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The Princely Family of Montenegro, Jubilee postcard, 1900 (Diana Mandache collection)

Nicholas and Milena of Montenegro were an affable couple, very close and much loved by their people. That is conveyed by many popular artefacts bearing their image produced or published in Montenegro, such as the picturesque old postcard presented above published on the occasion of celebrating 40 years since they acceded to the throne and marriage. The Duchess of Edinburgh (Maria Alexandrovna) gives here an insightful description of the the good natured Montenegrin royal family during a visit in 1887:

At the Montenegro frontier the Prince [Nicholas] met us and we were very pleased to see him, as he is a very old friend and such an amiable man. He had prepared a luncheon in a small house belonging to him and we were very hungry after the long drive. The Prince himself and every man in the country wear the beautiful national dress. They are such handsome men, even the common peasants and so very friendly and respectful. They all have excellent manners, come running to the road to make their bow and the Prince is like a real father amongst them all. But curious enough it seems to us hardly ever to meet a woman in the streets. They are very modest and stay at home, but the men walk about and in the evening dance much wilder than the Scotch reel. They sing to it some with song, which sounds so curious in the stillness of the night. Before we reached the town of Cettinie we were met by the Prince’s eldest son, a very pretty boy aged 16, very tall and dark, with most excellent manners and such a bright clever look. He was on horseback at the head of a cavalry escort, all mounted on very small strong ponies. They cantered round us, some racing wildly along, over stones and rough ground. At the house, we were met by the Princess and her daughters all in national dress…  There is also a dear little boy of 8 years, dressed in lovely costumes: he comes in making beautiful bows and kisses one’s hand. He is called Mirko and his father simply adores him but does not spoil any of them. In fact he is very strict and everybody obeys him in a wonderful way and are devoted to him. Only imagine, that they all walk about with loaded revolvers, even all the servants when they wait at dinner…

©Diana Mandache/ The above text and image is not for duplication or reproduction


I endeavour in the “Weekly Pictures” post series to bring to light worthy of note, often less known images from the royal past and present and thus further enhance the understanding of royal history and what it represents for us.

Weekly picture: Diana Mandache’s weblog Royal History.

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