Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Will these princesses marry for Love?

August 26, 1905

The Chicago Daily Tribune has published a fascinating look at Europe's eligible princesses, and wonders "how many of these princesses will marry for love?"
The articles focuses on a dozen or so European princesses, and their prospects for marriage.

"Among the Roman Catholic princesses there are none in so pathetic a position as are the Bavarian granddaughters of the heir presumptive and regent," as they have inherited genes of the mad king of Bavaria.

The four princesses, "who rejoice in the names" of Adelgunde, Hildegarde Wiltrud, Helmtrud, are the daughters of Prince and Princess Ludwig. Princess Ludwig is the half-sister of Queen Maria Cristina of Spain. The elder princesses are being considered as possible brides for the young King Alfonso, who following the marriage of the Crown Prince of Germany, "is the loadstone matrimonially for Europe." But some believe that Spanish court does not want to consider another marriage for a Spanish monarch with a bride who has Habsburg blood (Princess Ludwig was born an Archduchess of Austria) and the tainted Bavarian blood.

The strain, "which provokes insanity lavishes beauty and brilliancy upon those whom the curse misses," and Princess Wiltrud, 21, who is the next to the youngest of the four daughters, is considered to be one "of the most beautiful princesses in Europe." She has "absolutely perfect features, and wonderful dark eyes, is gifted musically and is a linguist." She is also an athlete, "skilled in riding, besides having other accomplishments."

In spite of her beauty and her accomplishments, Wiltrud has no wooers and she "promises to be left adversely alone by royal matchmakers in the same way that two of her older sisters have been."

Princess Adelgunde, 35, is said to be in "delicate health," and Hildegarde, is "not a beauty" but is called the "sunshine of the kingless court," on account of "her good spirits and happy ways." Eighteen-year-old Princess Helmtrud looks like Wiltrud, and "promises to be almost as beautiful."

One of the older and still eligible princesses is Princess Clementine of the Belgians. She is the third daughter of King Leopold II, and her "love affairs have kept everyone around the throne of Belgium in hot water." The princess is the only one who could get along with her reprobate father, and she was determined to marry Prince Victor Napoleon, despite his morganatic marriage to the beautiful Miss Beauclerc, "with whom he lived for many years." Prince Victor desired a marriage with Clementine "on account of the great fortune" she will inherit from her father.

Clementine "has not been free from tragedy" as she was once engaged to the Prince of Flanders, the heir presumptive to the Belgian throne. Prince Baudouin met "with a mysterious death a few days before the engagement was to have been announced."

Recently, the mother of the King of Saxony has visited Belgium, to arrange a marriage between Clementine and her son, who is divorced from Archduchess Louise of Austria.

Perhaps the most interesting of the Catholic princesses is Louise of France, the daughter of the late Count of Paris. She could marry Alfonso XIII, even though she is three years older. Louise is known to be "a merry and good natured princess although a wilful one when she chooses." She once saved her brother during a boar hunt, and she is popular in France and in Spain. But she also could be selected as a bride for one of the Protestant princes.

Then there is Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain, who is "said to have a mind of her own and has contributed her share to the family dissensions." With her mother's consent, she corresponded "a little" with Prince Gennaro of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies, a midshipman in the Spanish navy. Gennaro's brother, Carlos, was married to Maria Teresa's sister, Mercedes, who died in childbirth a year ago. Maria Teresa's mother, Queen Maria Cristina, a Habsburg by birth, was recently in Austria, and Emperor Franz Joseph suggested to her that Maria Teresa marry an Archduke.

Maria Teresa, however, has her heart set on Prince Gennaro, even though her mother opposes the marriage, and has tried to break off the engagement. Maria Teresa "has resisted her mother with a temper and determination." She has the support of her brother, King Alfonso, and "violent scenes occurred at the palace." Queen Maria Cristina is "doing her utmost to prevent Prince Gennaro from "accompanying his brother officers" aboard his ship on a recent trip. This action has caused further strain between the infanta and her mother.
One eligible archduchess can be struck off the bridal list, as Archduchess Margareta Maria of Austria, is now engaged to her second cousin, Prince Georg of Bavaria, the third son of King Leopold. If this marriage goes through, it "will make one more of the ties in which both sides are exposed to hereditary insanity." The 20-year-old archduchess is the daughter of the Duke of Tuscany, and is "infatuated with her cousin and he with her."

King Alfonso XIII has already been scorned by the British Princess Patricia of Connaught. Patricia, 19, has "won the hearts of the Spanish population," but she has no interest in marrying a foreigner. When Alfonso recently visited England, Patrica "was distinctly cold in her behavior towards him."
The truth about "Patsy" is that she is said to be "deeply in love with a certain captain in the army who is also a royal aid de camp."

Marriage is, however, out of the question. Patricia was obliged to renounce her commoner lover, but it is said that the prince she "fancies most" is Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia, the second son of the Kaiser, who "took a great fancy to her on his last visit to England."

Two of the most popular of the unmarried princesses are Princess Olga of Cumberland, 24, and Princess Ena of Battenberg, who is 19. Ena is "quite pretty and is charming and unaffected." It is a "pity that she will necessarily be restricted in her choice of a husband." Ena's mother, Beatrice, is a daughter of Queen Victoria, but her father, Prince Henry, is a Battenberg, a member of a morganatic branch of the house of Hesse and By Rhine. She will probably go "to some petty German grand duchy."

Ena "has had the good times that one girl in a family of three brothers is always sure to have." She recently made her debut and it "will not be long before she is provided with lovers."

Princess Olga is the third daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, and a niece of Queen Alexandra. She is "one of the prettiest princesses in Europe, and a favorite of the queen." She was considered as a bride for the Crown Prince of Germany, but she "has not lost her heart to anybody." She has a different personality in contrast to the "stiff manner of her sisters."

The daughter of the Crown Prince of Denmark, Princess Thyra, "has more of the look of the Danish family," than her cousin Olga. The Princess, 25, was at one time close to marrying Grand Duke Franz Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
The match was proposed by her grandmother, Queen Louise, who "was anxious to see her favorite granddaughter happily married." But after Louise's death, Thyra's engagement was called off.

There are several other princesses who are pretty, but who are "restricted on account of belonging to small principalities, which does not make them popular with the princes of the great powers and still debars them from ordinary matrimony."

Duchess Sophie of Oldenburg and Princess Hermine Reuss "are both pretty girls, and Hermine is only 19. Princess Feodora, who is the daughter of the late Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, belongs to a "family that makes good matches." One sister, Auguste Viktoria, is the wife of Kaiser Wilhelm, and another sister, Luise Sophie, is married to Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia. Princess Feodora "has been of a studious turn of mine and has cared little for society." She is an author, and her brother-in-law the Kaiser "is especially proud of her achievements. She has been linked by gossips to the divorced King Friedrich August of Saxony, "but as Saxony us a hopelessly Catholic monarchy and the princess is of the strictest Lutheran persuasion, it is not likely to come about."

Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, "has had more real lovers than have fallen to the share of any other Protestant princess. At one time, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia "was seriously infatuated with her," and she was also reported engaged to her first cousin, Prince Arthur of Connaught. Grand Duke Michael and Beatrice are also first cousins, but the Russian Orthodox church does not permit marriages between first cousins.

Young Waldorf Astor is "the latest lover who has fallen in love with the charms of the happy, light hearted princess." Beatrice, whose father, Alfred, was the duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, has shown no real interest in Astor, but such a marriage "would be impossible." She also "positively refused to fall in love" with Grand Duke Michael" and she will not marry anybody "unless she has the man she loves."

The Princesses (and princes)

Princess Adelgunde: married in 1915 to Wilhelm Prince of Hohenzollern, as his second wife. No children.

Princess Hildegarde: never married
Princess Wiltrud married in 1924 to the Duke of Urach, as his second wife. No children
Princess Helmtrud: never married.

(Princesses Wiltrud and Helmtrud were named for Kaiser Wilhelm II.)

Princess Clementine married in 1910 to Prince Victor Napoleon. Descendants.

Princess Louise d'Orleans. In 1907, Louise married Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Infant of Spain, whose first wife, Mercedes, Princess of the Asturias, was the eldest sister of King Alfonso XIII. Their grandson is the present king of Spain.

Infanta Maria Teresa married in 1906 to Prince Ferdinand of Bavaria. They have descendants.

Prince Gennaro of Bourbon-Two Sicilies married in 1922 to Beatrice Bordessa. No children.

Archduchess Margareta Maria of Austria. Never married.

Prince Georg of Bavaria married Archduchess Isabella of Austria in 1912. The marriage was annulled a year later. Prince Georg eventually became a Roman Catholic priest.

Princess Patricia of Connaught did not marry until 1919. She married the Hon. Alexander Ramsay of Mar. They had one son.

Princess Olga of Cumberland never married.
Princess Ena of Battenberg became the queen of Spain when she married King Alfonso in 1906.

Princess Thyra of Denmark never married. The Grand Duke Franz Friedrich IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin married in 1904 to Princess Alexandra of Cumberland, who was Princess Olga's sister.

Duchess Sophie Charlotte of Oldenburg married Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia in 1906. They were divorced in 1926. The marriage was childless.

Princess Hermine Reuss married twice. Her first husband was Prince Johann Georg of Schönaich-Carolath. They married in 1907. The couple had five children. The prince died in 1920. Two years later, Princess Hermine married, as his second wife, Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Princess Feodora never married.

Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh married in 1909 to Prince Alfonso of Orleans-Bourbon, Duke of Galliera, Infant of Spain. They had three sons.


Cabri said...

Dear Marlene

I am intrigue by this line fromt eh paper" Prince Victor Napoleon, despite his morganatic marriage to the beautiful Miss Beauclerc".

I never read anywhere that there was a marriage of sorts? Who is this Miss Beauclerc. Have you any further information on her?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...


I have no idea. Caught my eye. The article was pure fluff.

Brenda Thompson said...

Thanks, Marlene, for also posting updates on what actually happened to everybody.