|Marie and her daughter|
Marie was the eldest of four children. She had one sister, Jutta, and two brothers, Adolf Friedrich, and Karl Borwin. Court life at at Neustrelitz was dull and strict.
The two young duchesses "were in the hands of their governesses, who formed a screen between them and their parents." Neither the Hereditary Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich nor his wife, Elisabeth, had an active roles in their children's lives. The only door out of the palace was to marry, and marry well.
The Duchess of York, a first cousin to Marie's father, described Marie as a "nice girl, but oh! so badly dressed, so very German which is scarcely a pretty fashion, " after meeting the young Duchess and her grandmother, the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
The Grand Duchess was the Duchess of York's maternal aunt, Augusta, born Princess Augusta of Cambridge, the second of three children of Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, and his wife, Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel.A furious Hecht traveled to Berlin by train, found a lawyer, who happened to be a Social-Democrat, who eagerly released the story to the "eager anti-monarchical press." The scandal was now news throughout the courts of Europe.
Marie's parents had no choice but to give into Hecht's blackmail. He was "pensioned off," and told he must leave Strelitz. Instead, he remained in the small town, hoping to gain further funds from Marie's family
Queen Victoria wrote Grand Duchess Augusta, that she had heard about Marie's situation from Empress Friedrich.
"I believe she has done much harm in writing to all the Courts."
Marie's parents showed no concern nor care for her situation, and they kicked her out of the palace.
"It is two awful & shameful & almost sinful to send poor Baby away. I hear fm a reliable source that the family have forbidden that poor unhappy girl's name ever being mentioned ... I think it is too wicked," Queen Victoria wrote.
Young Marie found a champion in her grandmother, Augusta, who believed Marie was innocent. She was convinced that Hecht had terrorized Marie. Queen Victoria thought she may have been drugged by the footman.
"I certainly think the English relations have behaved better & and are more sensible about it. The parents are the worst & ought to be ashamed of themselves," George responded.
It was in France that the young, impressionable Duchess met Georges Jametel.
According to the Marquise de Fontenoy, Count Jametel was " a good looking man but of plebeian extraction." His father ran a pharmacy "before making a large fortune by the discovery and exploitation of some patent medicine." He managed in "some way to attach himself to the the train of Infanta Eulalia," who was very much like her mother, Queen Isabel, and "has the mania for picking up and admitting to her intimacy all sorts of strange people without regard to their status and antecedents, providing they are amusing and presentable."
The "scandal made an immense noise," and it was impossible for Marie to remain in Germany.
A royal marriage was also "out of the question." Her family tried to arrange a match with her second cousin, Prince Francis of Teck, but the arrangements fell through. So when Jametel "made an offer for her hand," and managed to win Marie's affections, her family in Germany and in England, after some hesitation, was "eventually countenanced."
On June 1, 1899, the Court Circular published: "The betrothal is announced of the Duchess Marie, elder daughter of the Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, to Count Charles Francey von Jametel [sic]. The marriage is expected to take place in four weeks' time."
The wedding of Duchess Victoria Marie Augusta Louise Caroline Leopoldine of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Count Georges Jametel was "solemnized quietly" at St. Elizabeth's Roman Catholic Church in Richmond on June 22. The Duchess and the Count then drove to the "parish church of Kew" where they were married according to the rites of the Church of England. Duchess Marie was raised a Lutheran. Among the guests at the latter ceremony included the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the Hereditary Grand Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Princess Jutta and Prince Karl Borwin of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the Duchessof Anhalt-Dessau, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of York, Prince and Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Prince and Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar, Prince and Princess Adolphus of Teck, Princes Francis and Alexander George of Teck.
The wedding breakfast was given by the Duke of Cambridge at Cambridge Cottage, Kew. Afterward, the newlyweds "left to spend their honeymoon on the Continent." The bride "received numerous presents," including a "handsomely fitted dressing bag" from Queen Victoria and a "diamond aigrette for her hair" from the Princess of Wales.
Jametel soon managed to "offend the kind hearted Alexandra" through "his letter published in the London Times by the present Archbishop of Westminster," saying that he had been 'forced against his will by the royal relatives' of his wife, to consent to the Anglican marriage at Kew, after having "pledged his word to the archbishop that no Protestant celebration" should follow the Roman Catholic service at Richmond.
The rector at Kew, who had officiated at the wedding declared that the Anglican wedding had been arranged beforehand, and "agreed to by the count," and the "full Anglican marriage service had taken place," with the count's consent.
Marie's English relatives, "who had consented for her sake to honor his marriage with their presence," and were angered by the Count's insinuation that they had "jockeyed him into a Protestant ceremony by deceit and against his will," decided to not "have anything more to do with him."
The Duke of Cambridge died in 1904. Among his many bequests, he left a portrait of is his sister, Augusta, hanging in the drawing room of his house, to his great-niece, Marie, Countess de Jametel.
After five years of marriage, Marie gave birth to a son, who was named for his father. The married life of "Count Jametel and of his German wife has not been entirely free" from unpleasantness," according to a report by the Marquise de Fontenoy, who added that "all difficulties seem now to have been smoothed away, and the couple are living in apparent happiness" at Villa Marie at St. Germain-en-Laye, on the "outskirts of Paris.
The Marquise de Fontenoy noted that Jametel had not been received at his father in-law's court nor at the courts on the continent or in Great Britain.
The announcement of Marie's intention to file for divorce was reported on January 31, 1908, in the New York Times and other newspapers, although the New York Times noted that there was no confirmation of the report.
The New York Times noted on February 8, 1908 that "another sensational divorce, involving a reigning German royal house, is soon to come before the courts" when Countess Georges Jametel "will seek her freedom.
Marie and Georges had been living in "a rather humble fashion in the Faubourg St. Germain," on the interest "from the capital of about $200,000" which Marie's father had settled upon her after the wedding.
The grounds for the divorce suit against Jametel "have not been made public," the New York Times noted.
Marie was born on May 8, 1878 at Neustrelitz and died on October 14, 1948 from pneumonia in Oberkassel in Bonn. On August 11, 1914, she married Prince Julius Ernst zur Lippe. The couple had two children together, Princess Elisabeth Caroline, who was born in 1916, and Prince Ernst August (1917-1990.)