Russian Grand Duchess or if she pulled off the best royal scam of all time. Real Romanov descendents like Britain's royal consort, the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was all too happy to let scientists use his DNA to expose the greatest imposter of all time. Yet I doubt his ex-son-in-law, Captain Mark Phillips, was happy when a DNA test proved him to be the father of a child in New Zealand -- a girl born while he was still married to the Queen's and Prince Philip's only daughter, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal. The results of that DNA test, performed in 1991, proved that Mark had been unfaithful to the Princess and it directly led to their divorce in 1992. At the same time, in the summer of 1991, Prince Albert of Monaco enjoyed approximately a fortnight of drunken sex with an American tourist named Tamara Rotolo. The following March 4, back in her native California, Rotolo gave birth to Jazmin Grace Grimaldi and named Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi on the birth certificate. Prince Albert just didn't want to publicly acknowledge his paternity of Jazmin, his first-born child, until his father was securely six feet under. In 2006, the Sovereign of Monaco admitted that he had been secretly providing for the 14-year-old girl. After more than ten years of avoidance, he at last submitted to DNA tests, which proved him to be the father or not one, but two children. Jazmin Grimaldi and Alexandre Coste are his heirs in one sense, as she is entitled, by European law, to his personal fortune; but the constitution of Monaco, as it was revised in 2002, doesn't allow the children of unwed parents to succeed to the throne. Marcia Tracy explores the story of Prince Albert's paternity issues in a separate article.

King Albert II of Belgium has not submitted to DNA testing, so his paternity of Delphine Boël is, though almost universally supposed, isn't a proven fact. Delphine is legally the daughter of a Belgian baroness whose affair with King Albert, at the time only the Crown Prince, was exposed in the press in 1999. Delphine, who was born in 1968, has claimed that she spoke to King Albert on the phone one time and he told her: "You are not my daughter." Delphine believes he is wrong. Most observers, it seems, believe he's wrong, or lying, or in denial.
The Dutch Queen Beatrix's father, Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, had an illegitimate daughter named Alexia Grinda. Alexia Grinda's mother, Hélène Grinda, happens to be a maternal cousin of Thierry Roussel, the father of Athina Onassis de Miranda. Prince Bernhard was married to Queen Beatrix's mother, Queen Juliana, when Alexia was born on 10 July 1967. Hélène is sister of the tennis champion Jean Noël Grinda, winner of the Davis Cup in 1952. She is also the sister of Francine Grinda, who married Henri Roussel, Thierry's father and Athina's grandfather. Unlike the Belgian King Albert, Prince Bernhard acknowledged all of his children and even had a relationship, of sorts, with his illegitimate children. He had at least one other, a US-based woman older than Alexia named Alicia, but somehow he managed to keep the name of Alicia's mother out of the press. Alexia has two younger half-brothers from her mother's marriage to Baron Stanislas Lejeune. Sometimes, Alexia is called Alexia Grinda-Lejeune.

The Inconvenient Children of Royal History:
Points 1-5 haven't been covered yet, but will be explored in future parts under this topic.
  1. Britain’s King Henry VIII’s children:
    1. Queen Mary I
    2. Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Duke of Somerset
    3. Queen Elizabeth I
    4. King Edward VI
  2. Charles II had at least eight illegitimate children, among the most famous, the Duke of Monmouth, who dared to challenge his uncle James II's succession, staging the so-called "Monmouth Rebellion" that led to his execution.
    1. James Scott, Duke of Monmouth and Duke of Buccleuch (aforementioned orchestrator of the Monmouth Rebellion against King James II)
    2. Charles FitzCharles, Earl of Plymouth
    3. Lady Anne Palmer-FitzRoy (disputed)
    4. Henry FitzRoy, Duke of Grafton
    5. Lady Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield
    6. Charles Beauclerk, Duke of St. Albans
    7. Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond and Duc d'Aubigny
    8. Lady Barbara FitzRoy
    9. George FitzRoy, Duke of Northumberland
  3. James II himself had at least five illegitimate children. To name a few:
    1. Henrietta FitzJames
    2. James FitzJames, Duke of Berwick
    3. Henry FitzJames, Duke of Albemarle
  4. Lady Mary Fox, daughter of Britain's King William IV (therefore, a first cousin of the great Queen Victoria)
  5. HSH Princess Charlotte Grimaldi of Monaco, daughter of Prince Louis II, mother of Prince Rainier III, grandmother of Prince Albert II
  6. Delphine Boël, alleged daughter of King Albert II of Belgium (he denies it to this day)
  7. Daughters of Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
    1. Alicia, of unknown mother and unknown surname
    2. Alexia Grinda
  8. Felicity Bridget Tonkin, daughter of Captain Mark Phillips, ex-husband of the UK's Princess Anne
  9. Children of Prince Albert II of Monaco
    1. Jazmin Grace Grimaldi (Marcia Tracy reports)
    2. Alexandre Coste (Marcia Tracy reports)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ten Most unforgettable moments of that OTHER Royal (well, Princely) Wedding of 2011

  1. Prince Albert's faces during the ceremony. Those winks! The "can I kiss you, honey?" silent question he gave Charlene during the civil ceremony, then kissing her hand. Then they stand, and proceed to kiss.
  2. Their swollen fingers during the religious ceremony (I SWEAR there was a joke at the altar: "Look honey, we're just like the Duke and Duchess!").
  3. The rumors of Prince Albert's infidelity and the bride's fleeing-not just once or twice, but three times. (keyword: Rumors!)
  4. The Civil Ceremony Balcony Appearance: The failed balcony kisses and the newly created Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco lovingly laying her head on HSH Prince Albert's shoulder during the family's balcony appearance. Also the astonished looks on the Ducruet-Gottlieb kids as they also were allowed to appear on the balcony, and especially compared to their Casiraghi-de Hanovre cousins calmness in their balcony appearance.
  5. The lavish, not one, not two, but THREE day affair-two concerts and two ceremonies, fireworks displays, and gala dinners.
  6. The lavish international party for "a few close friends and family" (I guess 500 people is small, considering they hosted 5000+ for their wedding alone), hosted by the International Olympic Committee in South Africa.
  7.  Leopold de Belgique falling on his butt on the red carpet
  8.  King Carl XVI Gustaf refusing to smile! :) 
  9. Prez Sarkozy practically running down the aisle on the balls of his feet.
  10. How something blue was 100% covered during the civil ceremony-Princess Charlene, Princess Caroline, Princess Alexandra, Pauline Ducruet and Charlottte Casiraghi. And how pink was the color of choice during the religious-Princess Stephanie, Princess Caroline, Camille Gottlieb, Charlotte Casiraghi all wore pink, while Miss Ducruet also opted for blue on the final day of the celebrations.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Otto von Habsburg, Archduke of Austria, Prince of Hungary (1912-2011)

Otto Kaiserlicher Prinz, Erzherzog von Österreich, Königlicher Prinz von Ungarn

Born: 20 November 1912, Villa Wartholz in Reichenau an der Rax, Austria-Hungary
Died: 4 July 2011,Pöcking, Germany

The eldest son of Charles I, the last Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, and his wife, Zita of Bourbon-Parma, Otto was born as third in line to the thrones, as His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke and Prince Imperial Otto of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia. With his father's ascent to the thrones in 1916, he was himself likely to become the Emperor. As his father never abdicated, Otto was considered by himself, his family and Austro-Hungarian legitimists to be the rightful Emperor-King from 1922. Had the dual monarchy still existed, he might have had an 89-year reign.

Marcia Tracy explores the life of this once potential ruler of many lands.

After the Austria-Hungary Royal family’s exile in 1918, he grew up in around various parts of Europe, mostly in Spain, Switzerland, Madeira, Belgium, France, the United States, and from 1954 until his death, finally in Bavaria, in the residence Villa Austria. At the time of his death, he was a citizen of Germany, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, having earlier been stateless de jure and de facto and possessed passports of Monaco, the Order of Malta, and Spain.

His father died prematurely when Otto was 9 years old, leaving him as pretender to the thrones of many lands. His mother spent many hours during his youth “training” him to become a Catholic monarch-he learned German, Hungarian, Croatian, English, Spanish, French and Latin fluently. In later life, he would write books in German, Hungarian, French and Spanish. His mother made him learn many languages because she believed that he one day might rule over many lands. In 1935, he graduated with a doctoral degree in Political and Social Sciences from the University of Louvain in Belgium. From his father's death throughout the remainder of his time in exile, Otto considered himself the rightful emperor of Austria and stated this on many occasions.

In 1937 he wrote:

“I know very well that the overwhelming majority of the Austrian population would like me to assume the heritage of the peace emperor, my beloved father, rather earlier than later. (...) The [Austrian] people have never cast a vote in favor of the republic. They have remained silent as long as they were exhausted from the long fight, and taken by surprise by the audacity of the revolutionaries of 1918 and 1919. They shook off their resignation when they realized that the revolution had raped their right to life and freedom. (...) Such trust places a heavy burden on me. I accept it readily. God willing, the hour of reunion between the Duke and the people will arrive soon.”

The last time we saw him was prior to his wife, German Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen’s death in 2010. After her death, he stopped appearing in public.

He was the last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary from 1916 until the dissolution of the empire in 1918, a realm that comprised modern-day Austria, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, and parts of Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. He remained the Crown Prince of Hungary until 1921. He was the head of the House of Habsburg and the Sovereign of the Order of the Golden Fleece between 1922 and 2007, and at the same time, the Habsburg pretender to the former thrones. He lived 98 years.

He married Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen in 1951; she died in 2010. They lived near Lake Starnberg in Bavaria and had five daughters and two sons. The eldest son, Karl, becomes head of the house of Habsburg. His younger brother, Archduke Felix of Austria, 7 children, 22 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, survives him.

He spent time in German diplomatic and political circles and meet men who introduce themselves in the formal German manner – a brief bow from the shoulders followed by an unadorned name straight out of Germanic history. Otto was one of the men instrumental in organizing the so-called Pan-European Picnic, at the Hungary-Austria border on 19 August 1989. This event was considered a milestone in the collapse of communist dictatorships in Europe. He was reportedly a patron of the Three Faiths Forum, a group which aims to encourage friendship, goodwill and understanding amongst people of the three monotheistic faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
 
In December 2006, he observed that, "The catastrophe of 11 September 2001 struck the United States more profoundly than any of us, whence a certain mutual incomprehension. Until then, the United States felt itself secure, persuaded of its power to bombard any enemy, without anyone being able to strike back. That sentiment vanished in an instant... Americans understand 'viscerally' for the first time the risks they face." On 5 July 2007, Otto von Habsburg received the Freedom of the City of London from the hands of Sir Gavyn Arthur, a former Lord Mayor of London. Otto was known as a supporter of the rights of refugees and displaced people in Europe, notably of the ethnic Germans displaced from Bohemia where he was once the Crown Prince. He was a jury member of the Franz Werfel Human Rights Award. Otto also held Francisco Franco in a high regard and praised him for helping refugees, stating that he was "a dictator of the south American type ... not totalitarian like Hitler or Stalin".In 2002, Otto was named the first ever honorary member of the European People's Party group.

In May 1961, he formally renounced his claim to the Austrian throne and announced that he was a loyal citizen of the republic. As a result, two years later, an Austrian court lifted the ban on his visiting the land of his birth – a decision that proved unpopular in some quarters, precipitating the "Habsburg crisis" in Austrian politics. He was allowed to cross the border in 1966. Towards the end of his life, he admitted that his heart had not been in the renunciation, which he made out of sheer pragmatism.

During World War II, Otto strongly opposed the Anschluss of Austria to Nazi Germany. In 1938 he requested Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg to resist the Nazis and supported an international intervention, and offered to return from exile to take over the reins of government in order to repel Hitler. According to Gerald Warner, "Austrian Jews were among the strongest supporters of a Habsburg restoration, since they believed the dynasty would give the nation sufficient resolve to stand up to the Third Reich". Following the German annexation of Austria, the Nazis sentenced Otto to death. As ordered by Adolf Hitler, his personal property and that of the House of Habsburg were confiscated and not given back after the war. The leaders of the Austrian legitimist movement, i.e. supporters of Otto, were arrested by the Nazis and largely executed. Otto's cousins Max, Duke of Hohenberg, and Prince Ernst of Hohenberg were arrested in Vienna by the Gestapo and sent to Dachau concentration camp where they remained throughout the Nazi rule. Otto was involved in helping around 15,000 Austrians, including thousands of Austrian Jews; flee the country at the beginning of the Second World War.

At the end of the war, Otto returned to Europe and lived for some years in France and Spain.In 1949, he ennobled several people, granting them Austrian noble titles, although not recognized by the Austrian republic. As he did not possess a passport and was effectively stateless, he was given a passport of the Principality of Monaco, thanks to the intervention of Charles de Gaulle in 1946. As a Knight of Malta, the Order also issued him a diplomatic passport. Later, he was also given a Spanish diplomatic passport. Only in 1965, Otto was recognized as an Austrian citizen by the Lower Austrian state government—and Adolf Hitler's revocation of his citizenship was finally revoked. Otto was given an Austrian passport that was "valid in all countries except Austria". On multiple occasions, and as late as the 1960s, the Austrian police would be looking for Otto, suspecting that the "enemy of the republic" had entered the country.

On 5 July, his body was laid in repose in the Church of St. Ulrich near his home in Pöcking, Bavaria, and a massive 13-day period of mourning started in several countries formerly part of Austria-Hungary. Otto's coffin has been draped with the Habsburg flag decorated with the imperial–royal coats of arms of Austria and Hungary in addition to the Habsburg family coat of arms.

In line with the Habsburg family tradition, Otto von Habsburg is scheduled to be buried in the family's crypt in Vienna, while his heart will be buried in a monastery in Pannonhalma, Hungary.

Bibliography
  1. Van Der Vat, Dan. "Otto Von Habsburg Obituary | World News | The Guardian." Latest News, Comment and Reviews from the Guardian | Guardian.co.uk. 4 July 2011. Web. 15 July 2011. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/04/otto-von-habsburg-obituary.
  2.  "Otto Von Habsburg." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 15 July 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_von_Habsburg.
  3. "Otto Hapsburg, eldest son of Austria's last emperor, dies at 98". Thenational.ae. Retrieved 2011-07-06
  4. Kaiser-Sohn Otto von Habsburg gestorben Deutsche Welle, 04 July 2011 (German)
  5. Archduke Otto von Habsburg". Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-07-06

Friday, July 15, 2011

Prince Albert, Paternity Suit 2011

There are many facts surrounding Prince Albert's latest paternity allegations that make this Royal Fanzine editor believe that it is all a sham and just god-awful Public Relations tactics. Here are the facts as to why it is not true:

1. The story was originally brought to the public's attention by a TABLOID, L'Express. Really? Since when is a TABLOID creditable, folks? After all, after the palace released a statement denying the story, L'Express added the following to the article:

“EDIT from 28/06/2010 at 16h10: The Palace of Monaco formally denied the affair, which he described as ‘false allegations’.”

I for one, only heard about this because of Robert Eringer, Prince Albert’s former spymaster, who is known to *love* (note 100% sarcasm here) Prince Albert and Monaco, had posted a blog with a link to the L'Express article.

2. Sure, they may have stayed in different hotels while in South Africa during the IOC meeting. Before their honeymoon actually started. Their honeymoon started after the IOC meeting ended on July 10th. Just as William-Catherine waited to go on their honeymoon-only, everyone knew where they were going! Did anyone say anything when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge delayed their honeymoon for the Duke’s work schedule? No. Then why is it a big deal if Prince Albert and Princess Charlene chose to delay theirs due to the IOC meeting? Duh. Logic. Prince Albert likely stayed at the Hilton for a night or two to let his bride sleep as she had just spent time traveling to and from Capetown while accepting a patronage to several organizations, do charity work there, and was likely exhausted after all of that so soon after the wedding. The Presidential Suite at the Oysterbox Hotel was booked until July 16th (trust me, I checked this out via the Oysterbox Hotel’s website), I’ll bet by HSH Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco.

3. This whole “run-away bride” theory-where would she go? All of her family and friends were in Monaco at the time of her alleged runaway. As for her passport having had been confiscated, here is my theory: she attempted to use her not-yet-valid Monaco Passport instead of continuing to use her South Africa passport, a quick fix-her security team called Albert’s top aide, and they fixed it. Somehow, the media got a hold of the idea, and because they did not say anything about the incident, the media made up their own story of the situation-that the marriage had already gone sour. She was in Paris for the day, shopping with her mother and for a last minute dress-fitting with Armani’s staff.

4. There is no third “love child”, nor was Albert ever unfaithful to Charlene. If there was any of that, the press would have happily ID’d them by now, and not just called them “some Italian woman” (recall that both Nicole and Tamara were almost immediately id’d, and were not referred to as some Togo-flight attendant and Californian real estate agent!). However, there is a child, who is being carried by HSH Princess Charlene, my guess would say due either late December-Early January or so, maybe later, and she will start to show in August or September. Think about it, and read some of HSH Prince Albert and HSH Princess Charlene’s recent quotes:

Prince Albert, via the Huffington Post:

"When you talk about a baby, you are looking at me. But I won't be carrying it." (This Royal Fanzine editor’s translation: The job is done! We’re waiting until after the honeymoon to tell you fools!)
Princess Charlene, also from the above Huffington Post article:
"Starting a family is in our plans" and "we hope to have a child soon." (This Royal Fanzine editor’s translation: We’re working on it now!)

Pre-Wedding Euronews interview, June 22, 2011:

Euronews: “You mentioned family: the sound of tiny little feet pattering around the palace is that on the cards?”

Charlene Wittstock: “Well, for me it is, definitely! I think for both of us, we definitely want to have children. How soon? Not sure. I’m sure you’ll find out soon enough.”

(This Royal Fanzine editor’s translation: We’re waiting for the right time to tell you all. But I’m already baby weight bound)

In this Royal Fanzine editor’s opinion, Albert never cheated on Charlene, and there is only one person carrying a child with Prince Albert’s genes-Princess Charlene and some idiot reporter misinterpreted these above quotes into something that it was not meant to be, and it’s gone completely viral and has been ridiculously over-fantasized.

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