April 25, 1908
"Hostile influences savoring bitter intrigues" are at work in an effort to prevent the marriage of Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a niece of King Edward VII, to Infante Alfonso of Orléans-Borbon, according to a cable sent to the Chicago Daily Tribune.
The couple's engagement was announced in December, and they are said to be "devotedly in love." The prince and princess are now in Nice, "anxiously awaiting the sanction from Pope Pius" to allow the marriage between the Roman Catholic Prince and the Anglican princess. For "some mysterious reason" the dispensation has not been granted.
The young couple have also been "subjected to a campaign of pitiless gossip" with malicious intent by certain "exalted personages hostile to the match." The names of King Edward and Queen Mother Maria Cristina of Spain have been "mentioned in this connection. The British sovereign is said to be against the marriage because the groom is Roman Catholic, and Queen Maria Cristina is opposed because Beatrice is Protestant.
Not long after the engagement was announced a reported circulated throughout Europe that the the marriage was off Beatrice, who celebrated her 24th birthday this week, was too old for the 21-year-old Alfonso. This was followed by another gossip item that the "betrothal had fallen through" because Beatrice refused to covert to Catholicism.
It was also reported about the same time that Princess Beatrice was unhappy because she loved another man, her "heart being in the keeping of a dashing young lieutenant of the kaiser's guard."
All of these "maneuvers" proved to be futile. It has been stated authoritatively in Germany and Infante Alfonso has never asked Beatrice to become a Roman Catholic. Her "continued presence at his side in Nice," also refutes all the reports that the engagement is over.
Alfonso is a first cousin and a childhood friend of King Alfonso XIII of Spain. Princess Beatrice and Queen Ena are also first cousins and said to be close friends.
Beatrice and Alfonso "met and wooed practically under the chaperonage of their Spanish majesties" at La Granja outside Madrid.