elegance of history blog: History geek, avid reader and art lover. Here you will find random bits of history, book reviews and musings on art, literature, manners, life, music and anything else that interests me.
Marie-Jose of Belgium was brought up to become Queen of Italy, but she only stayed on its throne for 35 short days, which gained her the affectionate nickname of May Queen. The last Queen of Italy was born on 4 August 1906 in Ostend. She was the only daughter and youngest child of King Albert
In 1909, the Russian Emperor Nicholas II visited the Italian royal family and brought an extravagant and particular gift to the little Crown Prince Umberto, who was only five at the time. The Prince’s sister Giovanna thus remembers it*: To my brother Umberto… the Emperor of Russia gave a singular and complicated toy: it was