Thursday, July 28, 2022

Princess Illa leaves fiance at the altar

The proposed marriage between Princess Eulalie of Thurn und Taxis, a member of the Bohemian branch of the princely family, and Prince Raphael Rainer, the fourth son of the head of the house, Albert, the 8th Prince of Thurn und Taxis,  seemed to be an excellent dynastic alliance.

The princess, the eldest child of Prince Friedrich and Princess Eleonore (nee de Ligne), was raised at Schloss Biskuptiz, in what is now the Czech Republic. Although she was officially styled as Princess Eulalia, she was called Illa by everyone in her family.

An introduction between Illa and Raphael Rainer was made in Baden-Baden. The prince's younger brother, Philipp Ernst, was also invited. Several informal family conferences were held, and "the wisdom of an alliance" between Illa and Raphael seemed clear. She showed "a certain preference" for Raphael. This led to an official engagement. But when everyone gathered in Regensburg on January 31, 1929, to celebrate the marriage between Illa and Raphael. Illa, however, had second thoughts about this marriage. She went to see her future father-in-law and told him she could not marry Raphael.

It was not until the next day that further details were leaked. It appeared that she was not in love with Raphael but with his younger brother, Philipp Ernst. Illa told her family that she had not been sure about her feelings until the week leading up to her wedding when everyone was staying at the family's castle in Regensburg. During that week, as she prepared for her wedding, she would see Philipp Ernst daily, and as the wedding drew closer, she knew that she would not be able to marry his brother. She did not love Raphael. She loved Philipp Ernst, and he was in love with her.

Illa told Prince Albert that it would be wrong to marry Raphael when she was in love with Philipp. She was a devout Catholic, and she wanted a true marriage. Albert called a family conference that included Illa's father, and all agreed to cancel the wedding. It was said that Illa's sincere motives came from a "deep religious conviction" that led her to confess her love for Philipp Ernst.

It was a mature decision for the 20-year-old Princess.

 On May 7, 1929, Illa's engagement to Prince Philipp Ernst of Thurn and Taxis was announced. May 7 was also Philip's 21st birthday, the day he reached his majority.

Their marriage took place at Schloss Taxis on September 8, 1929. The couple had three children, Albert (1930-2021), Margarete (1933-2019), and Antonia (1936). Albert married Baroness Alexandra von der Ropp in 1962. The marriage is considered unequal by Thurn und Taxis family law. The couple has no children.

Philipp Ernst, Ila and Albert

Neither Margarete nor Antonia ever married.  

Illa's father, Friedrich, was murdered on May 10, 1945, at Schloss Biskupitz (now known as Biskupice.)

The jilted Prince Raphael Rainer married his second cousin, Princess Margarete (Rita) of Thurn und Taxis in Regensberg on May 24, 1932.   They had one son, Max Emanuel (1935-2020).  Prince Max also married morganatically.

Prince Raphael Rainer (1906-1993) and Prince Philipp 1908-1964) were the seventh and eighth children of  Albert, Prince of Thurn und Taxis and Archduchess Margarete of Austria.  

Princess Eulalia (1908-1993) was the eldest of three children of Prince Friedrich of Thurn und Taxis and Princess Eleonore de Ligne.  Her sister-in-law, Princess Margarete (1913-1997) was the only child of Prince Friedrich of Thurn und Taxis and Princess Pauline of Metternich-Winneburg.   Margarete and her husband were second cousins.

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Emerald said...

Please tell who murdered Friedrich!!!???

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

No idea. The Schloss was in Czechoslovakia. It was near the end of the war

Emerald said...

So sad to end like that.....

RobinBaron said...

German Wikipedia says he was murdered by "a revolutionary guard" and cites an article in Czech.