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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #586 
https://villaludovisi.org/2018/03/25/in-memoriam-hsh-prince-nicolo-boncompagni-ludovisi-rome-21-january-1941-rome-8-march-2018/

Another royal death I had not noted earlier, HRH Prince Nicolò Francesco Boncompagni Ludovisi (1941-2018), head of the princely family of Piombino.
Queenslander

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Reply with quote  #587 
My fullest condolences to such a distinguished family, his friends and many associates. I truly respected his work in keeping the family prominent in the post 1946 Italian environment, and for his work in preserving a slice of Roman history.
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Peter

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Reply with quote  #588 
John Julius Cooper, 2nd Viscount Norwich, died on the first of this month, news I didn't happen to see at the time but which caught my eye today. Better known as John Julius Norwich, under that name he was a prolific author of popular but nevertheless scholarly and thoroughly-researched histories, of which I possess one, The Kingdom in the Sun, an account of the Kingdom of Sicily from its founding to the end of the original de Hauteville dynasty. He also regularly appeared on broadcast media as both a historical expert and all-round personality. A descendant of William IV through his maternal grandmother, his title was inherited by his only son, Jason, now 3rd Viscount. As the new incumbent is 59 years old and unmarried and there are no other heirs, presumably the 3rd Viscount will also be the last.

The descent from William IV is necessarily illegitimate. Confusingly, his mother, herself a celebrated figure, is shown in the linked ancestry as being née Lady Diana Manners, but her father as no Duke of Rutland but rather one Henry Cust. In fact her official father was indeed the 8th Duke of Rutland. However, it seems generally accepted that while not as such illegitimate she was also not biologically the Duke's daughter, but rather that of the previously-mentioned gentleman. Anyway, I was sorry to hear of Lord Norwich's death, though he did have a long and I would think happy and fulfilled life. A sample lifted from the obituary I linked, which might amuse Catholic members despite its acerbic nature:

Quote:
Two thousand years of history was no obstacle, and his history of the popes appeared in 2011, with Norwich modestly claiming to have met only four (Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul I). Despite such access, he was acerbic when necessary, condemning John Paul II’s 500-odd canonisations, and noting waspishly that “suddenly we have saints like other people have mice”.
Windemere

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Reply with quote  #589 
Thanks for posting the sad notice of John Julius Cooper, 2nd Viscount Norwich's recent passing. Many years ago, I checked his 3 volume History of Byzantium (now a classic) out of the library, and I spent many enjoyable hours reading it. He had an admirable knack for making ancient history both readable and interesting, even for non-historians. I actually possess a copy of his shorter Short History of Byzantium. 

His father, Duff Cooper, was created 1st Viscount Norwich. The 1st Viscount was a well-known diplomat of his time, and he was known for engaging in a number of extramarital affairs. His wife, a scion of ancient aristocracy, apparently tolerated them in good humor. When the subject was discreetly brought up, she was said to have replied  "....they are the flowers, but I am the tree....." . Duff Cooper was rumoured to have had an affair with American socialite Mary Susan (Jay) Patten  ( who was also married at the time, and later remarried again to Joseph Alsop V) . Many years later, Mary told her grown son that his actual biological father was Duff Cooper. To this day, the son, Bill Patten Jr.  now an elderly and respected author, who'd been raised as the son of William Patten Sr.,  isn't quite sure of his actual paternity. The 2nd Viscount himself seems  also  to have had a lively extramarital experience. I also read that Prince Charles appreciated his ability to make history so fascinating and interesting, and had him as a guest at house-parties at his Highgrove estate.

It's too bad that the Norwich Viscountcy will probably terminate at some future point.

I also read John Julius Norwich's Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy,  enjoyed it very much, and hope to re-read it at some future time. John Paul II was certainly an energetic canonizer, one hopes that he didn't get carried away and substitute quantity for quality. 


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