Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Tiaras and Trinkets on Tuesday (The Marlboro Collection)

The Noble Family of Jennings have held the title of Dukes of Marlboro for several hundred years. As such they have accumulated wealth, prestige and a great collection of historic furniture, art and jewellery. They also own a castle and some other properties and businesses. They were however greatly affected by the 96 revolution but at least the family jewels remained in tact and resides with the current Duke in the Republic of Canadium. Today we will discuss the traditional collection and see where it finds itself at present.

The 9th Dowager of Marlboro, Lady Renalda Jennings wears the Marlboro Tiara to the wedding of Queen Crystobel of Scotney and the Crown Prince of  Britania.

A detailed photo of the ancestral tiara of the Marlboro family. It is reported to have been made in the late 1800's for the then Duchess to be as a betrothal gift. Many families will sometimes alter older jewels in order to modernise the design, this one stayed in tact and survived the revolution. 

The current Duke of Marlboro accompanies his sister, Lady Loelia Jennings, who wears the tiara to the gathering in 2011 where the official Royal and Noble Family photo was taken. The Marlboro collection also includes several earrings and necklaces set with diamonds like that in the photo.

Pink Topaz is also sometimes called Imperial Topaz. This pink tiara is called the Renalda Tiara and was made for the 9th Duchess as a 10th wedding anniversary. Lady Loelia wears matching earrings which is part of a demi-parure that includes a necklace. The demi-parure was acquired in the 1980's to compliment the tiara.

This photo shows the detail of the tiara.

Another part of the Marlboro collection has been inherited by the current Duke's brother. Lord Michael Jennings married the Infanta Isabella of Hispania. Upon marriage he was created the Duke of Toledo and his name was changed to the Hispanic Miguel. His marriage entitled him to some of the Marlboro Family jewels for his new wife.

The Marlboro Platinum and Aquamarine Parure. This rather modern set of jewellery was made for the 10th Duke's wife in the 1980's especially for the wedding of the Queen of Scotney and the Crown Prince of Britania.

The elegant beauty of the Aquamarine Parure can be appreciated in this archive photo.

Infanta Isabella, seen in pink in the centre, wears the Aquamarines to the 2010 Christmas Ball.

Depending on the Family tradition, the Aquamarines might return to the Marlboros upon the death of Infanta Isabella or they may remain as an inheritance for her descendants. We will have to wait and see and in the mean time enjoy whenever these amazing jewels are worn. Look out for them at the next major event.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Memory Monday (Historic State Portraits of Empress Crystobel)

As we normally end our weeks with State Portraits and we have a history session on a Monday, I chose to combine the two in one again. For today's post we will show some historic portraits of Empress Crystobel taken before the revolution.

In 1993, to celebrate her fifth wedding anniversary, a range of State Portraits were taken of Empress Crystobel I of the United Empire of Scot-Britania. Here follows the historic portraits of Her Imperial Majesty Empress Crystobel I.

This photo was already used on the blog in the post concerning the Imperial Ruby Collection.

The Empress was wearing her new ruby brooch in conjunction with the Crown Ruby Tiara and some of her personal ruby jewellery. The fur stole is very politically correct faux fur and the dress is a Barbie original.

Another photographer chose to immortalize the Empress two years later wearing her sapphires. The different styles of the photographer can be appreciated.

We can be fortunate that Her Imperial Majesty managed to save all of these jewels for posterity as so much was destroyed during the revolution. Even the fact that only these few photos remain is a rarity.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Fascinating Fridays (Dowager Titles)

Dowager, now there is a word not often heard in modern democratic discussions. It is as if this word is a fossil from a long time ago when society was entrenched in hierarchical principles and of course Royalty.

When the head of a Royal or Noble House is male and marries, his wife gains his titles by courtesy. If he is a Duke, she becomes a Duchess in honour of her status as his wife. She does not become a Duchess in her own right. In order to gain a title in your own right you must inherit it or be granted it by a Sovereign Monarch. So if a lady gains a title through being married then that courtesy title passes on to her son's wife when he gains his father's title. What happens to the widow, is what today's post is all about.

A Dowager  is the widow of a Head of a Royal or Noble House. There is no such thing as a male Dowager, it is reserved for widows only. She will not be referred to as a Dowager unless the new holder of the title has a wife that in effect causes her to lose her own courtesy position and title. Let's use an example. The Count von Bismarck inherited his title upon his father's death. His mother is the Countess Von Bismarck by courtesy. Once the new Count marries, his mother becomes the Dowager Countess Von Bismarck. This serves in distinguishes between the two Countesses von Bismarck. Sometimes the widow might use her first name, as in Countess Maria von Bismarck but this can be considered demeaning due to the fact that first names are often used for daughters or sisters of a Count and not the mother or wife which should take precedence. This "rule" however changes between countries.

The mother of the current Grand Duke of Hanoveria is officially known as the Dowager Grand Duchess of Hanoveria due to her son's wife bearing the title, Grand Duchess of Hanoveria. She is also known by another title she bears in her own right namely, Princess Beatrice and could legally be called that.

The Dowager Countess Cartwright is the mother of the current Earl Cartwright but does not have to add Dowager to her title if she doesn't like to because her son remains a bachelor. She does however already announce herself as the Dowager.

A Dowager has the right to the title regardless of whether her son or nephew or even grand nephew inherits her husband's title after his death. This brings us to the titles of King and Queen, where special concession is made due to the high profiles of the people bearing these titles. Unlike other titles where the wife gains rank by courtesy of her husband, the wife of a King is actually crowned and made a Queen. Therefore if her name is Mary, she would be known as Queen Mary. She is not made a ruling Queen but a Consort Queen and bears this title for life regardless of her husband. When she becomes a widow she may continue to be referred to as Queen Mary. Strictly speaking she is a Dowager but would only be referred to as such if her name happens to be the same as the new King's wife. Finally, if she does not like the term Dowager, then she may be called Queen Mother but only if the new King is actually her son.

There are anomalies in the case of widows as can be expected with most situations. In the Kingdom of Hispania the current ruler, Queen Maria is the daughter of the Dowager Princess of Cataljone. This is due to the fact, that even though the Queen's mother was married to the heir to the throne, her husband never became King. The last Prince of Cataljone was killed in the 96 revolution before he succeeded to the throne and his young daughter became Queen Maria I. The Prince's wife therefore gained the title of Dowager Princess of Cataljone due to the fact that the title of Prince of Cataljone is reserved for the heir to the throne and is now held by the daughter of the current Queen Maria.

The Dowager Princess of Cataljone.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

"To be or not to be" Thursday (Duke of Swann Family Tree)

We have been debating whether to add the genealogies in on a Fascinating Friday that deals with technical aspects or to do it on a Thursday when we deal with identity profiles. Well, its going to be a Thursday and for our first posting dealing with family trees we will profile one of our main Royals, our own Duke of Swann.

These posts will be short in writing as the actual graphic display of the family tree will say it all. It will however require our readers to click on the picture in order to enlarge it for maximum detail.

The Duke of Swann is the grandson of Queen Crystobel I of Scotney through his mother. This makes him the cousin of the Crown Prince Imperial and the Grand Duke of Hanoveria. His father's sister is the mother of the Princess of Wallachia making them cousins as well. The Duke of Swann at present has his cousin, Prince Dillon as his heir presumptive. This would change if the Duke married and had a son of his own.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

What's Up Wednesday (Internation Women's Business League)

This week saw the convening of the International Women's Business League in the Americanian city of the Big Apple. The annual conference focuses on business run by women or where women perform exceptionally. The League aims to strengthen business growth through networking and education, especially in rural areas. Support of charities by major businesses also receives massive boosts from the conference.

This year's 3 day event saw two individual female Royal speakers address the daily main lunchtime gathering. On the Monday, Princess Xenia Draculesti of Wallachia raised the controversial topic of women in business in countries where discrimination is still rife due to religious or cultural prejudice. Wallachia itself still battles the topic in many of its own superstitiously rife rural areas. The fact that the ruler of Wallachia is a woman makes the Princess a prime candidate for being an example for the world.

Her Serene Highness the Princess of Wallachia.

On the Tuesday Queen Gloria of Normandia, who juggles her State related obligations with running a multi-billion dollar company spoke on the topic of time management in the modern age. She said that in her opinion, doing what is your passion to do and to make the most of your time by prioritizing is the greatest skill any person could acquire. 

Her Majesty Queen Gloria of Normandia.

Both Royal speakers received a standing ovation and are sure to have not just boosted the topic of business amongst women but also the topic of Royalty having a place in modern society. You go girls!!!

Tiaras and Trinkets on Tuesday (The Swann Royal Jewellery Collection)

For today's post something very special was prepared. The blog has been granted unprecedented access by virtue of Princess Marie-Elizabeth of Swann to the entire jewellery collection of the House of Swann. This makes for a very interesting post due to the fact that much of the jewellery is never worn in public because our current Duke of Swann remains a bachelor. His sister the Princess Marie-Elizabeth has her own jewellery and limited access to the family jewels so at least we regularly get to see some pieces of this great collection. Today however the doors to the vault are thrown open to us for one day only.

Our hostess Princess Marie-Elizabeth. Here she is seen at the 2011 Christmas Ball wearing her own gold and diamond jewellery. She is devoted to her brother the Duke of Swann and her country but does tend to avoid the glitzy public events unless protocol demands. This leaves the viewing public bereft of the extravagant display of the major parts of the Swann Jewellery Collection.

The Princess was given permission to present the Swann Collection on this blog in order to document and display its magnificence for posterity. Protocol denies the Princess wearing some of the pieces that are reserved for the wife of the ruling Duke but she will don the other pieces as viewing them in display only detracts from the full effect.

First up we have the most important piece, The Crown of Swann. The Crown is the symbol of the monarchy in Swann and is only used at Coronations, Opening of Parliament, State Funerals and in State Portraits. It is made of platinum and set with diamonds, rubies and pearls.

This is the small State Diadem of the Duchess Consort. Because the current Duke remains unmarried this diadem has not been worn or used in any context, since his mother passed away during the 96 revolution.

The large collection of State Jewellery reserved for the use of the Duchess Consort only. This collection includes at left, the Swann Diamond Parure, the "Tear of the Swan" Diamond Necklace in the centre and the Swann State Sapphire Parure at right. There are also two brooches and a bracelet set out in this display that are also state property.

A State Portrait of the last Duchess of Swann wearing the State Sapphires in 1995.

In this photo, one of the last taken before the revolution in 1996, the Duchess of Swann is seen on the right wearing the Swann Diamond Tiara and a choker necklace. She is photographed with her sisters, the Grand Duchess of Hanoveria and Empress Crystobel of Scot-Britania.

Next up we have the dowry of Princess Elizabeth of Scotney, the mother of the current Duke. Her family contributed the diamond tiara, necklace and earrings that form what is now known as the Scotney Dowry Parure.

The last Duchess Consort of Swann, Princess Elizabeth of Scotney wears her dowry jewels in this photo.

Princess Marie Elizabeth has only worn this once in public early in 2012 for the opening of the new Opera House in Swann. She did so with the special  permission of her brother to tip the hat to her mother who initiated the project of the Opera House before her death.

Earlier on this blog we briefly discussed the Swann Ruby Kokoshnik. It forms part of a bigger set of rubies.

 Here is the full parure as worn for this feature by Princess Marie-Elizabeth.

The Swann Collection includes the vast set of emeralds. The demi-parure of earrings and necklace. made from indigenous Syldavian emeralds was already part of the Swann Collection when Princess Elizabeth married the current Duke's father. They were originally a gift of friendship from the then King of Syldavia. For her first wedding anniversary, Princess Elizabeth's parents gave her a matching tiara and now the set is known as the Scot-Syldavian Emerald Parure.

Princess Marie-Elizabeth models the emeralds for this blog post.

This is the Swann Yellow Topaz Parure otherwise also known as the Sun Parure. The stones were a gift from the King of Scotney when the Principality of Swann was founded as an independent country. The large round topaz is meant to symbolise the "rising sun" and by extension a "new day".

The rubies, emeralds and topazes will never be worn by Princess Marie-Elizabeth in public as they are considered the property of the Duke of Swann and as such expected to be worn by his wife even though strict protocol does not forbid it like in the case of the State Jewellery.

Here Princess Marie-Elizabeth models the Princesses of Swann Tiara. The tiara's more humble size makes it appropriate for younger princesses and events of a less formal air. It is very popular as a "first tiara" and is as such the first worn by the younger members of the family. It has also served as a nuptial tiara on occasion. The earrings and necklace are set with very large and top quality diamonds. These were a gift from the Queen of Ophiri to the first Duke of Swann when the Principality was first established.

Other jewels in the collection include a smaller sapphire set and an aquamarine parure. These have been worn by the Princess Marie-Elizabeth on occasion.

The sapphires were worn to the celebration in honour of the Duke of Swann's fifteenth year on the throne in March 2012.

The Swann Aquamarine Parure was designed for the last Duchess. Here they are worn without the matching necklace to the State Banquet in honour of Princess Xenia of Wallachia in 2011.

The Swann Collection is obviously one of the most spectacular in the world and it is sad that it isn't used to its full capacity due to the lack of a Duchess Consort. This might change in future but at the very least, by the time Prince Dillon of Swann comes of age and marries our viewing pleasure might increase.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Memory Monday (The Crown Prince Imperial's Birthday Celebrations)

In 2009 the most defining Royal event since the 1996 Revolution took place on September 24th. This was the highly publicised ball in celebration of the Crown Prince Imperial's "coming of age". This ball ushered in a new era of Royal events and resurrected the glittering spectacle of times gone by. Despite all the media and political repercussions it is easy to forget that it was actually just a party to celebrate a birthday.

Here the "birthday boy" is seen dancing with Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Ruskiana in 2009.

The celebration of Royal birthdays, along with many other events of a Royal scale were on moth balls until the Imperial Family of the former United Empire of Scot-Britania decided to host this 2009 event at their own risk and expense. There has since been two more major birthday celebrations each year in celebration of the Imperial Birthday and we expect another this year.

The 2010 birthday gathering for Prince Christian Victor, the Crown Prince Imperial of Scot-Britania. From left in the back row; Princess Kirsten, Princess Maxima, Empress Crystobel, Prince Dillon, the Duke of Swann, the Grand Duchess and Grand Duke of Hanoveria and Princess Augusta. Seated are the the Crown Princess Imperial and the Crown Prince Imperial.

In 2010 the events was a much smaller affair with only the direct family of the Crown Prince Imperial in attendance. One of the reasons for it being a small event was that it took place only a few days after the newly wed Imperial couple had returned from honeymoon. It was however still photographed and publicised in major magazines world wide. This event was special in contrast to the 2009 Ball due to the fact that Empress Crystobel had come out of hiding and saw her son on his birthday for the first time in over a decade.

In 2011 the Duke of Swann and the Crown Prince Imperial, who are cousins, held a combined birthday cocktail party. There actual birthdays are only a day apart. It was the largest gathering of Royals for a birthday to date. The event was held by day and the dress code was semi formal and cocktail dresses. It was hosted by the Grand Duke of Hanoveria and the event was not considered to be the most official celebration due to the fact that the Duke of Swann is a reigning head of state.

The dress code allowed the public to see their favourite Royals in something other than ball gowns and tiaras.  The chic Lady Arcwhite made a grand entrance as usual in a sleek black Barbie Creation.

We are waiting in anticipation to see what this years will hold.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Wonderful Weekends (State Portrait Queen Crystobel II)

Time for our end of the week State Portrait. This is one of my favourites and I think, probably the most impressive one to date. It will take a restoration of the United Empire, to top this portrait of Queen Crystobel II of Scotney, who became the Empress of the United Empire after her marriage to the Crown Prince of Britania. This portrait was taken to commemorate that wedding. 

Her Majesty Queen Crystobel II of Scotney and Empress of the United Empire of Scot-Britania on her wedding day.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Fascinating Friday (Royal Crowns as a Concept)

Crowns and Tiaras are my favourite topic and I have been interested and inspired by this particular field of jewellery since I can remember. For today's blog post we will discuss the traditional origins of Crowns in particular and their current place as official symbols of Royalty and national identity.

In this State Portrait we see the official Crown of the Grand Duke of Hanoveria. Note the Crown's representation in the Royal Crest. This shows how the crown serves as a national symbol of identity.
To adorn the head must have come to the mind of ancient man for two primary reasons. The head has always and obviously been recognised as the seat of man's conscious mind and intellect and to adorn it would be to substantiate and honour man's intellectual supremacy over the earth and all its creatures. The other reason would be far less esoteric but then also far more obvious as well. The face being the manifestation of identity and inherently beautiful in itself would inspire adornment in the form of ear rings and nose rings but above all, head jewellery. So the more important people would also increase in their wear of jewellery due to their status and wealth. Very soon official jewels would have official function to substantiate office and rank and the apex would always end up being the crown. Crowns as the ultimate jewellery object was probably due to its symbolic place on the head of a person who in turn would be the head of a social hierarchy. Another reason would be that a crown in practicality allows for the greatest weight in gold and jewels. Slowly the crown settled itself symbolically in our human history and indeed our consciousness.  

Crowns and Crown Jewel Collections in later years began to serve a very practical purpose. As Kingdoms grew in size these jewels became the national repository of wealth and collateral for entire countries. Often Kings might even pawn their jewels in order to wage war or build massive cities. The Crown indeed became completely amalgamated with the concept of Kingdom, King and Royalty. They became the symbols of national identity and prestige. Crowns eventually evolved into specific designs in order to differentiate the various Kingdoms or Empires. A King's crown would have different aspects to that of an Emperor or Prince and two Kings crowns would also have different national symbols incorporated.

Some Crowns have survived for centuries while other were pawned or lost during revolution or theft. Here are some of the Crowns from history while some survive and are exhibited others are lost forever or just kept out of the public eye.

An old archive photo of the Crown of St Christian which was the coronation crown for the Kingdom of Scotney. It was one of the oldest crowns in Europa with an amazing history. It was unfortunately lost during the 96 revolution.

The more modern and less jewel encrusted Crown of the Kingdom of Britania. It was destroyed in the Castle Roswind fire during the 96 revolution.

Other Crowns destroyed during the revolution was the modern Crown of Syldavia, the smaller medieval Crown of Hispania and several lesser crowns and coronets of various lower ranking Royals.

The Ruskian Imperial Crown depicted in this State Portrait has been lost since the Great War brought the Imperial monarchy of Ruskiana to its downfall.

The old historic Crown of Syldavia survived the revolution and is currently the official crown of the restored monarchy along with the brand new Queen's Coronet.

The Royal Crown of the Kingdom of Hispania was a new crown made to replace the medieval one destroyed during the revolution. It does however contain gems and gold components from a far older crown. The deteriorating crown used to create the new one, was used to crown a relic in the Royal Cathedral of St Bartholomeas.

Applying the national colour of light blue, the nation of Normandia also made a brand new crown for the restoration of their monarchy.

Wallachia has two medieval circlet style crowns which are probably the oldest in Europa and they are very rarely used and not exhibited at all.

The official symbol of the monarchy in Swann is a typical crown of a Sovereign Duke. This type of crown lacks the upward rising arches of a King or Emperor's crown.

The Imperial Crown on the blue pedistal at right is the single most valuable jewellery piece in the world.

The Imperial Crown Jewels of the United Empire were displayed at the Crown Prince Imperial's Ball in 2009. Rumours about a public exhibition abound but the Imperial Family have yet to make an official statement regarding the matter.