Matilda (Матильда, 2017)

The Russian historical movies are colorful with many fascinating costumes and perfect makeup and hairstyling. That’s the case of Matilda too. It tells the story of relationship between Nicholas II of Russia and ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska.

When a Russian grand duke wanted a mistress, he usually found this woman among ballerinas.

When a Russian grand duke wanted a mistress, he usually found this woman among ballerinas.

Mathilde had many important lovers such as Nicholas or his cousin Andrey Vladimirovich.

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Historical Figures & Comics

Recently I’ve learned that a comic book about tsarevich Alexei will be released in Russia soon. Therefore I suppose it’s a good time to present historical figures in comics:

  • Tsarevich Alexei
  • Empress Elisabeth of Austria

It’s not a completed list but I’m going to update this article regularly.

Rudolf II lived in a magical time. Thanks to it he is a hero of many (children) books.

update 20. 11. 2020

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HRE Charles IV & Henry VIII of England

Charles IV was the grandson of some Henry VII. Henry VIII was the some of another Henry VII. Do they have anything else in common?

Charles IV in Prague

Henry VIII’s great-grandmother Jacquetta of Luxembourg and Charles IV came from the same house. Let’s see who is their common ancestor.


Jacquetta, the mother of fourteen was born in 1416. She gave birth to Elizabeth Woodville who later married King Edward IV. Their daughter Elizabeth (Jacquetta’s granddaughter) united the Houses of York and Lancaster as a result of her marriage to Henry VII. The offspring of this liaison is not needed to be presented as it is the younger hero of this article.

To see Henry’s connection with Charles IV we must briefly present his ancestors in the Jacquetta’s line:

Peter I of Luxembourg (1390 – 1433), Jacquetta’s father

John of Luxembourg (1370 – 1397), Jacquetta’s grandfather

Guy of Luxembourg (1337/1340 – 1371), John I of Luxembourg (1313 – 1364), Valeran/Walram II of Luxembourg(?1275 – po 1354), Valeran/Walram I of Luxembourg(? – 1288), Henry V of Luxembourg (1216 – 1281).

As we see, Jacquetta’s 5 x great- grandfather was Henry V of Luxembourg. He had four sons and two daughters. We already mentioned Walram, the ancestor of Jacquetta. Another son was Henry VI of Luxembourg (1252 – 1288). He was the father of emperor Henry VII (ca 1275 -1313). The next in line is John of Bohemia (1296 – 1346) who is in the Czech Republic known as of Luxembourg and finally HRE Charles IV (1316 – 1378).

All names are depicted in the below table.

To answer the initial question – Charles IV was the 2 x great-grandson of Henry V of Luxembourg whereas Henry VIII was his 8 x great-grandson.

Finding Freedom

Only some people didn’t hear about the recent book about Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family. This biography by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand was hugely advertised in the way of infamous articles about Harry and Meghan.

We read that William was terrified when Harry fall in love with Meghan so quickly or what the little Cambridges got from their uncle. So how this book looks like?

Windsor shortly after their wedding

First of all I don’t think it’s a bad book. It just received a bad publicity. However, it’s more than “Harry & Meghan are the only good whereas the Royal Family is bad”.

It’s a detailed description of their life as a couple. In fact I have never understood how books about the newlyweds can be published in the time of a wedding. In that time we know nothing about them, we know only the bride and the groom. Finding Freedom documents the time period from summer 2016 to March 2020 and it’s full of plenty events.

It’s a fact checking. A lot of was written about Harry and Meghan and thanks to their legal actions it is clear that not everything was correct. So this book is a review of all newspaper articles and tells the truth and events behind them. I was personally very attracted by their wedding – gown, tiara,… The tiara issue was exaggerated before. Why wasn’t Meghan supported when she needed to borrow a tiara of her choice for the wedding preparations?

However, some events weren’t explained enough. I still didn’t agree with the fact how the Sussexes travelled in summer 2019. When someone speaks for ecology, then he shouldn’t use a service of private jets 3 times in a few days… Or the pregnancy announcement at the wedding of Princess Eugenie wasn’t fair. On the other side it could have been a sweet revenge from Harry and Meghan because the authors claim that the world was informed about their relationship because of the information leak from the Duke of York and Eugenie’s staff.

To summarize this part I think it’s very worthy because the newspaper articles sometimes didn’t make sense. I remember how I wondered when their proposal was announced. As it had been “known” that Meghan should have been a vegetarian, so why did they bake a chicken when Harry proposed her?

Finding Freedom is a glorification of Harry and Meghan. It’s a book about them and from their point of view. If it’s true that the Palace denied the fake news about Kate (plastic surgery), why could not have been done the same for Meghan? As I mentioned the Sussexes deserve a channel that stands behind them.

The Czech version was published by Baronet in September 2020 ( 1 month after the original 👍🏻).

Few questions left – how is it possible that the private discussions are made public? There must be still a silent staff in each room in the Palace how we saw it in Victoria. I wouldn’t expect it. And how is it possible so high rate of information leakage in such a privileged environment?

Not to mention only pros I really didn’t like that the characters were mentioned with full name and position only when they appeared for the first time. Later only their first name was used. In the absence of index I didn’t know who they are. Or at least their list would solve my problem.

Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family worth reading. At least for the other view it served.

The King (2019)

The main hero in the Netflix King is Henry V. I met him only as a supporting character in historical fictions about his wife Catherine of Valois.


Henry V

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7984766/

Unfortunately, this movie is based on several Shakespeare’s plays, therefore we can’t count with historical accuracy. However, it is much worse than the usual inaccuracy in plays. Some non- exhaustive list is included in the Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_King_(2019_film).

I only mention here the time inaccuracy. It’s something what I dislike in this type of movies.

The first battle in a movie with Percy took place approximately 10 years earlier than it is depicted. Addition to it, Henry’s brother Thomas died approximately 10 years later than we see it in the movie.

Despite this, I don’t think it is a bad movie. We can imagine here how boring was the time before a battle. And what’s the most outstanding is the cast.

My favorite Timothée Chalamet looks like the real Henry V and Lili-Rose Depp resembles her mother Vanessa Paradis.

The most remarkable scene? Henry receives a gift from Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia. There were too many kings in Europe but the authors (or Shakespeare?) decided to choose the Bohemian Wenceslaus.

My niece married my grandson

Empress Caroline Augusta could have said in April 1854 when the wedding of Franz Joseph took place: “My niece married my grandson.”

John the Blind could have said the same sentence after the wedding of French King Charles V and Joanna of Bourbon in April 1350. Why? How was related the King of Bohemia to the French nobility? Let’s discover it!


Elizabeth of Bohemia, the first wife of John the Blind gave birth to seven children. The second child and daughter was Jitka (*20. 5. 1315). The third child and first son was Václav (*14. 5. 1316). As their father decided to educate them in France and marry the French husband and wife, they were known as Bona and Charles going forward.

Charles’ wife was Blanche de Valois whereas her sister-in-law Bona married her nephew Jean (John), who was the future Jean II and also inhabitant of Tower.

Bona gave birth to many children, one of them was the future Charles V, our groom. His bride Joanna of Bourbon was the daughter of Pierre, duke of Bourbon and Isabelle de Valois, the sister of groom’s grandfather and Blanche de Valois.

Addition to it, Joanna’s aunt was Beatrix de Bourbon, the second wife of John the Blind. We are nearly at the end.

The groom, the son of John’s daughter Bona, is the grandson of John the Blind. The bride is his niece thanks to his second marriage.

Brothers and sisters are highlighted in the same color. It worth to mention that Blanche de Valois was the paternal great-aunt of Charles V. As she married Charles IV of Bohemia, Bona’s brother, she was also the aunt of Charles V.

Source: Histoire généalogique et chronologique de la maison royale de France

The man who “loved” Margarets

John the Blind had two surviving sons from his first marriage – HRE Charles IV and John Henry, Margrave of Moravia. The both brothers were married 4 times. As Charles had to learn only 3 names of his wives, John Henry had to call only his 4th wife differently – Elizabeth of Oettingen. The previous wives were simply called Margaret.


  • Margaret I – Margaret, Countess of Tyrol

She received a nickname Maultasch and was a daughter of Henry of Carinthia, the man who still called himself King of Bohemia despite the fact that the Bohemian nobility deposed him and chose John the Blind instead of him.

Margaret was older than John Henry, she was already 13 years old whereas he was just 9 at the time of their wedding in 1331. It means she wanted something else than her husband. As a consequence, this marriage wasn’t happy. She said that John Henry was impotent, so their marriage was divorced. Margaret was free for her next husband Louis of Wittelsbach.

  • Margaret II – Margaret of Opava

She was the mother of six John Henry’s legitimate children. It proves he wasn’t impotent.

Margaret’s father was Nicholas II of Opava, a son of Nicholas I of Opava who was an illegitimate son of King Ottokar II of Bohemia. The Iron and Golden King had a legitimate son too. It was Wenceslaus II whose daughter was Elizabeth of Bohemia, the mother of John Henry. So Margaret of Opava and her husband were great-grandchildren of Ottakar II of Bohemia.

  • Margaret III – Margaret of Austria

She was the widow of Margaret I’s son. Her brothers Rudolf IV and Albrecht III married two daughters of HRE Charles IV, nieces of John Henry.

Source: Čechura, Hlavačka, Mikulec, Maur: Královská trilogie

Nové Huťe – Kaltenbach

Nové Huťe is a small village in the South Bohemian region. There live about 90 inhabitants, the majority of buildings is used as holiday houses. This village is a good starting point for the trips in Bohemian Forest (Šumava).

However, there used to live about mainly 1400 German inhabitants before WW2. Their traces are still visible.


The text on war memorial is only in German. The list of the fallen is an evidence that there really lived mainly German inhabitans.

Probably because of the war consequences there are no names of the fallen in WW2. Only blank desk.

The nearby graveyard is full of graves of the German who died about 80 – 90 years ago.

The local church is a bit unique in the Czech Republic. Only one church is situated in the higher elevation.

Jak zemřel korunní princ Rudolf

Jak zemřel korunní princ Rudolf je článek, který pro své čtenáře připravil do svého 32. čísla v roce 1910 list nazvaný Řeznické a uzenářské zájmy. To byl plátek hájící zájmy řezníků a uzenářů v království Českém, markrabství Moravském a vévodství Slezském a velkou část zpráv tvořily samozřejmě novinky z oboru.
Třeba 22. února 1910, tedy v čísle s korunním princem Rudolfem, můžeme číst, že jistý Julius Mold byl odsouzen k 48 hodinám vězení za krádež osmi volských ocasů, které sebral živým zvířatům.

Hned pod touto informací se nachází pokračování článku o smrti korunního prince z titulní stránky.
Můžeme se dočíst, že před nedávnem vydal jistý doktor, který udržoval blízké styky s Rudolfovou švagrovou Louisou Koburskou, v pařížském “Matinu” článek popisující, co se v lednu 1889 skutečně stalo. Řeznické a uzenářské zájmy připomínají, že tento v rakouském mocnářství zakázaný pařížský článek se kvůli přátelství autora s Louisou Koburskou považuje za důvěryhodný.
Z dnešního pohledu je na něm důvěryhodná pouze jediná věc, a to ta, že Rudolf zastřelil Mary Vetseru.
Řeznické a uzenářské zájmy připomněly ještě vylíčení událostí z pera barona Vetsery, podle nekrologu v New York Times podezřelého z vraždy korunního prince.
Názory barona Vetsery ale vyvrátil Rudolfův životopisec von der Planitz. Právě jeho článek z budapešťského Pester Lloydu volně přetiskly Řeznického a uzenářské zájmy.
V podstatě jsou zmiňovány události z ledna 1889 tak, jak se dnes vykládají, zmínka o Mary Vetsere je ve článku Jak zemřel korunní princ Rudolf pouze jedna – byla princouvou družkou ve smrti.
Cílem bylo sdělit čtenářům mnohem víc, nicméně zaúřadovala cenzura. Po informaci, že zprávu o Rudolfově smrti do Vídně přinesl hrabě Hoyos, následuje jeden zabavený sloupec. Potom už je jenom závěr.
Pro představu, co se cenzuře nelíbilo, nakoukněme do přílohy Amstblatt vídeňského listu Wiener Zeitung z neděle 27. února 1910.
V ní se dočteme, že zemský soud v Praze zakázal 24. února šíření Řeznických a uzenářských zájmů z 22. února právě kvůli článku o korunním princi. Soudu se nelíbila pasáž začínající “Hoyos za tím účelem” a končící “Pohřbena byla v Heiligenkreuzi”.
Cenzura tedy zakázala určitou část článku, ale začátek a konec zakázaného byl stejně zveřejněn.
Článek přiřazuji k tématu týdne Hlavu vzhůru, protože nikdy není důvod klest na mysli. Část textu zakázaná v jedněch novinách se objeví mezi úředními oznámeními v novinách jiných. Takže hlavu vzhůru, vždy se najde řešení, jak něco udělat či se dozvědět.