As of late there seems to be a tremendous amount of interest in Miss Carina Axelsson, the 40-something American woman who is a non-princess living at Schloss Berleburg in Germany with her permanent boyfriend, His Serene Highness Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.
Why there is so much interest in Miss Axelsson is truly beyond me. With that being said, I thought I would provide my loyal readers with a “semi-fact list” about this mysterious woman who has overtaken Schloss Berleburg. Furthermore, the woman who is lucky enough to wear a tiara at many royal engagements (even though many royal watchers believe her latest tiara is filled with fake diamonds).
So, let’s start shall we?
According to my favorite Danish magazine, Billed Bladet, Miss Carina Axelsson was born and raised in northern California, specifically Los Gatos just east of Santa Cruz, a place known for alternative living, aging hippies, and marijuana loving surfers (Santa Cruz that is).
Miss Axelsson was apparently a model which began in San Francisco, CA in the late eighties. Then she was shipped off to New York City, and finally she landed in Paris, France. Rumors abound that she was on the cover of Marie Claire (France), Vogue (France), and editorials in many European magazines. However, at this time evidence states otherwise. Not one royal watcher has been able to track down evidence to support this claim which leaves many of them doubting her stint as a model.
For some reason she enrolled in night school — École Boulle to be exact — in Paris whereupon she earned her AA degree as an illustrator. Anyway, some time later she published a book called Nigel of Hyde Park. Now, I never heard of this book so I’m going to assume that it didn’t sell as many copies as the Harry Potter series. Apparently, there is a second Nigel book – hence part deux — but again royal watchers have yet to find the book nor information about it. Perhaps they are not trying that hard.
So, after fourteen years in lovely old Paris she met His Serene Highness Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg at some random schwing-ding dinner party in Germany. According to Prince Gustav, in an interview with Billed Bladet:
I had accepted an invitation to dinner by some friends in Germany. A couple of friends, one knew Carina and one knew me. It was a set-up. I had come to meet Carina and that second her mobile phone rang. All the mobile phones kept ringing throughout the dinner. After the dinner finished, Carina had turned on her phone again. I took her number and called her up from another part of the room and love began.
His Serene Higheness Prince Gustav began dating Miss Axelsson soon after. Then in June 2006, she made her first official appearance with the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg family at the princely wedding of Prince Phillip of Hesse and Miss Laetitia Bechtolf in Germany. Then, there after, Miss Axelsson, according to Billed Bladet, moved into Schloss Berleburg.
As the years passed, Miss Axelsson made her presence known around the castle. She took it upon herself to restore the schloss to the horror of His Serene Highness Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (Prince Gustav’s super awesome Dad) who found her to be somewhat of an annoyance, yet he tolerated her behavior according to a recent Svensk Damtidning article. Even the local Bad Berleburgers began to refer to her as Frau Axelsson... The Lady of the Schloss.
With her pushy self Miss Axelsson uncovered valuable treasures in the basement of the schloss. Eventually she decided — allegedly — to use the items and turn them into an exhibit at Schloss Berleburg. It was her idea – allegedly – to open up a museum where tourists could gaze upon beautiful artifacts that had been buried for over 100 years at Schloss Berleburg. Rumor has it that Miss Axelsson thought it would be a brilliant idea to open up a coffeehouse within the castle. Yeah — if true — it is tacky. But, I suppose if the schloss is hard up for money why not charge thirsty tourists $8.00 per a cup of cappuccino, right?
While all this was going on, Carina and Prince Gustav continued to make appearances at various royal events with the Danish royal family (Prince Gustav’s Mom is the younger sister of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark). Soon, Miss Axelsson became BFFs with Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. Then Her Royal Highness Princess Marie of Denmark, Miss Tatiana Blatnik (now Her Royal Highness Princess Tatiana of Greece), and His Royal Highness Prince Carl Philip of Sweden. Whew.
You are probably wondering by now why Miss Carina Axelsson and His Serene Highness Prince Gustav have not married, right? Well, um, there is a bit of a problem. You see His Serene Highness Prince Gustav’s grandfather was kind of a Nazi-loving jackass (he was heir to the house which he deliberately passed to Prince Gustav not Prince Richard). So, at the beginning of WWII he drafted up a Will which stated that his heir, Prince Gustav, had to marry a Protestant Aryan woman of noble descent. Miss Carina Axelsson is neither. She is part Latina (Mexican-American via her mother) and Swedish (via her father). And, clearly, Miss Axelsson is no where being close to being a noble. That is why she and Prince Gustav haven’t taken the plunge. However, many royal watchers believe the two are secretly married. Why do they believe this? Carina’s massive ruby and diamond ring on her married ring finger. She tends to show it off every time there is a camera around.
Today, the couple continue to live at Schloss Berleburg in Germany and Miss Axelsson continues to make her mark around town. In the past, she established the Nigel Awards, restored the interior of the Schloss to pristine condition (which irritated Prince Richard), “allegedly” established a capitalistic coffeehouse, started a museum at the schloss, illustrated an Advent calendar for the local museum whereupon proceeds were donated to the local library, held an exhibition of her illustrations at the Bad Berleburg Museum, co-hosted several charity events with Princess Benedikte at Schloss Berleburg, decorated a billion Christmas trees within schloss and showed them off to Billed Bladet as well as with various German newspapers, and continues to flaunt her fabulous new tiara at various royal events.
Now, you may be wondering, “What is this chica’s beef with Miss Carina Axelsson?” Well, actually, there isn’t one. Sure, I believe she is living in lalaland… pretending that she’s a princess. She did say, after all, that she “I never imagined that I would become a real life princess…” However, I will say that I admire her for restoring the aging schloss and for promoting it in the Danish media. After all, it does bring in the moola to Schloss Berleburg in these crappy economic times. So who can fault her? Not I.
UPDATE! Twenty years later…
I was recently notified by a reader that the infamous coffeehouse is not owned nor was opened by Miss Axelsson, but by some dude named, Christoph.
Photos courtesy of: Billed Bladet and SvenskDam