Thursday, January 24, 2013

Heinrich of Mecklenburg: no approved marriage

January 24, 1913

The recent marriage of Duke Heinrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin to Elizabeth Platt of Albany, New York, has not received the approval of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin or from Kaiser Wilhelm II.

This has caused great concern within the family.  The marriage took place last summer at Dover in England.   Heinrich's wife is the widow of Amedée de Gasquet James of New Orleans.

 The Marquise de Fontenoy reports that the marriage has not "received any recognition" from any of Europe's sovereigns.

The laws of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin require that all members of the house receive consent for their marriages.   Heinrich has not received consent for the marriage to "an elderly widow -- elderly enough to be his mother" is not considered as valid, and has not been included in the 1913 edition of the Almanach de Gotha, where Duke Heinrich is described as a bachelor.

Kaiser Wilhelm II's permission was not required because Heinrich had been "compelled to resign all his commissions in the German army," due to the numerous financial scandals in which "he had become involved."

Duke Heinrich and his American wife are now living in a rented chateau in the Lüttau in Austria.  She calls herself  Duchess Heinrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Elizabeth's son, George Watson Platt de Gasquet James and her daughter, Countess Henri de la Mittré have filed suit against her in United States courts for an "accounting as executrix of her first husband's estate."  They are pleading that she has given property to her new husband, although she is said to only have a life interest in the property.

As the property is located in the United States,  the courts are expected to look favorably on the claims of the two children.

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