The first thing that came to mind was, naturally, the change of name of the British Royal Family to Windsor. But as we recalled that this wasn’t until 1917, it put an immediate end to any idea of Elise being a royal Windsor, despite the coincidence. But our interest remained high about this very young child with her very suggestive surname who somehow ended up in the Uzh valley.

To uncover the secret – in what might be described a s a royal flush, perhaps? – the investigation began. There was an aristocratic presence in Europe at the time, as the Austro-Hungarian Empire prevailed throughout the Uzh area, and this encouraged me to consider anything relating to this lost "princess" from then. Queen Victoria also came to mind but she had children before the 1860s, so they in turn were also cleared.


Attention then led to King Edward VII, who succeeded Victoria in 1901, as he had children, affairs and scandals before his reign. This led us to the very faint conclusion that if Elise were a royal, she was royalty in exile, and had been adopted by an outsider called Windsor. But this is simply an unprovable assumption.

I was prompted to contact the UK Home Office to ask for any records relating to this girl, but to no avail. Somerset House, which held all birth, marriage and death certificates in England and Wales until 1970, suggested itself as another possibility to me, and two lots of “Elizabeth Windsor” files from Elise's time came up, but neither matched her as they were both home-based in England, with no mention of either of them having been abroad.

Still confounded by this little lady, whose name could also be short for Elizabeth, I turned attention away from royalty and considered the equally highfaluting Windsor the town, west of London. It is famous for horses, and there are stables too in the Uzh region. So we can say that one thing which connects Elise, Windsor and Uzh is horses.

Aristocrats, and perhaps privileged Elise, might well have galloped through the wilds of the Uzh valleys in much the same way as in regal Windsor today, should this mean anything. And finally it does, as an official death confirmation came through from a Mr. Taras Vorotniak at Turya Remety church records. Written in Hungarian, it translates as follows...

Elise's father, Denzel Windsor, was a Royal Captain and horse stables manager.

Naturally, then, it can be assumed that the Honourable Windsor must have been an English aristocrat, and may have been appointed by King Franz Joseph I and Queen Victoria to work this area. Along the way he meets Maria Grimm, Elise's mother, who almost certainly was Austrian. All this would have taken place regardless if Elise was adopted or not. But this clearly is Elise's original family, as the local church paper finally shows.

Also what is noteworthy, the Windsors must have been fairly high-up in society circles, as this young girl is buried closer to the church than most others, despite the inferior appearance of the headstone itself, which I think could be a replacement, with its out-of-place, chunky, industrious block print lettering, and unexplained imprints of German.

To conclude further with Elise's father, this took me to the Military/Hadtörténeti Museum archives section in Budapest. They couldn't help but they referred the matter to Vienna, which could (which now explains how Windsor met his wife). But remarkably, when the Vienna report came through, Denzel (Wencel) Windsor was registered as "Czech", from a small town called Turas near Brno; which still does not explain the distinguished "Windsor" identity.

Taking this further, I took the inquiry to the Czech Consulate, which referred me to archive holdings in Brno, where unfortunately there was nothing on offer other than that there are 17 reported Windsors in the Czech Republic. So there must still be an English connection along the way.


Late October when in Cambridge, I was advised to contact the British Royal Family. As my learned friends pointed out, should this be of interest to them, there would surely be a prompt reply. But as of now, any reply is yet to come.

Finally, and what must be the simplest conclusion of all, is that Elise was a local person, perhaps adopted, and given her name,by "someone" in military honours in passing, regardless of nationality.

After being in contact with a variety of officials in six countries – Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and England – without a conclusion, the case still remains open, with so little to go on. I respectfully ask readers and local people to send in any further information they may have to me at this paper.

One hundred and forty years later and now delivered into the spotlight, I sense an element of tragedy about Elise. I hope this little wanderer rests in peace. Next time I am there, I will remember to take some flowers.

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