Friday, March 25, 2011

Prince Bernhard of Lippe is in the USA

March 25, 1907

Prince Bernhard of Lippe arrived in the United States from Germany "three or four days ago," according to the Marquise de Fontenoy's latest dispatch.  He plans to spend three or four months in this country before returning home, and he has several American cousins. 

His grandmother is American, which is why "so many obstacles were placed in the way of the succession of his elder brother, Leopold, to the throne of Lippe.  The mother of the now reigning Prince Leopold and Prince Bernhard was born in the United States to Count Leopold Wartensleben and Miss Mathilde  Halbach-Bohlen of Philadelphia. 

 The marriage between an American girl and Count Wartensleben was originally seen as unequal, as the bride was not a member of a mediatized or even a noble family in Europe.  Her commoner birth was deemed sufficient "to invalidate the rights of succession of her children  to the throne of Lippe."

There was much controversy over the succession for several years, and was "characterized by much bitterness.  Eventually, the Supreme court of the German empire in 1905, "decided the issue in accordance with the wishes of the people in Lippe, and in favor of Count Leopold."   His succession allowed for his children and his siblings to advance to the rank of prince or princess.

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