July 10, 1916
There are "unconfirmed reports" that the Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne, "seeks the hand" of Princess Jolanda, eldest daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele, according to an Associated Press dispatch.
These reports are "a surprise to Italians," as many have supposed that the Prince of Wales "would marry" one of Nicholas II's daughters.
It is now being stated that the reason for the Duke of Connaught's visit to King Vittorio Emanuele in May was to make "a formal request" to the King and Queen for "the hand of Princess Jolanda."
Princess Jolanda is only 15 years old. The Prince of Wales is 22. The princess, described as an "extremely sensible and practical," is said to be fluent in English as she and her sisters have always had an English governess. She is also said to have "the best marriageable prospects in European royal families."
As the eldest in her family, Princess Jolanda is said to be very protective of her younger siblings, especially her brother, Crown Prince Umberto. This role sometimes even extends to her mother, Queen Elena. Recently, the Queen was speaking to the American wife of an Italian journalists, and she said: "I rarely attempt to speak English because Jolanda insists on correcting my mistakes."
Princess Jolanda "strongly resembles" her Montenegrin-born mother," as she has "dark hair and eyes, an olive complexion and a slow smile." She loves the outdoors, plays tennis, rides and swims. She is also an excellent shot with a pistol and a rifle.
Should this marriage place one day it will be because Prince Jolanda willed it. Women cannot succeed to the Italian throne, so the marriage of an Italian princess does not have the "far-reaching political importance" of the Prince of Wales's marriage.
The Italian royal family is said to be far richer than the British royal house, second only to the Russians "in wealth, and much of this wealth is in cold cash, not in undeveloped lands."