Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Male Royal Consorts

Crown Princess Victorias 32nd birthday celebration at Borgholm on the island of Oland in Brorgholm, Sweden on July 14, 2009. The Crown Princess is wearing a traditional costume. Picture shows: Crown Princess Victorias fiance Daniel Westling. Photo by Stefan Lindblom/Stella Pictures/ABACAPRESS.COM Photo via Newscom I rarely blog about non-British royals but in honor of the upcoming marriage of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden to Daniel Westling, I thought it would be appropriate to give a brief history of male royal consorts. Their destiny is to walk two paces behind, living in the shadow of their reigning wives. The future Prince Daniel is in good company.

Prince Albert, Prince Consort

1854:  Prince Albert (1819 - 1861) husband of Queen Victoria.  (Photo by John Jabez Edwin Mayall/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)Arguably the most famous Prince Consort in history, he his the only consort of a Queen Regnant to hold the title. He was a first cousin of Queen Victoria. They married in February 1840 and he was a devoted hisband until his death in 1861. Victoria mourned him for the rest of her life, imortalizing him in countless statues and landmarks.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth II, as Princess Elizabeth, and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, styled Prince Philip in 1957, on their wedding day. She became queen on her father King George VI's death in 1952.   (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Currently the longest serving royal consort in history. The husband of
Queen Elizabeth II, he was born in 1921 on a dining room table in Villa Mon Repos on the Greek island of Corfu. He was known as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark until his engagement to Princess Elizabeth in 1947. He became a naturalized British subject in the same year, giving up his royal titles to become plain Ltn. Philip Mountbatten. Upon his marriage he became HRH Duke of Edinburgh and in 1957 he was given the title Prince of the United Kingdom. In 2007, The Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary - the first for any British monarch in history.

Prince Claus of the Netherlands
10th March 1966:  Wedding of Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands to West-German diplomat, Herr Claus von Amsberg in Amsterdam.  (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images) The late consort of Queen Beatrix was a controversial choice for the Crown Princess. He was German and a former Hitler Youth Member. 60,000 Dutch signed a petition against the marriage and the Jewish community boycotted the celebration. They were married on March 10, 1966. On the day of the ceremony there were several attempts at sabotage, Dutch TV crews had an important cable cut. Protestors lined the route with smoke bombs. He gradually won over the Dutch public and was a popular member of the royal family when he died in 2002.

Prince Henrik of Denmark

CAIX, FRANCE - AUGUST 08:  Prince Henrik of Denmark poses during the annual holiday photocall on August 8, 2008 in Caix, France.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)The consort of Queen Margarethe II of Denmark. Henri Marie Jean André de
Laborde de Monpezat was born in 1934. He married the heir presumptive to the Danish throne, Crown Princess Margarethe, in 1967. Prior to his marriage he was a French diplomat. Raised as a Catholic he converted to Protestantism. At the time of his marriage his name was 'Danicised' to Prince Henrik.

© Marilyn Braun 2010

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