Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Prince Colloredo-Mansfeld in the processing of annuling marriage

Prince Joseph of Colloredo-Mansfield, head of one of "the great houses of the Austrian nobility, is in the procession of arranging an annulment of his recent marriage, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy.

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.]


Nick Walker said...

Hi Marlene
Thank you for this article which has provided invaluable information to us. I wonder if you can help us some more? My family is researching background on Lucy de Jonquet, who is a somewhat indirect relative by marriage. We still have a couple of items of Lucy's that came to us via her nephew, who was married to our great aunt and died in the 1950s.
It looks like Lucy had a remarkable life - born in an inner London suburb to the south of the Thames (funnily enough quite near to where Charlie Chaplin was brought up, and they would have been near contemporaries). She then married an Englishman who died when she was only 20, and next appears in Paris aged 25 marrying an Austrian Prince. It appears from her subsequent history that she was a bit of a chancer. However, after about 1915 (when she was back in London) and her death in Rome in 1940 we have no further information. We know her family background and relatives, but if you have anything more on her and her life - or useful links to recommend - please do let me know.
Thanks and best wishes, Nick

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Sorry, no idea. The post was based on a gossip columnist's report