Monday, September 19, 2011

Royal Marriage Market Slumps due to loss of thrones

September 19, 1931

The Associated Press reports today on the fall of "Royal Marriage Market," as the "scrapping of crowns, which has been going on for twenty years, has left a lugubrious situation" among Europe's marriageable princesses.

At this time, there are "two or three dozen" princesses who are "eligible to be wives of kings or o princes who will some day be monarchs."  But the "marriage balance sheet" often makes these young princesses cry.

The only two eligible princes are the "globe-trotting but non-marrying Prince of Wales, the heir apparent to the British throne, and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.

Crown Prince Michael of Romania and Crown Prince Peter of Yugoslavia are future candidates, but far too young for marriage at this time.  Michael will turn ten on October 25 and Peter celebrates his eighth birthday on September 6.

Other European princes are "either married or vacationing abroad in rather permanent fashion, living off the jewels of another era."

Some are even working in London and in Paris, as taxi drivers, interpreters or as shoe salesmen.  

The sad state of affairs for Europe's princesses was made known earlier this year when Princess Ileana of Romania married an archduke "without a dukedom." Her two older sisters, Elisabeth and Marie, married kings.

There are only eleven thrones left in Europe: Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia. Romania, Albania, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. 

The last two princesses "to cross the threshold of throne rooms before the doors slammed" were King Albert's only daughter, Princess Marie Jose of Belgium, who "won the hand" of Crown Prince Umberto of Italy, and the latter's sister, Giovanna, who married King Boris III of Bulgaria.

Princess Astrid of Sweden preceded Marie Jose, by marrying the latter's brother, Crown Prince Leopold.  Astrid's sister, Martha, is the wife of Crown Prince Olav of Norway.

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