Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Pope pushing royal marriage
Pope Pius is said to be the "prime mover in the negotiations for a matrimonial alliance" between the young King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Duchess Marie Antoinette of Mecklenburg, according to a dispatch from the New York Tribune.
Duchess Marie Antoinette's parents, Duke and Duchess Paul of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. have lived very quietly in Venice for some years, settling there after their marriage, where they lived "quietly" with the Duchess Paul's widowed sister, the Countess Moncenigo. Duchess Marie Antoinette was born in Venice.
Duchess Paul was born Princess Marie of Windisch-Graetz. The couple have three children, who have been raised in the Roman Catholic faith. Duke Paul converted to Roman Catholicism several years after the marriage.
Before his election as Pope, Pius served as the "patriarch and archbishop of Venice," and knew the family well. He had "naturally felt drawn" toward Duke Paul and his family, as Paul had not only sacrificed his military career, which had shown "promise of great brilliancy," but also his succession rights to the Grand Ducal throne of Mecklenburg-Schwerin "for the sake of Catholic Church."
As Cardinal Sarto, Pius acted as the family's spiritual adviser, and was a "constant guest" at their home. He knew Grand Duke Paul's children from infancy. Duchess Marie Antoinette is said to be a "particular favorite," and he is "exceedingly anxious" to see her become Queen of Spain.
The reigning houses of Russia, Austria and Prussia are all said to be "in favor of the match," so it is expected to be a "fait accompli."
The only drawback is that Duchess Marie Antoinette's family is not well off, and she will not bring "to her husband a dowry."