The relationship between the Grand Ducal House and the Royal House of Montenegro was reaffirmed today at the Annual Memorial Service for deceased members of the Grand Ducal House at the Church of St John in Mirow.
Ties between the Grand Ducal House and Royal House of Montenegro date back nearly 120 years to the July 1899 marriage of Duchess Jutta with Hereditary Prince (from 1910 Crown Prince) Danilo of Montenegro, the eldest son and heir of Prince (from 1910 King) Nikola. The present head of the family HRH Crown Prince Nikola is their great nephew being the grandson of Prince Mirko, the second son of King Nikola.
At today’s Memorial Service the Grand Ducal House was represented by TH The Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg, Duchess Olga, Duke Michael and Duchess Irene. The Royal Family of Montenegro was represented by HRH Crown Prince Nikola who was accompanied by Count Giuseppe Tedeschi and Dr Alessio Butti, representatives of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Montenegro. Also in attendance was HE Dr Ranko Vujacic, Montenegro’s Ambassador to Germany and Dr Rajko Lippert, spokesman and historian for the Grand Ducal House and Chairman of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Cultural Heritage Society.
The service was led by Pastor Felix Evers from the Roman Catholic Church in Neubrandenburg. Historian Sandra Lembke gave a speech to the guests about Duchess Luise, the eldest child of Grand Duke Georg and Grand Duchess Marie, who was born 200 years ago this year and was the focus of this year’s service.
At the service The Duke, The Duchess, Duchess Olga, Duke Michael and Duchess Irene were all invested with the Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Danilo by Crown Prince Nikola as Grand Master of the Order, The Duke and Duchess were additionally made a Knight and Dame of the House Order of St Peter of Cetinje. Hereditary Prince Alexander who was unable to be present recivied the Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Danilo in absentia. The Duke as head of the House Order of the Wendish Crown in turn invested Crown Prince Nikola with highest class of the order, the Grand Cross with the Crown in Ore. The representatives of the Royal House of Montenegro present received the class of Grand Commander. The children of Crown Prince Nikola, TRH Hereditary Prince Boris and Princess Altinai received the Grand Cross with the Crown in Ore in absentia, while two further representatives of Royal House of Montenegro, Mr Maurizio Napoli and Mr Alvise Figa’ Talamanca, both received the class of Knight, again in absentia.
Six consecutive generations of members of the Grand Ducal House have now all received Montenegrin orders;
- Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm, Grand Cross of the Order of Danilo
- Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V, Knight of the House Order of St Peter of Cetinje and Grand Cross of the Order of Danilo
- (a) Duchess Jutta, Grand Cross Order of Danilo (b) Grand Adolf Friedrich VI, Knight of the House Order of St Peter of Cetinje and Grand Cross of the Order of Danilo (c) Duke Carl Borwin, Knight of the House Order of St Peter of Cetinje
- Duke Georg Alexander, Knight of the House Order of St Peter of Cetinje.
- (a) Duke Borwin and (b) Duchess Alice, Grand Cross of the Order of Danilo and Knight and Dame of the House Order of St Peter of Cetinje (c) Duchess Irene, Grand Cross of the Order of Danilo
- (a) Duchess Olga, (b) Hereditary Prince Alexander and (c) Duke Michael, Grand Cross of the Order of Danilo
Another link to the Royal House can be found in the mother of Duke Borwin and Duchess Irene, Archduchess Ilona of Austria, who was named for her godmother Queen Elena of Italy, a daughter of King Nikola.
The memorial service is normally held on the penultimate Saturday of August. Next year’s service is therefore scheduled to be held on 24 August 2019. The event is open to the public.
Click here for more photos from the event.