Monday, March 16, 2015

How to handle Ileana's broken engagement

March 16, 1930

Dowager Queen Marie and her youngest daughter, Princess Ileana, are expected to return to Bucharest on March 28.  Their trip to Palestine was shortened at the "request of the British government," reports the New York Times.  The British government believes that a longer stay in Palestine "might provoke unpleasant demonstrations.

King Alexander of Yugoslavia, who is married to Princess Ileana's older sister, Marie, will arrive on March 3o to "hold a family council" over the issues created by the dissolution of Princess Ileana's engagement to Count Alexander von Hochberg.

The ending of the engagement was recently made official.

Princess Ileana is expected to start her summer with public appearances in "connection with her favorite sport, yachting."

The public is also learning the full story of how Queen Marie "was persuaded by the impetuous affection" that the Princess had for Count Hochberg, to give her consent to the "short-lived engagement" without first taking "precautions which usually safeguard royal marriages."

Ileana is said to have met Count Alexander last year when she was visiting cousins at Schloss Sigmaringen.  Count von Hochberg was a guest at a nearby castle.   They "fell suddenly and deeply in love," but chose to keep it a secret.  The young couple made plans to meet again.

In the fall,  Queen Marie received a letter from her old friend, the Princess of Pless, the mother of Count Alexander, who wrote to the queen, telling her that she and her son were traveling to Bucharest, and asked to be received by Marie.

Queen Marie consented. A few days later, she was "astounded" to see Ileana and Count Alexander holding hands.  Ileana said simply:  "Mamma, we are in love and beg your consent to our marriage."

Marie later told a friend: "I was weak for a moment and consent without making any inquiries.  But how could I have guessed anything?"

She gave her consent to the engagement even before court officials were informed.    This was followed by an equally "unorthodox" dinner party, where the engagement was officially announced.

Other members of the royal family were caught off guard.  All went well until a messenger sent by King Alexander, brought documents "sent by another mysterious messenger from Berlin containing allegations about the Count's pass."

The Princess of Pless arrived in Bucharest on the same day as the "damning documents," and she left immediately.

Most of Bucharest knew what had happened even before Princess Ileana was told.  It was only after she returned to Cotroceni palace after saying goodbye to her "sweetheart" that she first learned about the problems.

She said to her mother, rather sadly: "He has gone."  Queen Marie responded: "Yes, and forever."

It was not until Queen Marie and Princess Ileana were on board a ship to Cairo that the Queen was finally able to tell her why the marriage could not take place.  It was at this time that Ileana consented to end her engagement with Count Alexander.

No one knows the source of the allegations against the count, although some, including several court officials, believe that the source was a Berlin communist newspaper.  This "suspicion" is said to be "unfounded."

1 comment:

Mrs. Astor said...

It could have been one of many since it was no secret that he was actively gay.