Thursday, September 5, 2013

History of the Almanach de Gotha

The Almanach de Gotha is the Who's Who of royalty and has been around for quite some time. Here is a fascinating history:
It was Emmanuel Christoph Klupfel (1712-76) being chaplain and later tutor to the young hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg, who was the founder of the Almanach de Gotha. The Almanach de Gotha published by Justus Perthes made its debut in the German Duchy of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha in 1763, the Court which during the 1760's under Duke Friedrich III and later under Duke Ernest II attracted Voltaire and which in the mid 1800's produced Prince Albert as consort for Queen Victoria. The Gotha's own familiar crown was stamped on the cover of what was to become the ultimate power register of the ruling classes. 
The Almanach de Gotha was unmoved by government decrees or bribes, those not included in its pages found themselves thwarted, Pretenders claims left in ruins, by the publisher who would not compromise itself for either inclusion or exclusion. Napoleon's reaction was typical. On 20 October 1807 the Emperor wrote to his Foreign Minister, de Champagny: 'Monsieur de Champagny, this year's Almanach de Gotha is badly done. I protest. There should be more of the French Nobility I have created and less of the German Princes who are no longer sovereign. Furthermore, the Imperial Family of Bonaparte should appear before all other royal dynasties, and let it be clear that we and not the Bourbons are the House of France. Summon the Minister of the Interior of Gotha at once so that I personally may order these changes'. (Read more.)

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