October 6, 1923
Queen Elisabeth's intercession on behalf of Princess Louise of Belgium has helped to lift the ban "that existed for more than twenty years against the return of the eldest daughter of King Leopold to her native land." reports the New York Times. Princess Louise, the former wife of Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, will now be allowed to return to live in Belgium.
She will also receive a generous annuity. She received the first installment earlier this week, which will allow the princess to pay for a burial and memorial for Count Geza Mattachich, who was her companion for more than twenty seven years.
The princess married Prince Philipp, her second cousin in 1875. They had two children, Leopold, who died in 1916 after a prostitute threw acid in his face, and Dorothea. Her affair with the Croatian count began in 1895 after a chance meeting at the Prater in Vienna. Two years later, Louise, who was physically and emotionally abused by her husband, fled the marital home with her lover. She took her daughter with her. Prince Leopold sided with his father, as he feared for his own inheritance. The Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, who was engaged to Princess Dorothea, demanded that his fiancee also break contact with Princess Louise.
After years of scandal, which included time spent in an asylum, Louise can now live quietly in her home country.