Genealogical Histories

Dukes of Brunswick I: Wolfenbüttel and the Unwanted Princess

In January 1820, Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales, legally became Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and Queen of Hanover, as consort to the new King: George IV. But the King made it abundantly clear that Caroline was to have no part in his new reign and would not beContinue reading “Dukes of Brunswick I: Wolfenbüttel and the Unwanted Princess”

House of the Dragon: The Basarab Princes of Wallachia and the Legend of Count Dracula

One of the most persistent and popular legends in the history of eastern Europe, and in the steep Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania, is the story of an undead prince, a vampire, the ultimate blood-sucker, Count Dracula. His purported residence, Bran Castle, is the top tourist destination of Romania, with hundreds of thousands of visitors perContinue reading House of the Dragon: The Basarab Princes of Wallachia and the Legend of Count Dracula

Lost Princes of France: The Courtenays, from Latin Emperors to Earls of Devon

This is the story of a family that rose to great heights as princes and emperors in the eastern Mediterranean, then slowly declined over several centuries in rural France, before attempting to restore their former position in the line of succession to the French throne in the 17th century. An offshoot branch had established itselfContinue reading “Lost Princes of France: The Courtenays, from Latin Emperors to Earls of Devon”

The Anglo-Dutch Moment: the Bentinck dukes of Portland

The year 1688-1689 has been called by historians the ‘Anglo-Dutch Moment’, as the year when the ideas of English and Dutch limited monarchy came together in the person of William, Prince of Orange: King William III. Over three centuries later, one family, the Bentincks, still benefit from this relatively brief merging of national interests. HansContinue reading “The Anglo-Dutch Moment: the Bentinck dukes of Portland”

The House of Lancaster in Portugal: Dukes of Aveiro and Abrantes

Lancaster is a very English place name, and the name used by dynastic historians for one side of the epic struggle for the English throne known as the Wars of the Roses. Curiously, as ‘Lencastre’ it is also a surname used by one of the few Portuguese noble families to hold ducal rank. Aveiro wasContinue reading The House of Lancaster in Portugal: Dukes of Aveiro and Abrantes

Piombino: A sovereign principality for the Appiani, Ludovisi and Boncompagni

Renaissance Italy is known for its complex political geography, with numerous small duchies and principalities punching above their weight in terms of the generation of political and philosophical ideas and staggeringly beautiful works of art. Mantua, Ferrara, Parma are all well known. There were also several much smaller principalities whose histories are not as known,Continue reading “Piombino: A sovereign principality for the Appiani, Ludovisi and Boncompagni”

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