Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Will Katherine become queen of Albania?
October 24, 1908
Prince Luigi, Duke of the Abruzzi is in a quandary, much to the interest of the Italian people, according to a Marconi Transatlantic Wireless to the New York Times. This is largely due to the rumor that if Albania were independent, the throne would be offered to the Duke, who would then marry Katherine Elkins, thus making her the first American queen.
The Duke, a noted explorer who recently completed his second book on exploration in Africa, has been linked with Katherine Elkins, daughter of West Virginia Senator Stephen Benton Elkins. There have been reports of a looming engagement, but so far no announcement from the court in Rome.
Luigi's older brother, Prince Vittorio Emanuele, Count of Turin, is also planning an exploration in Africa as "papers are now hinting that love troubles are the cause of his departure." The Italian newspapers are sure that there were obstacles in the negotiations for a marriage with Princess Patricia of Connaught, King Edward's "very young, charming and pretty" niece. It is not known if the obstacles are about the Duke of the Abruzzi's possible marriage with an American or the age difference between the Count of Turin and Princess Patricia. The Count of Turin is 38 and Princess Patricia is 22 years old.
Kaiser Wilhelm II, as a member of the Triple Alliance, which includes Austria-Hungary and Italy, is said to be against an English marriage even if the bride is his first cousin, as is Princess Patricia.
The Count of Turin's eldest brother, the Duke of Aosta is married to Princess Helene of Orléans, who was born in England.
The Kaiser is apparently concerned about the influence of his uncle King Edward VII, which he sees as "predominate" at the Courts of Europe. Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, another of the Kaiser's first cousins, was born in Scotland, The Dowager Queen of Portugal, who is the Duchess of Aosta's sister, was raised in England. Queen Alexandra is the sister of the Kings of Denmark and Greece. Queen Maud of Norway is King Edward VII's daughter.
Wilhelm II would prefer if the Italian princes found their wives in Germany or Austria in order to avoid the "British influence at so many Courts."
Neither the Count of Turin nor the Duke of the Abruzzi appear to be concerned about the Kaiser's fears. It seems unlikely that Princess Patricia will marry the Count of Turin, but the Duke of the Abruzzi may remain determined to win his American love.