Today is Victoria Day, the public holiday to celebrate the birth of Queen Victoria and unofficially mark the beginning of summer in Canada. Victoria Day always falls on a Monday so as to cause a long weekend and consequently lands on Victoria's actual birthday of May 24 only once in a while. The holiday is our last sentimental link to the 19th-century monarch whose person was at one time central to our political and social identity. We buy a lot of beer in anticipation of the beer store being closed, and some of us drown in lakes. In parts of Canada Victoria Day is also known as Firecracker Day.
This year the governments of the Commonwealth are all amending their statutes to allow the Crown to pass to the eldest child of the monarch, instead of the eldest son. This means that if Kate and William's first child is a girl she will probably be Queen of Canada in the second half of this century, if we stick with the monarchy. Might that Queen be named Victoria after Queen Victoria? (Or Victoria Beckham)?
Female lineage doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves, and is normally invisible because there is no shared family name. But if you treat the given name Victoria as a marker, you can draw a tree that overhangs much of Europe.
The first is Queen Victoria's mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, born in 1786 in Germany, who married her second husband, King George III's fourth son, Prince Edward the Duke of Kent, in 1818, displacing his mistress of many years Julie de St-Laurent, a Canadian. Her daughter the future Queen Victoria was born in 1819. Edward died almost immediately and Princess Victoria carried on as the Dowager Princess of Kent until 1861, a headache to her daughter.
When Alexandrina Victoria was born she was fifth in line to the British throne. Then George III died (1820), her father the Duke of Kent died (1820), her cousin the Princess Elizabeth died (1821), the Duke of York died (1827), and George IV died (1830). William IV had no surviving legitimate children, so from 1830 Alexandrina Victoria was first in line. William IV died in 1837, and the princess became Queen Victoria. She married in 1840, had nine kids, and reigned the British Empire until her death in 1901. She is the most famous person of the 19th century.
Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield had an older brother Ferdinand, who had a daughter Victoria, born in 1822, Queen Victoria's cousin and contemporary. She married Louis d'Orléans in 1840 and was afterwards known as Victoria, Duchess of Nemours. Her son married into the Brazilian royal family, which was ousted in 1889.
Queen Victoria's first child was a girl, whom she named Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa. In 1858 this Princess Victoria was married to Prince Frederick William of Prussia, heir to the Prussian throne. In 1871 Prussia defeated France and upgraded Frederick William's father's title to German Emperor. In 1888 Frederick William inherited the title of Emperor, making his wife Victoria, German Empress and Queen of Prussia. But Frederick William died almost immediately, and Victoria spent the rest of her days as dowager empress. She died in 1901, just a few months after her mother. If the 2013 rules of succession had been in place in 1840, this Victoria would have become Queen Victoria II in 1901.
Frederick William's sister Louise had a daughter named Viktoria (1862-1930) who married the future King of Sweden and is known as Viktoria, Queen of Sweden.
Victoria the German Empress had eight children, the eldest of which inherited the German throne in 1888 and is still remembered by English-speaking people as Kaiser Bill. Her fifth child was Princess Viktoria of Prussia. Viktoria was born in 1866, and was married in 1890 to a German prince, Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, who died in 1916. They had no children. The German Empire became a republic in 1918. Viktoria married a Russian dancer in 1927, and died in 1929.
Edward VII, brother of Victoria the German Empress, had a daughter called Princess Victoria (1868-1935). She never married.
Princess Alice, the sister of Victoria the German Empress and Edward VII, married Prince Louis of Hesse who eventually became Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, and they had a daughter known as Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (1863-1950) until she married Prince Louis of Battenberg, after which she was styled Victoria Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford Haven. She was the mother of Louis Mountbatten.
Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the brother of Edward VII, Victoria the German Empress and Princess Alice, had a daughter named Princess Victoria Meita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1876-1936). She married, then divorced, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, and then married Grand Duke Cyril Vladimirovich of Russia. After the Russia Revolution they dragged around Europe while he claimed the throne of Russia.
Helena, the sister of Edward VII, Victoria the German Empress, Princess Alice, and Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, married Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, and had a daughter Princess Helena Victoria (1870-1948).
Beatrice, the sister of Edward VII, Victoria the German Empress, Alice, Alfred and Helena, married Prince Henry of Battenberg and had a daughter Victoria Eugenie (1887-1969) who in 1906 married King Alfonso XIII of Spain. She is the grandmother of the present king.
Kaiser Bill had a daughter named Viktoria Luise (1892-1980). When she was eighteen they named a steamship after her. That's her on the left in the photo, wearing the death's head hat.
Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden (born 1977) is the heir apparent to the Swedish throne.
I've been recording Consadole Sapporo's scores since the Japanese soccer season began in March, but now that Greenock Morton are finished for 2012-13, it's time to look at the Hokkaido club in more detail.
Consadole compete in the J League Division 2 after being relegated from Division 1 at the end of last season. The name Consadole is possibly the most ingenius and nutty portmanteau of Japanese soccer, combining an anagram of the Japanese name for the people of Hokkaido, Dosanko, with the Spanish cheer Ole. The club started in 1935 as a Toshiba company team in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, but moved to Sapporo in 1996. They have been up in Division 1 twice, but have never won any of the big trophies. They play in the 41,484-seat Sapporo Dome, which they share with baseball franchise Nippon Ham Fighters of the Pacific League. They wear red and black stripes.
Last year in Division 1 they earned only 14 points, the worst finish ever in that league. Read an analysis here.
So far this season they've played 14 games, won six, drawn one, and lost seven, for 19 points and 12th place out of 22. The team is made up entirely of Japanese players, except for two South Koreans and two Brazilians, Paulao and Telê.
Today they host Tokyo Verdy. [FT: 1 - 1.]
The SFL playoffs finish today. Dunfermline and Alloa are playing the second leg of their home-and-home series to see who will make it to the First Division 2013-14. Alloa won the first leg 3 - 0 Wednesday. A few weeks ago I made the case for Dunfermline spending a year in the Second Division. But of course it could be more, because Rangers are most likely to win that division next. Dunfermline might be facing a wander through the lower leagues like Morton's of 2001 to 2007. [Dunfermline win the game 1 - 0, but lose on aggregate and are relegated. Alloa will play in the First Division.]
Chelsea won the Europa League Final Wednesday. This being soccer, the 2013-14 Europa League begins in little over a month. I'll follow the Icelandic and Scottish clubs as far as they can get.
Tomorrow ÍBV host Iceland's oldest football club, and present-day league leaders, KR, which is short for Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur. At the moment ÍBV are tied for second place with Fimleikafélag Hafnarfjarðar. On Thursday ÍBV visited FH and played to a 1 - 1 draw. [ÍBV 0 - 2 KR.]
I'm a huge fan of Victor Ambrus, an illustrator whose eye for historical costume is unsurpassed in our day and age. You might know him from Time Team, or from one of about a million children's books he's illustrated. Here's a set of stamps he designed for the Isle of Man. I pretty desperately need to study his book Ways of Drawing Hands. His website. Time Team Isle of Man episode.
I've griped before about how Canada is the only hockey country without an annual championship. It's now twenty years since a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup, and twenty-four since two Canadian teams faced off in the Stanley Cup final. Which clubs have been Canadian hockey champion since 1993? Who knows? In an earlier post I drew up a list based on regular season performance, or Stanley Cup win if that happened, and I awarded the St. John's Maple Leafs the championship during the lockout year, as they were the most successful Canadian pro team going that year.
Another way would be to look at who went deepest into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Starting with 1994 you get:
1994. Vancouver. (Stanley Cup final. 3 - 4.)
1995. Vancouver. (2nd round. 0 - 4.)
1996. Montreal/Winnipeg/Vancouver/Toronto. (All four were eliminated 2 - 4 in the 1st round.)
1997. Edmonton. (2nd round. 1 - 4.)
1998. Ottawa/Edmonton. (Both lost 1 - 4 in the 2nd round.)
1999. Toronto. (3rd round. 1 - 4.)
2000. Toronto. (2nd round. 2 - 4.)
2001. Toronto. (2nd round. 3 - 4.)
2002. Toronto. (3rd round. 2 - 4.)
2003. Ottawa. (3rd round. 3 - 4.)
2004. Calgary. (Stanley Cup final. 3 - 4.)
2006. Edmonton. (Stanley Cup final. 3 - 4.)
2007. Ottawa. (Stanley Cup final. 1 - 4.)
2008. Montreal. (2nd round. 1 - 4.)
2009. Vancouver. (2nd round. 2 - 4.)
2010. Montreal. (3rd round. 1 - 4.)
2011. Vancouver. (3rd round. 1 - 4.)
2012. Ottawa. (1st round. 3 - 4.)
Ranked: Ottawa 4.5. Toronto 4.25. Vancouver 4.25. Edmonton 2.5. Montreal 2.25. Calgary 1. Winnipeg .25.
I'm not saying break up the NHL. (Okay, well, yes, sometimes I do say that.) But what would be the harm in having a recognized method of pulling a top seed out of the stats? Would anyone object to another cup? The O'Brien Trophy perhaps?
ÍBV play in the top Icelandic men's soccer league, the Úrvalsdeild (known this year as the Pepsideild owing to a deal with Pepsi). The sports club was founded in 1903, and they have been Icelandic football champions three times, in 1979, 1997 and 1998, and have won the Icelandic Cup four times, in 1968, 1972, 1981 and 1998. Last season they finished third, qualifying them for entry into the earliest round of the 2013-14 Europa Cup. They wear white at home, and red and black away. Their home field is Hásteinsvöllur, which accommodates 2,834, mostly standing. The Icelandic soccer season being so brief, ÍBV play only 22 league games.
The team is managed by Hermann Hreiðarsson, a local boy who made it big in English football, playing for Crystal Palace, Brentford, Wimbledon, Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic, Portsmouth and lastly Coventry City, in addition to 89 appearances for the Icelandic national team. While at Pompey he won the 2008 FA Cup, along with legendary English keeper David James. This season he has recruited James to play for ÍBV.
Today Vestmannaeyjar host Breiðablik, who take their club name from Baldur's house. Breiðablik are fresh off their 2013 League Cup victory. The Dieldebikar, or League Cup, is played before the season begins, and if I'd been more on the ball I would have covered it here. It takes the 24 Úrvalsdeild and 1. deild karla teams and divides them into three groups of eight. Each club plays seven games and the top eight overall move on to a knockout stage, with quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final which was played on April 27. ÍBV didn't get beyond the group stage. [ÍBV win 4 - 1.]
Vestmannaeyjar is a fishing town on the island of Heimaey off the south coast of Iceland. Readers of the National Geographic magazine will recall that a volcano nearly wiped out the place in 1973. The name means Westman Islands and refers to the first people to set foot on it, a boatload of escaped Irish slaves. The Norse called the Irish Westmen.
Manager Allan Moore has signed on for another year at Cappielow. Motherwell's Micheal Higdon was charged with assault less than 24 hours after he was named Player of the Year. Yesterday in the Scottish Football League First Division playoff
semifinals Forfar and Brechin were eliminated, setting up a Dunfermline/Alloa final.