Meet Princess Theodora
Princess Theodora von Auersperg grew up just like every little girl -- she wanted to grow up to be a princess. Little did she know that she would become one in a story rife with palace intrigue and political intrigue.
Her story would take her from Bulgaria to Austria and finally New York City, where she would learn that being a princess would be less fulfilling and successful than simply being her own woman.
Born in Sofia, Bulgaria in the early 1960s, she was named Theodora by her mother, Dimitrinka Zwetanova Handjieva, whose father was Zwetan Zwetanov Handjiev, who was a member of the Cabinet of Tsar Boris the III of Bulgaria. Her father on her birthcertificate was Hristo Simeonov Hristov, though that would later prove to be a protection to save face.
Theodora’s mother hid the fact that her baby Theodora was actually the result of a youthful extramarital indiscretion with Prince Anton Franz von Auersperg, the youngest son of Prince Eduard von Auersperg and Countess Sophie Clam-Gallas.
That information was kept from Theodora until she was in her 20s, when she chose to embrace her heritage. That did not sit well with her newfound family in Austria, who looked upon her as the black sheep of the family. It wasn’t as if the title earned Theodora any new privileges, since nobility has been officially abolished by the state in the 1920s, though royal family members still used their titles and designations in polite society after World War II.
Theodora believed in the princess within her, and, armed with a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of Economics in Vienna, she left for the United States to seek her fortune.
Having worked in a variety of capacities in business as a marketer, a commercial real estate owner, a franchisee and finally an entrepreneur and founder of the Princess Theodora line of beauty products, she wants to spread the message that every woman can be a princess by earning it through hard work, poise and dignity.
And so she emerges at a new crossroads of that path smarter, tougher, more sophisticated and more beautiful than ever before. Her story, her elegance, her strength and her beauty are ready to be shared with women around the world, who are longing to understand how they can find royalty not in their bloodlines but in their own minds, bodies and spirits.
Having lived it, her view is that true royalty isn’t in the blood. It is in the soul.
The Auersperg family traces its descent from Adolf I (von Ursperg), Lord of Auersperg (990-1060) taking their name from the castle of “Unter Auersprg” in Carniola.
The title of Prince of the Holy Empire was extended to all descendants 1791.
Members of the family bear the title of Prince or Princess von Auersperg with the attribute of Serene Highness (HSH).
As one of the notable families of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire the Auersperg family belonged to the highest aristocracy in the Habsburg monarchy and the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation.
Today the Palais Auersperg, which was owned by the Auersperg family from 1777 – 1944, is considered as one of the most important Baroque Palais in Vienna and carries on as a landmark hotel and venue for cultural and social events.
Princess Theodora’s Father: His Serene Highness Anton Franz Prince von Auersperg
- Born: January 12, 1938 in Haindorf (former Cech Republic) – 2000
- Full Name: Anton Franz Pankratz Maria Formosa Prince von Auersperg
- His Father: Eduard Franz de Paula Vinzenz Prince von Auersperg – born August 1, 1893 at the castle Weitwoerth near Salzburg – 1948. Son of: Dr. Eduard Prince von Auersperg – Lord of Weitwoerth. Mother: Princess Maria Schoenburg-Hartenstein.
- His Mother: Sophie Felicitas Maria Josefa Countess Clam-Gallas, born in Horn, Lower Austria – September 6, 1900 – 1980. Daughter of: Franz Count Clam-Gallas – Lord of Friedland. Mother: Maria Countess Hoyos-Spitzenstein – Horn, Lower Austria.
- Direct lineage to the Principality of Liechtenstein (mutual grand, grandparents with the current monarch of Liechtenstein) and therefore direct lineage to the Austrian Roman Empire (Empress Cita and Emperor Franz).
- Direct lineage to the British Royal House and several European Royal Houses.
- Direct lineage to Hetti Krupp (von Bohlen Halbach) – German Steel Industry – a cousin of his.
- Anton von Auersperg was married from 1966-68 to Erika von Scheven – born Aug. 22 1946 in Northeim, Hannover. Daughter of: Otto von Scheven and Margarete de Douai. From this marriage he had another daughter - Stephanie Eva-Maria Margarete Sophie – born August 3, 1967 – married Sept. 3, 1994 to Philipp Count von Waldenstein Wartenberg (born in Munich – July 13, 1965).
- Theodora was officially acknowledged through legal adoption as his daughter and became Theodora Princess von Auersperg on her 28th Birthday in1990.
- Princess Theodora was born on May 28, 1962 in Sofia, Bulgaria as Theodora Hristov and was raised there until the age of 8. Her parents as per birth certificate (Dimitrinka Zwetanova Handjieva and Hristo Simeonov Hristov, born July 5th, 1924 - 2000) moved with her to Vienna, Austria in 1970.
Princess Theodora’s Mother: Dimitrinka Zwetanova Handjieva
- Born: May 31, 1941 in Sofia Bulgaria
- Her Father: Zwetan Zwetanov Handjiev (Mother: Theodora). Although not considered nobility, which was only reserved to the family members of the Tsar, her father was a Member of the Cabinet of Tsar Boris the III of Bulgaria (The Bulgarian Monarchy and its lineage goes back to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire) – and a close political advisor to the Tsar. He accompanied Tsar Boris III on the legendary flight with Hitler – after which shortly the Tsar got ill and died – and the rumor has it that Hitler poisoned him on that flight.
- Theodora’s grandfather was politically very active and became in 1939 the leader of the Bulgarian Labor Movement/Union. In an act of rage, Theodora’s grandmother, also named Theodora, destroyed about 1,000 documents and photos (photos with Tsar Boris the III, numerous historical documents and photos of movements and demonstrations on the streets by thousands of workers carrying on large posters the photo of her grandfather).
- Once the Bulgarian Monarchy was abolished – and the Communist took over – her grandfather was one of the very few people close to the Tsar whose life was spared. All family properties and most personal belongings were confiscated and the family was declared an enemy to the Republic and so were his children. Her mother and her mother’s two brothers were forced to grow up under very modest circumstances and were not allowed to pursue a higher education. She became an elementary school teacher at the age of 19.