Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Has Pauline of Saxe-Weimar married morganatically?

April 26, 1901

The Marquise de Fontenoy's latest dispatch concludes that "morganatic marriages are becoming more and more frequent among the reigning houses of Europe."   The most recent of these misalliances is the marriage of the mother of the reigning duke of Saxe-Weimar, who during a visit to Rome, has married her chamberlain.   It may be a "love match as far as her sentiments are concerned," but it may be difficult to believe that the chamberlain "has been prompted in the matter of sentiments of disinterested affection and admiration.

The widowed  Dowager Hereditary Grand Duchess is said to be "extraordinarily fat and unwieldy," and one of the "most plain featured Princesses of Germany."  The Marquise describes her homeliness as "being of the crabbed and sour order, rather than a genial nature."

Princess Pauline of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was born at Stuttgart on July 25, 1852, the  daughter of Prince Hermann of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenbach and Princess Augusta of Württemberg.   She married  her second cousin, Hereditary Grand Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach on Augbust 26, 1873 at Friedrichshafen in Baden-Württemberg.

The couple had two sons,  Wilhelm Ernst and Bernhard, who were born in 1876 and 1878, respectively.   Prince Bernhard died last October in Weimar at the age of 22.   Hereditary Grand Duke Karl August died in 1894, six years before his father, Karl Alexander.

Wilhelm Ernst succeeded his grandfather on January 5. 

Pauline and Karl August's marriage was far from happy, and "they were seldom together."   For the past few years, Pauline has been living in Italy.   Her marriage has not been approved by her son, and, thus, the marriage will not be recognized in Weimar.


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