Monday, January 26, 2009

Will Olga marry Luigi?



January 26, 1899

Prince Luigi, Duke of the Abruzzis, may be postponing a projected exploration of the North Pole due to a possible marital engagement with Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy in her column today.

The prince, who is a nephew of King Umberto I, has been in St. Petersburg for several weeks, where "he has devoted most of his time to visiting the widowed Empress Marie and two youngest children, Grand Duke Michael, and Grand Duchess Olga. The prince has now returned to Rome, apparently, to seek the consent from his uncle for a marriage between himself and the 17-year-old Olga.

Luigi has made a "favorable impression" on the Dowager Empress and her young daughter. Luigi, who is an internationally-known mountaineer and explorer, and "is undoubtedly the best of younger generation of the Italian princes." Nicholas II "could not wish for a better brother-in-law."

The Italian Crown Princess Elena, a Montenegrin princess by birth, and was educated in Russia. Two of her sisters have married into the Russian imperial family, so it comes as no surprise that ties between the Romanovs and the Italian royal family would grew stronger.

It is worth mentioning that if an engagement is announced between Luigi and Olga, he will abandon his projected expedition of the North Pole, which is scheduled to take place in the spring.

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