Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Concern over Grand Duke's morganatic marriage

May 13, 1884

A cable from London to the Chicago Daily Tribune notes "another phase of the morganatic marriage muddle" has come to light.  It is now being stated that Queen Victoria, when she learned at Darmstadt that her son-in-law, Grand Duke Ludwig IV, "had dishonored the memory of his dead wife, Princess Alice, and ignored the claims of his semi-betrothed, Princess Beat5rice" by contracting a "left-handed alliance" with a Russian woman, Alexandrine de Kolemine.  

The British sovereign became "furiously indignant" and raised a "right British row" at the dinner celebrating the marriage of the Grand Duke's eldest daughter, Princess Victoria and Prince Louis of Battenberg.

Queen Victoria is determined to keep the grand duke in her family.  She "compelled" the grand duke to "accompany her and Beatrice to Windsor."   The invitations was more a "threat of the royal displeasure," coming from a very "rich and powerful mother-in-law" to a "poverty-stricken" German Grand Duke and the "father of an almost portionless bride."

Victoria had her "confidential agents" find as much as they could about the "details of the morganatic marriage" and of the bride herself, including her own "shady" career, and her divorce.

Queen Victoria is now satisfied that there were "certain flaws" in the marriage to allow it to be ruled invalid. Officers of the court in Darmstadt have "received orders" that the morganatic marriage never took place.

An official announcement is expected to be made shortly, with the explanation that the Grand Duke was 'deceived.'

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