Royal news flash: weddings and births

Some royal news updates over the last few weeks:

Sweden’s Newborn Princess
On 9 March 2018, Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland and her husband, Herr Christopher O’Neill, welcomed their third child, a daughter named Adrienne Josephine Alice. The girl was born at Danderyd Hospital in Danderyd, Sweden, and is currently tenth and last in the line of succession to the throne of Sweden. As with the other children of Princess Madeleine, Adrienne holds the rank of a Swedish royal princess along with a ducal title. She is officially Her Royal Highness Princess Adrienne of Sweden, Duchess of Blekinge. A council of state presided over by the infant’s grandfather, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf, confirmed her title and dukedom. Members of Adrienne’s family – her father, her grandparents, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, and her uncles and aunts Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip, and Princess Sofia – then attended a service of thanksgiving in her honor at the chapel of the Royal Palace in Stockholm.

In this author’s opinion, the name Adrienne is certainly keeping in line with what is becoming a tradition of giving less traditional names to females in the younger generation of the Swedish royal family. I can’t say I am particularly enraptured by the name, just as I am not terribly keen on the names Leonore or Estelle, but then these aren’t my children and my opinion is irrelevant anyway. Congratulations nevertheless to the parents and her siblings. 

Queen’s Approval for Upcoming Nuptials
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has granted her formal consent for the impending marriage of her grandson, His Royal Highness Prince Henry (Harry) of Wales, and Miss Meghan Markle. The couple will walk down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on 19 May.

According to the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which repealed the previous Royal Marriages Act 1772, the first six dynasts in the line of succession to the throne require the formal consent of the sovereign in order to marry. As Prince Harry is currently fifth in line to the throne (though he will move down to sixth in line next month with the birth of his brother’s third child), his grandmother’s consent was necessary to retain his rights of succession as well as the rights of his descendants.

The formal announcement stated that the Queen gave her consent to a “Contract of Matrimony” between her “Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle”.

Despite a flurry of speculation, there is currently no confirmation on whether Prince Harry is receiving a ducal title, like his brother, on his wedding day, and such an announcement will not be made until that very morning. For years the rumor has floated around that he has been earmarked for the Duke of Sussex, one of the last vacant royal dukedoms. If this proves prescient, then Meghan will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex upon marriage. Otherwise, if no additional title is granted to Harry or his bride, the newlyweds will be formally known as Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Henry of Wales.

Hanoverian Royal Wedding
South America seems an unlikely locale these days for a royal wedding, but the Peruvian capital of Lima played host to one yesterday, 16 March, bringing together a glamorous Peruvian former model and a prince of a deposed German royal house. His Royal Highness Prince Christian of Hanover, the second son of Ernest Augustus IV, the Prince of Hanover, celebrated his religious wedding to Alessandra de Osma in Lima. The couple already held their civil wedding in London back in November. This is the second wedding for the House of Hanover in less than a year. In July 2017, Christian’s elder brother, Ernest Augustus, Hereditary Prince of Hanover, married Ekaterina Malysheva in Hanover, Germany. Reports of a family rift between the elder Prince Ernest Augustus and his namesake son overshadowed the celebrations, prompting the Prince of Hanover to absent himself from his son’s nuptials. However, Ernest Augustus Sr. made the trek to Peru for his younger son’s wedding, and the younger Ernest Augustus’s attendance no doubt made for an interesting family reunion.

Prince Christian and his brother are the two sons of Prince Ernest Augustus IV’s first marriage to Chantal Hochuli. They divorced in 1997, and the Prince remarried in 1999 to Princess Caroline of Monaco, eldest daughter of Prince Rainier III of Monaco and American actress Grace Kelly. The German House of Hanover was the reigning dynasty of Great Britain from 1714, following the death of the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne, until the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. They also reigned over the Kingdom of Hanover in Germany, which was dissolved following its annexation by Prussia into the German Empire in 1866. If Queen Victoria had never inherited the British throne, and the crown had instead passed to her cousin, Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (who was crowned King Ernest Augustus I of Hanover in 1837), then yesterday’s groom, Prince Christian, would be the son of the reigning British monarch.  

The wedding brought forth a number of European royals and high society figures. Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York both attended (Eugenie will be celebrating her own wedding later this year), along with Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece and his daughter, Princess Maria Olympia (Pavlos is a second cousin of Prince Christian – Christian’s grandfather, another Ernest Augustus, was the brother of Pavlos’s grandmother, Queen Frederica of Greece). Prince Christian’s half-sister, Princess Alexandra of Hanover (the daughter of his father’s marriage to Princess Caroline of Monaco) was on hand to help her new sister-in-law with her train, and Christian’s stepsiblings through Princess Caroline – Andrea Casiraghi, Charlotte Casiraghi, and Pierre Casiraghi – all attended as well. Princess Caroline, who is officially Her Royal Highness The Princess of Hanover, has been separated from her husband for over a decade and did not attend.