Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mrs. Fitzgerald marries Prince Victor

November 1, 1911

Mrs. Gerald Fitzgerald was married today to Prince Victor of Thurn and Taxis.  According to the New York Times, the marriage took place at the home of the bride's mother, Mrs. L. J. Nicholls,  Uniontown, Pennsylvania.   The ceremony was performed by the Rev. William Spence "in the presence of the family and friends.

Mrs. Fitzgerald's first husband was Gerald Fitzgerald of Ireland.  She returned to the United States from England last Friday.  She was born Lida Eleonor Nicholls in 1875 in Uniontown.   Lida married her first husband, Irish-born General Gerald Purcell Fitzgerald in Los Angeles in late 1899.

The couple had two sons before Lida obtained a divorce in the Irish courts.  British law required an act of Parliament to make the separation final.  Lida claimed that Fitzgerald treated her with cruelty.  The Fitzgeralds' Divorce Act was passed by Parliament in 1907.  In a Pittsburgh, court,  Mrs. Fitzgerald was awarded $20,000 per year in alimony and $300,000 in trust for their two sons, John Fitzgerald and Gerald Purcell Fitzgerald, Jr.

The Prince and Princess will reside in Europe.  Prince Victor is the son of the late Prince and Princess Egon of Thurn and Taxis.  He is a Hungarian citizen "by virtue of his father having become naturalized in Hungary at the time of his marriage."


John said...

Fascinating on a number of levels. First, 20,000 per year seems like an extraordinary amount of money for alimony. He must have been a very high commissioned general else, came from a wealthy family himself. Second, I did not know divorce was legal in Ireland back in those days, so it must have been tough pushing this through all the way to parliament. Finally, this marriage was SO not 'Ebenbürtigkeit' that it must have been a shocker to the princes' family. Shocking, a divorced American marrying into a princely family. Were the Thurn und Taxis clan not as picky in these matters as some of the other German princely families?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Ireland was not an independent nation in 1911. The act of Parliament was in the UK. I doubt that family was all that shocked as his parents were dead and he was a junior line. Lida was also an heiress. Victor lived the final years of his life with a dancer.