Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Prince Colloredo-Mansfeld in the processing of annuling marriage
The proceedings are "unprecedented" and "sufficiently rare" to receive such attention. Last year, he married Lucy Sophie Jonquet, a widow, believed to be an "Englishwoman by birth. They married at Paris last April, and spent the "remainder of the spring in the Riviera," and then traveled to Prague, where the prince has a palace. He and his wife gave many parties and were often also "entertained a great deal."
A problem arose when it became time to present his wife at court. Questions were raised about her lineage. Wives of Austrian and Hungarian nobles must "prove to the satisfaction of the grand chamberlain in Vienna" that they are of "aristocratic parentage," on both sides, and be free of "bourgeois and plebeian strains" in order to be accepted at court.
The new Princess of Colloredo-Mansfield was unable to satisfy the court's requirements. She could not even prove that her parents were noble. According to the Colloredo-Mansfeld family statutes, no male member of the house can marry a woman who does not belong to a "sovereign house or a mediatized family" without the consent of the adult male members of the house.
The marriage was approved because the Prince gave the impression that his bride was of "noble English birth. This has proven to be false, and now the union will be viewed as "invalid," and the prince has begun proceedings to have the marriage annulled, due to the marriage having been "contracted in defiance of the laws of the house."
In Austria, the family statutes of the mediatized families "carry much weight" and are "acknowledged by national tribunals." The marriage is expected to be annulled on the grounds that the princess did not "possess the necessary qualifications of birth and lineage," as required by the house of Colloredo-Mansfield.
[Note: the marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1925.]