Friday, April 3, 2009

Tino's niece to marry William Leeds

April 3, 1921

Princess Xenia of Russia is engaged to marry William B. Leeds, son of Princess Anastasia of Greece and the late William Leeds. Mr. Leeds has arrived in Athens, where he is visiting his mother, who is ill, reports the New York Times. His fiancee is the daughter of the Grand Duchess Marie of Russia and her late husband, Grand Duke George, who was killed by the Bolsheviks in January 1919. Grand Duchess Marie was born Princess Marie of Greece.
The princess, who is 17-years-old, is a niece of King Constantine of the Hellenes.
It is understood that young Leeds proposed shortly after his arrival in Athens and the proposal was "immediately accepted." His seriously ill mother was said to be "upset by the news and opposed the union" because of the couple's youth. However, she has since given her approval to the marriage, which will take place in June in Athens.
Mr. Leeds will return to London "to obtain a new wardrobe" and will return to Athens in two weeks. He recently turned eighteen, was "rumored in cable dispatches" to be engaged to a daughter of Princess Marie "just after he reached Athens by airplane. Three months ago, he was rumored, albeit erroneously to Princess Olga, 17 years old, the eldest daughter of Prince and Princess Nicholas of Greece, and also a niece of King Constantine.
William Bateman Leeds is one of the richest young men in the world, as he is heir to a fortune "that is estimated from $33,000,000 to $40,000,000 at the time of death in Paris in 1908 of his father, William B. Leeds." The late Mr. Leeds was known as the "Tin Plate King." Young William is already in control of at least seven million dollars of his inheritance.
Princess Anastasia is the former Nonnie May Stewart of Cleveland, Ohio. She married Bates only three days after her divorce from George Worthington in 1900. Nancy Leeds, as she was known after her second marriage, married Prince Christopher of Greece in 1920. King Constantine created her a princess in her own right after the marriage.
It is expected that William Leeds will bring his bride to live in America, fulfilling "an early desire of his mother that he be a good American."
While Mrs. Leeds was traveling abroad, young William was left behind at the "huge Leeds mansion" in Montclair, New Jersey. He was "surrounded by a little army of nurses, governesses, servants, and, it was said, detectives." He attended school at the local Montclair Academy, where the scions of many wealthy American families went to school. At school, " he lived the life of a normal, healthy youngster, with a general interest in sports and a predilection for baseball." But in the evenings, he would return to "the big, cold house where he was cut off from the companionship of his kind."
During a trip to Sumatra, "where he hunted tigers," Leeds was bitten in the arm by a poison insect. He did not recover completely from his bite, and was planning to undergo surgery, when he learned of his mother's health. He changed his plans and sailed for Europe on the Imperator on March 12.

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