Friday, April 3, 2009

Isabel - the prettiest princess in Europe

April 4, 1899

Will Princess Isabelle of Orleans, described as "the prettiest princess in Europe," marry the widowed Austria Emperor, Franz Josef. This is what the Chicago Daily Tribune reports in today's newspaper.

The Princess, who was born in 1878, is the fifth of eight children of the Count and Countess of Paris. Her mother is the former Infanta Maria Isabel of Spain.

Isabelle's older siblings are already married. Her two older sisters, Amelie and Helene, are the wives of the King of Portugal and the Duke of Aosta, respectively. Her brother, the duke of Orleans, married Archduchess Maria Dorothea of Austria in 1896.

Franz Joseph is thirty years older than Princess Isabelle. He succeeded to the Austrian throne in 1848. He was married in 1854 to Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria, who was assassinated last September during a visit to Switzerland. The couple's only son, Archduke Rudolf, died at Mayerling in 1889. The heir to the throne is Franz Josef's nephew, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who has not yet married.
A second marriage for the Austrian emperor might bring about a new male heir in the direct line of succession to the Austrian throne.

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