Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Leopold may wed Maria of Italy

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November 8, 1937

Rumors are rife in London, especially in the fashionable circles, that Princess Maria of Italy, youngest daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elena, "is connected to the coming visit" to London of King Leopold III, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Their engagement is expected to be announced at a later date.

At a recent luncheon party hosted by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, only two ambassadors were invited.  The Belgian and the Italian ambassadors.

The 22-year-old Princess Maria has been in London for some weeks now, as the guest of the Italian ambassador, Count Dino Grandi and his wife.

King Leopold III's visit to London will be the "most lavish ceremonial and entertaining" since the death of King George V in January 1936.

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There have been frequent reports of a possible engagement between Princess Maria and Archduke Otto of Austria, but Otto has only "the prospect of a throne."  Leopold, 36, has a "steady job."

Leopold's wife, Astrid was killed in a car accident in Switzerland in 1935.  Princess Astrid of Sweden married then Crown Prince Leopold in 1926.  They had three children: Princess Josephine Charlotte , 10 Crown Prince Baudouin, 7, and three-year-old Prince Albert.

The King's sister, Marie José, is married to Crown Prince Umberto of Italy, the older brother of Princess Maria.

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