Sunday, March 7, 2010
The divorce that never was
Let's get our facts straight: Prince and Princess Welf of Hannover, who were married in May 1969. DID NOT GET DIVORCED IN 1979. No separation, no divorce. Princess Welf was with her husband when he died in 1981. There are photos of the princess with her daughter at Welf's funeral. The Handbuch des Adels stated that the couple were divorced in 1979, and this error has been published in other sources. The information in the Handbuch des Adels is incorrect. The couple never divorced. This was confirmed to me by Welf's mother, Princess Sophie, and by Welf's daughter, Saskia, when I met her in London in the early 1990s.
On April 6, 1982, in a civil ceremony in Santa Ana, California, Wibeke von Hannover married a second time. The marriage license lists her marital status as WIDOW. This meant she was married to Welf at the time of his death. If a divorce had taken place, Wibeke would have written "Divorced" on the marriage license form.
This is also noted when Welf died. News articles stated he was survived by his wife and daughter. There are news articles with photos of Wibeke and Saskia at the funeral, and Wibeke was described as Welf's wife.
She married Thomas Owen Trobe, who was born on February 10, 1945 in Pennsylvania, the son of Harold Trobe and Ruth Weiner. Trobe's first marriage ended in divorce on July 20, 81.
Wibeke's second marriage was brief, and was dissolved by divorce not long afterward. Trobe is now married to Gitte Demant.
Wibeke is now known as Turiya Hanover, and she lives in Byron Bay, Australia.
Incidentally, the information about the non-divorce was published in my book, Queen Victoria's Descendants. In other words, no divorce is listed because the couple never divorced. Period. Full stop.