Saturday, December 4, 2021

An Interview with HRH Princess Sophie of Romania


HRH Princess Sophie at Książ Castle, Poland

HRH Princess Sophie of Romania is the author-cum-photographer of a new book, Manastirea Romana The Romanian Monastery, which was recently published by Editura Corint, a Romanian-based publisher.  The book is in English and Romanian.

The Princess agreed to an interview about the book and her work as a photographer.   She is the fourth of five daughters of the late King Michael and late the Queen of Romania.   

Although she was raised in exile in Switzerland, Princess Sophie lived for some time in the United States where she studied in North Carolina and Washington, D.C.   She now lives in Romania where she is involved in several organizations and carries out engagements on behalf of the Romanian crown.

What was the inspiration for this book?  

I longed t travel throughout the country with my camera. Romania has some of the most remarkable rural areas and cultural heritage in Europe. From the magic of the Carpathians to the rolling hills of Maramures with their characteristic dwellings, to the unaltered splendours of the Danube Delta, and a wilderness to be preserved and treasured, all these things offer a magnificent spectacle and bear witness to a way of life that has remained unchanged for centuries. 

In 2017 I created the "Romania, a Celebration" project. It is an umbrella project that consists of an assortment of specific subjects presented through books and exhibitions which would allow people to discover Romania from the unique perspective of a member of the Romanian Royal Family. 

I had visited and stayed in several of Romania’s monasteries during my travels throughout the country in the 1990s. Some of these remarkable places date back to the Middle Ages. Several are recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Yet despite being celebrated as international treasures nestled in foothills, hiding in the folds of mountains or in full view around cresting heights, life for the residents of these spiritual and cultural treasures has remained hidden from public view. 



There was no question in my mind that the first topic of this project should be the monasteries of Romania. Though this book entitled, The Romanian Monastery  “Celebrating Romania’s Spiritual Communities", I am bringing to the forefront a rarely seen side of the Romanian Monastery, that of a human experience in a spiritual setting. 

Did you need to approach the different monasteries and receive permission to photograph them?

Despite having been to dozens of them, it took time to find those I wished to highlight publicly, for their specific characteristics and location. I ended up focusing on four of them, in different parts of the country. 


It was only when I had made the preliminary selection that the Church was approached for advice and permission to carry out the photography after which it would notify the chosen monasteries.

Covid-19 aside, how long did it take you to photograph the book?

The groundwork was all completed well before the pandemic. Being rigorous in the organization allowed me to travel from one monastery to the other with efficiency. I stayed in each one for an average of about a week which gave me the time to cover the material I needed from dawn to nightfall. I was able to immerse myself completely in the life of these sacred places and to have the opportunity to interview members of each monastery. I was on location for approximately a month and a half.


Can you talk about the process of preparing for a photographic shoot of the monasteries and their residents?

In each monastery, I let the inhabitants lead the way and set the pace according to their schedule and the monasteries timetable. 

The nuns and monks I met were very open, kind, and generous. I had long conversations with some of them about their lives and their activities. They showed me around with enthusiasm and grace, explaining how things work every step of the way. I listened and followed with my camera. Nothing was staged, everything was photographed in situ. I wanted the images to translate the reality of their activities. 

 They took me behind the scenes so I could truly understand the monastic life beyond prayer, which enabled me to experience aspects of their spiritual lives with total openness. I was able to photograph them cooking, cleaning, tending to their vegetable gardens, caring for their animals, working in the restoration and craft workshops, and other fascinating places not seen by the public. Each evening, I would go over all the photographs and material I had collected during the day so I could start afresh the next morning. This allowed me to take additional photos of a certain aspect if necessary and delve deeper into some of the information already given. 

Presenting the book at the Horezu Monastery

How did the book come about?

I had done some research about different publishers, and I looked at several photography books some of them had done. One of them had already published several books concerning my family and were of very good quality. This was very helpful in making the right decision.  

Work on the book began a few months after the shooting on location. We set a book launch date with the publisher for the following spring, and then the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The book was put on hold and the organisation of complementary exhibitions came to a complete halt. 

Work on the book didn’t start again for at least a year and was delayed more than once. It was finally published at the end of October 2021, 17 months after the original launch date, and online, due to the continued issues with Covid-19. 

Tending to the graves

What cameras do you use - and what lenses did you use for this book?

My cameras are Canon. For this book, I used a 7D and a 7D Mark II and I used a 50mm, a 15-85 mm, a 70-300 mm, and a 10-18 mm.

How many photos did you take- and how many were used?

I took about 2000 photographs in all. The weather was not always cooperative, so some images were not suitable. This is a normal part of the job as I try to get the best image directly “in the box” as opposed to heavy manipulation while editing. 

The number of images for the book was limited to about 150. Photographic books, particularly those in colour are expensive to produce. This was not an issue for me but narrowing down and selecting the right photographs was a challenge! 

Vegetable garden

On another note, tell me about the Warsaw exhibit - and how that came about?

Over the past 150 years, the members of my family, especially women, have made a real contribution to the arts, not only as patrons but as artists themselves.

Through my photographic work, I contribute to my family's continued commitment to celebrate our country and raise awareness around the world about its priceless heritage, culture, and natural beauty. 

Poland and Romania have strong historical links. All generations of the Romanian Royal Family have contributed to the deepening of relations with Poland, especially King Ferdinand and Queen Marie, King Carol II, and King Michael I,  my father. 

My exhibition in Poland called “Travels Through Romania” was yet another connection between the two countries. It took place in the Książ Castle located near the town of Walbrzych in lower Silesia in Southwestern Poland, about 275 miles away from Warsaw and about 19 miles from the Czech Republic.  

My first visit to Książ Castle was in the summer of 2019, the year that marked the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It was during this first visit that I was offered the opportunity to have an exhibition there. This was all the more meaningful to me because my great-grandmother Queen Marie had stayed there as a guest of the princes of Pless having been a friend of Princess Daisy. The exhibition was all set to take place in September of 2020. 

Like the monastery book, this exhibition was postponed because of the pandemic. It was nevertheless a joy to promote my country there through my work for the months of September and October 2021 a year after it was scheduled to show. 

The exhibition presented 3 different angles of Romania. The first displayed the beauty of the landscapes and rural life through the seasons. The second showed various photographs taken on location in the monasteries. The last group of photographs consisted of a collection of black and white portraits, depicting some of the memorable people that I have met during my travels in the country. 

Do you prefer to shoot landscapes or people?

I have been shooting landscapes since I became serious about photography and like a lot of landscape photographers, I have been accustomed to working alone. 

The seed for stepping into a different subject matter was planted in 2018 when I became the recipient of the “Award of Excellence in Photography Art 2018” from the “Kotinos International Awards” in collaboration with the Philanthropy International Organization, member of the United Nations and the “Grupo Saned. I didn’t realize it at the time, but receiving this award was a turning point in my career.

Like every artist, I was slowly becoming aware that I had reached a point in my work where I had to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to grow and move forward as a photographer. 

When I decided to do the monastery theme, I knew I would be confronted with the challenge of working alongside other people. It was difficult at first, but after a while, I became accustomed to getting on with it and working out how I wanted to present a given scene, such as nuns praying in a dark church which in itself presented a whole new set of challenges or watching them work the ovens in a steamy and hot bakery. 

How did you get interested in photography and when did you get your first camera? 

Since I was a little girl, I had always seen my father with a camera. He used to show us his slides during family evenings I greatly looked forward to those moments and they remain cherished memories of my childhood. 

Ever since I can remember, my sisters and I always had a camera. As a young girl, I wanted to take pictures as beautiful as my father's, so I applied myself. 

During my studies, later on, I took photography at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. I then attended the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington DC, where I studied Graphic Design, and after which I was aiming at a master’s in photography. 

However, the events of 1989 in Romania changed the course of my life. I interrupted my studies and returned to the family home in Switzerland to work alongside my father and do what I could to contribute to the spiritual and social renewal of my country through the Royal Margareta of Romania Foundation of which I was vice-president for several years. 

Do you shoot in raw or jpeg?

My career as a photographer didn’t start until 2007. I was lucky to have a mentor. He was a seasoned war photographer who supported and encouraged me enormously and from whom I learned so much in the early days about the art of taking digital photos and how to edit them. This is when I stopped shooting in JPEG and started shooting in RAW and I’ve never looked back.  

He taught me that one does not need the latest and most expensive equipment to take decent photographs. Some people have complimented me on my work, by saying things like “Wow, you must have a good camera!”. They mean well, and I’m grateful, but this is like telling a Chef that they have good saucepans, or that a hairdresser has a good pair of scissors. 

Are you planning another book of photographs or another project?

Romania a Celebration is still in its early days. “Travels Through Romania” hung for 2 months in Poland and has been seen by hundreds of people. Now, this first book is finally in print. The project will grow and evolve with time. 

I am already doing the research for the next topic. Hopefully, I will be able to start shooting during the spring of 2022. Unfortunately, the ongoing pandemic which is wreaking havoc all over the world and creating such hardship for all of us will dictate if this will be possible or not. In any event, it could easily take a year or thereabouts to complete the photography, no matter when the shooting starts. 

Any other exhibitions upcoming?

Exhibitions are never far from my mind. I am hoping that at some point in the future, the talks for the complementary exhibition to the book that has just come out can be reactivated. This would involve a traveling exhibition to major cities in Romania as well as various European capitals, but again Covid-19 will control the possibility of making this venture a reality. 

Can the book be ordered internationally?

Here is the link for ordering the book in the European Union:

For those living outside the European Union, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and everywhere else, please send an email to Mrs. Gabriela Mitrovici at the publishing house. She speaks English and is eager to assist anyone who wishes to purchase the book:

The book makes for a lovely Christmas gift for anyone who wishes to discover little-known aspects of my country and find some solace in these spiritual dwellings found on the pages of the book. 

If you want to learn more about Princess Sophie and her work, please visit (and enjoy) her website, where you will find more of her photos.

My thanks to Her Royal Highness for agreeing to this interview.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Prince Philip Revealed by Ingrid Seward


It was expected that there would be a flurry of new books published to commemorate Prince Philip's 100th birthday last June.  The prince died on April 9, just two months short of his centenary.   

Prince Philip Revealed was written by Ingrid Seward and was published by Atria Books in 2020.  To say that this book is a disappointment is an understatement.  Truly an understatement as this is an example of a book being rushed out without taking the time to check the facts.

Is Prince Philip Unrevealed a good book?  No.  While I was not expecting a scholarly tome on Philip's life, I also did not expect a mishmash of words on pages masquerading as a poorly researched biography, crying out for a capable editor. 

Ingrid Seward is Majesty Magazine's editor-in-chief and has been writing and reporting about royalty for decades. She would have access to the best and most accurate sources, but this accuracy is largely not on view in this book.  She devotes nearly an entire chapter to the rumors about Philip's infidelity, even including the ill-founded comments by one writer who claimed that Philip had an affair with Princess Alexandra, the queen's first cousin.  

This was disputed by more responsible writers nearly 30 years ago.  Alexandra and Elizabeth are very close so it is unlikely that Alexandra, whose mother, Marina, was Philip's first cousin, had an affair with Philip.

Philip certainly appreciated women, including his wife. This is not a surprise as he was close to several formidable or strong women while growing up.  This included his grandmother, the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, his four sisters, and Lady Zia Wernher.  

There were rumors of an affair with Zia's daughter, Sacha, the Duchess of Abercorn.  They were close friends but their relationship, platonic or not, ruptured, and the Duchess was largely frozen out of Philip's circle.

Unfortunately, far too many facts were left out of the book.  A good editor would have worked with Ingrid, asking her to make sure her statements were correct.  She describes two of Philip's sisters as the eldest sister.  Only one can be the eldest!   

The book is rife with mistakes and inconsistencies.   Here are the mistakes I found:

page 16:  "However, Louis had married Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, and being a Grand Duke of Hesse himself, he was considered too German to be head of the Royal Navy in wartime." 

  Seriously?  Grand Duke of Hesse himself? Goodness, gracious.  Victoria was the daughter of the late Grand Duke Ludwig IV and Hesse and By Rhine. Her younger brother, Ernst Ludwig, was the last reigning Grand Duke.   Prince Louis was Ludwig IV's first cousin, the son of his younger brother, Prince Alexander who married Julie von Hauke, a Polish countess.  This marriage was morganatic.  Julie was created Princess of Battenberg. Their children and male-line descendants were styled as Prince or Princess of Battenberg.  

Hardly a Grand Duke, Ingrid.  Nor was Philip's grandmother, Queen Olga, the niece of Nicholas II.  She was a granddaughter of Nicholas I and a first cousin twice removed to Nicholas II.  

This is very, very sloppy.  

page 16:  Prince Louis was created Marquess of Milford in 1917, the same year as King George V changed the house name to Windsor.   Not three years earlier.

page 17.  The Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a British Princess by birth: Princess Augusta of Cambridge, elder sister of Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck, and Queen Mary's favorite aunt.  Augusta was Queen Victoria's first cousin.  

Julie von Hauke was not a commoner.  Her father was made a count by Nicholas I in 1829, 4 years after Julie's birth.

Page 20.  Prince Louis of Battenberg was the grandson of Grand Duke Louis II of Hesse and By Rhine, not Hesse-Darmstadt.  Louis II was also the grandfather of Victoria's father, Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse and By Rhine.

page 21:  Princess Alexandra of Hesse (and by Rhine) did not marry Nicholas II.  Her name was Alix.  She took the name Alexandra Feodorovna when she converted to Orthodoxy.

page 26  Princess Anastasia's will was rather straightforward as her husband and several family members benefited from her inheritance, But it was her sister-in-law, Princess George of Greece and Denmark (Marie Bonaparte) who paid a lot of Andrew's bills.  She also lent Andrew one of her homes in Paris. 

Page 28.  Ingrid describes Cecilie as Philip's ELDEST sister.  Really, Ingrid?  Cecile was the third of the four daughters. Margarita was the eldest.  

Page 32.  Cecile married Georg Donatus, not George Donatus,   Sophie's husband was Christoph, not Christophe.

page 35.   Theodora married in August 1931. Philip was on summer holiday.   

page 46-47 Lady Zia (her style after the marriage) had to marry money as her father had lost his fortune after the Russian Revolution.  Yes, it is true Philip was very close to Lady Zia and her children and not merely because she was Nada's sister. 

Nada and Zia's father was Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovitch of Russia.  Zia was also a great friend of King George II of the Hellenes, who was Philip's first cousin.

Zia's two daughters, Gina and Marilyn, were childhood playmates of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. Their older brother, Alex, was  Philip's mentor.

48:  Georg Donatus, known as Don.  Of course, Ernie was known as Uncle Ernie.  He was Alice's uncle, the younger brother of her mother (Philip's grandmother) Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven'

 Again, Christoph, not Christophe of Hesse.  and he was known as Cri, not Chri.

Neues Palais  Not Nues.

49:  Ingrid gets it right this time when she describes Margarita as Philip's eldest sister but forgot to correct the earlier mistake when she describes Cecile as the eldest sister.    But she trips up again when she writes "they were married at Schloss Weikersheim."    Gottfried and Margarita were married in civil & religious ceremonies at Schloss Langenburg, not Schloss Weikersheim.

The Lutheran wedding took place in Schloss Langenburg's chapel.

I had to laugh a bit with this sentence: "History does not relate who paid for the lavish receptions for each of Philip's sisters' weddings, but it certainly beyond  Andrew's means."   

 Indeed, Andrew did not pay for what we now call receptions.  The four women married into wealthy families, especially Hesse and By Rhine and Baden, and three of the four sisters married the heirs to the heads of the families.   None of the receptions were grandiose affairs.

The guest list for Sophie's wedding was limited to the bride and groom's families. Margarita's wedding also had a small guest list as the wedding received little press, even in the Weiner Salonblatt, a weekly Vienna society newspaper.  Cecile and Theodora's marriages were covered in great detail in this publication.  

[The Weiner Salonblatt is a great source for royal and noble social events in the first half of the 20th century.  I found the publication helpful when I wrote my article, Four Sisters, Four Weddings, which was published last year in Royalty Digest.]

50:  the two brothers-in-law who were "confirmed Nazis" were Prince Christoph of Hesse and the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg,  Prince Berthold never joined the Nazi Party and Don and Cecilie only became members a few months before their deaths.

55:   Although George Milford Haven was Philip's guardian, his grandmother and the Wernhers were more involved in his life.  It was only when he entered Dartmouth that Uncle Dickie began to pay attention to him.  Before this, Dickie and Edwina were too busy with their own social lives to take a real interest in Philip.

75:  Here Ingrid writes about Philip's naturalization, but neglected to mention that the naturalization was unnecessary because he was a British citizen from birth as he was a non-Catholic descendant of the Electress Sophie of Hannover.  This was due to the 1707 Sophia Naturalization Act, which gave citizenship to her Protestant descendants in perpetuity ... well, until the 1949 British Nationality Act, but the SNA remained valid for Sophia's descendants born before 1949.   

Readers need to know these facts as it is important for the biographer to provide context.

A year before Philip's naturalization, another descendant of Queen Victoria,  Prince Friedrich of Prussia, a grandson of former Kaiser Wilhelm II, used the Sophia Naturalization Act to get his British passport.  He was studying in England when the second world war broke out.  Friedrich was interned in England and Canada before returning to live in England, where he met and married Lady Brigid  Guinness, daughter of the very wealthy Earl of Iveagh.

79:  the people of Wales did not give a gold nugget to use for Elizabeth's wedding ring.  In 1923, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon's wedding ring was made from Welsh gold from the Clogau St David's mine.  There was enough gold in that nugget to make three more rings:  Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, and the Princess Royal.

83:  3rd Marquess, not Third Marquess.

101: What was the reason for this sentence: "On July 4, 1949 -- American Independence Day -- Princess Elizabeth's personal standard few from the roof of Clarence House for the first time."  There was no need to include American Independence Day as the event (the flying of the standard) was not relevant to what was happening on the other side of the Pond."

103: Malta "unsuitable for small children."  So no children were living in Malta when Philip was based in Malta?  in 1927, the Duke and Duchess of York did not take baby Elizabeth with them on their overseas tour because they were traveling by ship and would be gone for several months.   The same information is repeated on the next page.  Elizabeth did not move to Malta with her husband although she made several visits to the island while Philip was stationed there.

113:  The original Broadway stars of South Pacific were Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, not Enzo Pinza. When the musical opened in London in the fall of 1951, Emil de Becque was played by Wilbur Burns, not Ezio Pinza.  This means the King and Queen and Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh did not see Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, but Mary Martin and Wilbur Evans.

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140:  Princess Alexandra was the last royal baby to be born in the presence of the Home Secretary. Although King George VI announced that the Home Secretary would not be present when the then Princess Elizabeth gave birth to Prince Charles,  Prince Wiliam of Gloucester, Prince Michael of Kent, and Prince Richard of Gloucester were all delivered without the presence of the Home Secretary due to the Second World War.

169: Margaret's wedding was not the first royal wedding to be televised.  In 1956, Grace Kelly's wedding to Prince Rainier III of Monaco was televised, reaching 30 million.    International live coverage was unknown as the first TV satellite was not launched until 1962.

170:  Antony, not Anthony.  Atria apparently could not afford fact-checkers or proofreaders.
252:  Aspasia Manos was styled as Princess Alexander of Greece and Denmark. 

254:  Georgina (Gina) was also a childhood friend of Philip. Sir Georg Kennard Bt. was her second husband.  Her first husband was Harold "Bunnie" Phillips, former lover of Edwina Mountbatten.

282.  Lady Diana's father succeeded to the Spencer earldom in 1975, six years before her marriage to Charles.  She was the daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer and her brother Charles as Viscount Althorp when she married.

356: Lady Louise Mountbatten.  Alexandra was not Queen of England. She was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.    Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy. 

There are no footnotes or endnotes for the numerous quotes.  The bibliography is extensive, but there are a few books that could have been left out.

More important, two major sources for Philip's life were not consulted: Young Prince Philip by Philip Eade and Grand Dukes and Diamonds by Raleigh Trevelyan, a history of the Wernher family.   

Fiammetta Rocco's profile of Prince Philip published in The Independent (December 13, 1992) is also a great source of information, as Prince Philip talked about the alleged affairs and other things.  

My verdict: do not waste your money on Prince Philip Revealed.   

Friday, November 19, 2021



 Here it is, the third and final edition of the complete genealogy of the Bernadotte dynasty, tracing all the legitimate descendants of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte (King Carl XIV Johan) and Désirée Clary, who became the King and Queen of Sweden and Norway in 1818. Although they only had one child, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, the number of descendants by October 2021 is an astounding 567. These are mostly to be found in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg - but there are also branches in France, Switzerland, Italy, UK, Greece, Spain, USA, and Australia. 

This new volume has 512 illustrations, mostly new compared to previous editions. The language, when needed, is English, but titles and countries are shown in their original form. As in previous editions (1992 and 2010), great efforts have been made to find complete information not only about all those that have married into the dynasty but also about their parents and in many cases grandparents, making this book unique among royal genealogies.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Last King of America: The Misunderstood Reign of George III by Andrew Roberts

 British historian Andrew Roberts tonight at Mount Vernon (George Washington's home) in a discussion about his new book,  The Last King of America: The Misunderstood Reign of George III.   He discussed the British political situation, George's education, his relationship with his parents, his views of the revolution,  how he modernized the monarchy, his approval of the new USA (comments to John Adams), the problems with Prinny, and most important, emphatically stating that George III did not have porphyria, but was bipolar, as based on numerous recent medical articles.

Interesting to learn that Mount Vernon has a relationship with the Royal Archives and with King's College in London.

I cannot wait to read it.  Copies were available for sale and Andrew signed the copies afterward.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Informally Royal by Rodney Laredo


Rodney Laredo has written a gem of a book, Informally Royally Studio Lisa and the Royal Family 1936-1966 (The History Press), a lovely biography-cum-history of Studio Lisa, run by Lisa and Jimmy Sheridan.   The couple made their name in the 1930s with child portraiture.  As their reputation grew, the couple caught the attention of a "local and noted writer of books about dogs."   

The writer was preparing a book on royal dogs and "for the first time he wanted to decorate his text with photographs."  

He posed a question: would Lisa and Jimmy accompany him to 145 Piccadilly, the London home of the Duke and Duchess of York, and their two daughters, Princess Elizabeth, 10, and 6-year-old Princess Margaret.  

The new partnership nearly did not have a happy ending as the author of the book "betrayed" the Sheridans when he sold the copyright of their photos to the national papers. The author's actions were contrary to the use of royal images and copyright law.   Lisa and Jimmy wrote to the Duke and Duchess of York, "expressing their horror at what had happened," and offered their apologies.

The Duke and Duchess of York invited the couple to take another set of photographs, this time at Royal Lodge.  

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 For the next 30 years (1936-1966), Studio Lisa was responsible for many of the iconic and informal royal photographs of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and their two daughters,   the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and their two sons, Prince William and Prince Richard and in the 1950s, photos of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and their four children.   

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Lisa Sheridan's final royal portraits were taken in October 1965, informal shots of Prince Andrew and Prince Edward playing outside.

Sheridan, who suffered from a heart ailment for several years, died on January 26, 1966, from a stroke.  She was 72 years old.

Laredo, a New Zealander native, has written a charming book about the life and career of Lisa Sheridan, whose photography skills captured the natural essence of royal children.

The book opens with the biography about the Sheridans, which is followed by a selection of Studio Lisa royal photos, informal, dignified, and irresistible.   This is one book you do not want to miss, a truly enjoyable read.

Informally Royal will make an excellent Christmas present for yourself or for someone you know who loves the British royals.

Lisa Sheridan's memoir, Cabbages and Kings, was published in 1955.

Thursday, October 7, 2021



Novi Sad, 07 October 2021 – The book "King Peter II Karadjordjevic" by Momcilo Vukovic Bircanin was presented today in Novi Sad. The patron of the first edition of this book in Serbia is HRH Crown Prince Alexander.

The book was first published in Munich, in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1975 by the author. This is its premiere Serbian edition and presentation to the domestic audience. The author was an officer of the Royal Yugoslav Army and personal secretary of King Peter II, who reveals many interesting stories and facts from the life of King Peter II that were unknown to the wider public.

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 In his opening words for the book, HRH Crown Prince Alexander stated: “It is with great pleasure that I have accepted to be the patron of this very interesting and also very important book about my father, HM King Peter II. Testimonies like this, that keep true and accurate remembrance of the past times are important for honoring our history, but also for securing our future, so the wrongdoings from the past are not to be repeated.

"From his earliest days, my father had been prepared for the most responsible role that awaited him – to be a servant to his people and his homeland. I always remember his words: "To us, the Karadjordjevics, the Crown was just a means to serve the people, not the goal of personal dynastic rule." The historic maelstrom of World War II sent him into unwanted exile, from which he never returned, although he wanted it with his entire being. After the era of the Kingdom, many lies and falsehoods were put on his name and his work, which finally begun to be taken away. Because the truth, no matter how hidden and suppressed, always comes to light. And the struggle for the truth, the aspiration to discover it, is always just and right because the truth is one of the most important foundations that our entire civilization stands on!”

Ph.D. Nebojsa Kuzmanovic, director of the Archives of Vojvodina, opened the promotion of the book about King Peter II, and Ph.D. Sasa Markovic, Dean of the Faculty of Education in Sombor of the University of Novi Sad, spoke more about this work and its significance.

all three photos HRH Crown Prince Alexander

The book is the result of cooperation between the Historical Archives of Uzice, Kraljevo, the Archives of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Archives of Vojvodina, the Archives of the Republic of Srpska, and the Association of Archival Workers of the Republic of Srpska. The Serbian edition of this book was prepared by the Director of the Historical Archive of Uzice, Mr. Zeljko Markovic. The publication of the book about our King Peter II is a continuation of the publication of the work of Momcilo Vukovic Bircanin, a kind of realization of the cooperation of archival institutions and the elucidation of the foundations of our history.

Unfortunately, the book has not been translated into English.  Bummer!!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Scholarly look at Romanov weddings

Russell Martin, an advisor to the Imperial House of Russia, is a full professor of history at Westminster College.