Thursday, May 3, 2012

Donna Emanuela de Dampierre (1913-2012)

The wedding of Don Jaime, Duke of Segovia and Donna Emanuela de Dampierre (Marlene Eilers Koenig Collection)
Donna Emanuela de Dampierre, the first wife of the late Don Jaime de Borbon y Battenberg, Duke of Segovia, second son of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, died yesterday at her apartment in the Palazzo Massimo in Rome.   Mrs. Sozzani was  98 years old.

Her marriage to Don Jaime was dissolved by divorce in Bucharest on May 4th 1947. This divorce was recognize in Italy in 1949.  On November 21, 1949, at Vienna,  she married wealthy Italian banker Antonio Sozzani. He was the one who paid for Alfonso and Gonzalo's education, and continued to provide a monthly allowance to Emanuela, even after they separated.  The couple never divorced.

In August 1949, Don Jaime was married for a second time.  He married Berlin-born Charlotte Tiedemann in a civil ceremony.

Although Emanuela and Don Jaime were obtained a civil divorce, their marriage was never annulled by the Roman Catholic church.   In the eyes of the Church, Emanuela and Don Jaime remained married, in spite of the civil divorces and remarriages.

In 1950, Don Jaime, began to take on the mantle as pretender to the Spanish and French thrones.  Charlotte, a commoner, felt that she was an obstacle to her husband's ambitions.  She told the press that she "was ready to bow out of her marriage," if this would help Don Jaime's position.   She was also asked where was her husband, as he was not present for her press conference.  Charlotte responded: "Out shopping.  Yes, the duke will be unhappy when I tell him what I tend to to do, but he will get over it."

Later, Don Jaime issued a statement through their press agent, Guido Orlando.  "I've known all along that my wife was a wonderful woman." He would have "to think over her offer," but "I love her more than any man ever loved a woman."

Don Jaime and his second wife remained together until his death.  
[A footnote about Orlando, who died in 1988. The New York Times obituary described Orlando as a "flamboyant press agent, charlatan and bemedaled publicist for dozens of the wish-to-famous."

Donna Emanuela outlived both her sons, Don Alfonso, Duke of Cadiz (1936-1989) and Don Gonzalo (1937-2000.)  She is survived by her two grandchildren, Don Luis de Borbon y Franco and Sandra de Borbon, and seven great-grandchildren.  Don Luis is the younger son of the late Don Alfonso, Duke of Cadiz.  Stephanie is the daughter of the late Gonzalo de Borbon and American Sandra Landry.  

Stephanie never met her grandmother, although she spoke twice to her on the telephone, when Stephanie was on a trip to Madrid.

Emanuela was born at Rome on November 8, 1913.  She was the daughter of Roger de Dampiere, Duke of San Lorenzo and Princess Vittoria Ruspoli.

Previous articles about Emanuela and her family.  Her maternal grandmother was Josephine Curtis of Boston.

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