In light of the increasing number of spurious "royal experts" infiltrating the media, Princess Palace has created this online testing and training center/centre (a.k.a. trivia quizzes) to facilitate the recognition and certification of actual royal experts. Anyone receiving certification may add C.R.E. (certified royal expert) after one's name. This site is created and maintained entirely for fun. Its creator asserts no authority for certifying anyone's qualifications for anything. ;)

05 June 2011

Golden Oldies Answers

Throughout the ages, royals have tended to live about the same life expectancy as others of their day, but on occasions, a really long-lived royal has demonstrated an excellent combination of good genes, good living and good luck. For this quiz, our experts were asked to name these golden royal oldies.

1. This Greek-born royal will join the nonagenarian club in June 2011.
Born June 10, 1921 as the youngest child and only son of Prince and Princess Andrew of Greece, Prince Philippos fled into exile with his family when he was still an infant. He spent a good part of his childhood in Paris, then in school in Germany, then joined the British navy. Until he married the heir to the British throne. He led a very peripatetic life bouncing between relatives and navy posts. He gave up his Greek titles and became simply Philip Mountbatten before being created HRH The Duke of Edinburgh by his father-in-law and Prince of the United Kingdom by his wife.

2. Both born as daughters of Scottish peers, these two ladies married royal brothers
The most famous of these ladies, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was the youngest daughter of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. In 1923, she married the second son of King George V and became HRH The Duchess of York. In 1936, her husband ascended the throne and she became HM Queen Elizabeth, but she is most beloved as the Queen Mother, a title she held from the death of her husband in 1952 until her own death 50 years later at the age of 101.
The second Scottish lass was Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott, the middle child of the 7th Duke of Buccleuch. Having traveled around the world, she finally married at the age of 33 to the third son of George V and became HRH The Duchess of Gloucester. Both of her sons were born when she was in her forties; the eldest Prince William died in a flying accident in 1972. After the Duke's death in 1974, the Queen allowed her aunt to use the style HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester although she had never been a princess in her own right. Princess Alice holds the record as the longest lived British royal: she died in 2004 just eight weeks before her 103 birthday.

3. This imperial heir became a pretender at age nine and a European parliamentarian at 67
Now simply known as Otto von Habsburg, Archduke Otto of Austria was the oldest son of the last Austrian emperor Karl. Born in 1912, Otto became the Crown Prince with his father's succession in 1916. Following his father's abdication in 1918 and early death in 1922, Otto assumed the role of pretender to the nonexistent throne, a claim he renounced in 1961 in order to launch a political career in Austria. He served as president of International Paneuropean Union for 31 years and was a member of the European Parliament for 20. He is 98 years old. (Update: Archduke Otto passed away on 4 July 2011 at his home in Germany.)

4. At age 30, this empress was a widow with eight children
If you know the story of #3 above, you probably know that this woman is Otto's mother, Zita of Bourbon-Parma, who was Empress of Austria for less than two years. Born in 1892, as one of 24 children of Robert Duke of Parma, she apparently inherited the family's fecundity giving her husband eight children in their 11-year marriage. In 1918, the imperial family was sent into exile after World War I. When her husband died of pneumonia in 1922, his reported last words to her were, "I love you so much," and she wore black in his memory until her own death in 1989 at the age of 96. Two of her sons are still living: Otto (above) and Felix who is 95. A third son, Carl Ludwig, died last year at age 90.

5. Born a Spanish aristocrat, she married a president and became an empress
Renowned for her beauty, Eugenie de Montijo caught the wandering eye of Napolean's nephew, Louis-Napolean who was elected president of the Second Republic of France. Before the end of his term, he staged a coup d'etat and seized dictatorial powers. One year later, he declared himself Emperor Napoleon III. One month later, he married Eugenie "for love", so he was technically no longer president. Ironically, just two generations removed from his family's lower class origins in Corsica, Napoleon believed he married beneath him despite Eugenie's centuries of noble descent. The Empire fell after less than two decades and family made their new home in England, where they were very close to Queen Victoria and her family. In fact, it is believed that Eugenie hoped to marry her only son to Victoria's youngest daughter, Beatrice, who later named her daughter Victoria Eugenie. The ex-Emperor died two years after arriving in England and their son died brutally while fighting the Zulus at age 21 a few years after that in 1879. Empress Eugenie remained in England but died in Spain during a visit to family in Spain in 1920. She was 94. Her name lives on today in a namesake, Princess Eugenie of York, whose mother, the former Sarah Ferguson has a strong interest in the Victorian royals.

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