Thursday, November 13, 2014

Princess Giovanna 21 today: ready for marriage?

November  13, 1924

Princess Giovanna of Italy is celebrating her 21st birthday today.  She is the third of the four daughters of King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elena of Italy.

Her birthday, according to an Associated Press profile, serves "to revive talk of her marriage.  Several young royals have been mentioned as possible candidates for her hand in marriage.

*  King Boris of Bulgaria, 34.  Reports of a engagement are "always denied or ignored by official spokesmen."  An alliance between the King of Italy's daughter and the Bulgar monarch would have "political value" in cementing ties between Italy and Bulgaria.  But the King has not made any "outward advances," and the Princess spent most of the summer and autumn with her family at Santa Anna di Valdieri and at San Rossore, near Pisa.

*  King Zog of Albania makes the list, but as he is a Mohammedan and Princess Giovanna is a Roman Catholic.  It would be unlikely that a papal dispensation would be offered for a marriage between a Roman Catholic and a non-Christian.

*  Prince Charles of Belgium,.  Prince Charles is the younger son of King Albert and Queen Elisabeth.  His older brother, Crown Prince Leopold, is married to Princess Astrid of Sweden.  There have been "hints" that an engagement is forthcoming due to the "mysterious visits" in the past month:  the Pope's audiences with Cardinal van Roey, Primate of Belgium, and other Belgian religious officials and Cardinal Mafi call on the King of Italy.  Some believe these meetings are in connection with "the supposed union" between Crown Prince Umberto, 25, and Princess Marie-José of Belgium.  Others are convinced that it is Giovanna who will wed Prince Charles, and become the Countess of Flanders.

* Marquis de Pinedo.  The Marquis, the "trans-Atlantic flyer" who recently received the Distinguished Service Cross from the United States," has also been mentioned as a candidate.  Earlier this year, Princess Giovanna, "led off on of the two court balls of last season with the famous aviator," setting tongues wagging.  He was also a guest in the royal box during the Davis Cup matches last spring.  

This match would not be entirely surprising, as Giovanna's eldest sister, Princess Yolanda, is married to Count Calvi di Bergolo, "the man of her heart," six years ago.

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