January 8, 1926
The Chicago Daily Tribune is reporting, "on the authority of a member of the Prince of Wales' suite, that there is absolutely no truth to the story" that the Prince is about to become engaged to Princess Astrid of Sweden. This engagement is "impossible for "medical and dynastic reasons."
The Tribune was told that when Prince John, the youngest son of the King George V and Queen Mary, died of epilepsy in January 1919, his parents "were informed that John's condition, as well as the constitutional weakness of other members of the family, was due to inbreeding." The king and queen were told that the "only remedy was the introduction of fresh blood."
On the king's order, "medical experts prepared a table of European princesses within the prohibited degree," which included Princess Astrid, who is the Prince of Wales' second cousin.
But "all of the eligible princesses had disappeared on account of the European revolutions," and the king and queen made a decision "that if the prince of Wales married at all, which was doubtful," his wife "would be some healthy English girl with no trace of consanguinity." According to the report, "this decision still holds."
The paper's article also notes that the bride must be Protestant, but the only Protestant princesses are in Scandinavia, "all of whom are within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity. This means the Italian princesses are out because they are Roman Catholic. The Roumanian princesses are Orthodox, but are "unpopular on account of the standing of their mother, Queen Marie, in England."
The wife of the Duke of York, second in line to the throne, is expecting her first child in the spring. The duchess is the English-born Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, youngest daughter of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.