August 30, 1908
Duke Adolph of Mecklenburg-Schwerin has been happily married for several years now, and is father of two children, but there is no mention of this marriage or the children in the Almanach de Gotha. The Marquise de Fontenoy describes this as a "tragedy of a shipwreck of the matrimonial happiness of a prince" who is being forced to disavow his morganatic wife and their children in order to "contract a loveless marriage for the purpose of securing the succession to the throne."
The Grand Duke and his morganatic wife, a commoner, who is "extremely attractive," are very happy together. He is devoted to her and to their young children, but he is under great pressure to disavow her, and their "little ones," in order to contract a "loveless marriage."
The present Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Friedrich Franz IV, has been married for the past four years to Princess Alexandra of Cumberland. They have no children, and there is no hope or expectation in their "union resulting in any offspring." He has no brothers. One uncle, Heinrich, is now the prince consort of the Netherlands, the husband of Queen Wilhelmina, and is no longer in the succession for the Schwerin throne. Another uncle, the elderly Duke Johann Albrecht, the regent of Brunswick, was recently widowered. He was much devoted to his wife, and "will not hear of marrying again."
The Grand Duke's third uncle, Paul, is bankrupt, as is his son. Moreover, on the occasion of his marriage to Princess Marie of Windisch-Graetz, a Roman Catholic, he was forced to "surrender for himself and for any sons born to the marriage," the right of succession to the throne of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Paul, his wife and son, due to the severity of their financial problems, are largely personas non grata among the "royal houses of Europe." They are unable to live in Germany, and have been "subjected to the severest kind of boycott."
Thus, the only possible heir left is Duke Adolf Friedrich. He is 35 years old, "handsome and popular," and he is looked upon by his family, and by the people of the grand duchy to "perpetuate this dynasty, which claims to be the most ancient in all of Europe."