Saturday, January 17, 2009

Alfonso XIII to marry Mecklenburg duchess

January 17, 1905 

 Pope Pius X is said to be behind the proposed engagement between King Alfonso XIII and Duchess Marie-Antonia of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The Duchess's parents, Duke Paul and his wife, the former Princess Marie of Windisch-Graetz, have lived in Venice for some years now. 

 Marie was born in Venice in 1884. Pius, who was Cardinal Sarto, acted as the couple's spiritual advisor, and "was naturally drawn towards the family of a prince, such as Grand Duke Paul." The Grand Duke had sacrificed a military career, "which had given promise of great brilliancy," as well as his rights to the Ducal throne because of his conversion to the Roman Catholic faith. Duchess Maria Antonia is described as a special favorite of the Pope, and he is "exceedingly anxious that she should become the queen of Spain." 

It is said that the heads of the houses of Russia, Austria, and Prussia are also in favor of the marriage, as "it is exceedingly likely to become a fait accompli." There is one drawback, however. Duke Paul has little money, and his daughter is unlikely to bring to her husband a dowry. 

Maria Antonia is one of four children of the Duke and Duchess, although her two older sisters, Duke Paul and Duchess Marie Luise, are deceased. Young Paul died in 1904, and Marie Luise was only four years old when she died in 1887. Marie Antonia has one younger brother, Heinrich Borwin, who was born in 1885. One of Marie Antonia's aunts, Marie, is the wife of Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia. One uncle, Heinrich, is married to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love these snippets Marlene.
Don't know what happened with this story but Maria Antonia never married and died in 1944 in Bled, Yugoslavia. I have a lovely postcard of her and I laways find it fascinating to find out about the individuals and what became of them.
Keep up the articles Marlene - superd.


Paul Harten said...

Bled is in Slovenia (formerly Yugoslavia) and not that far from Venice where Maria Antonia was born. She was also 1st cousin to Crown Princess Cecile of Prussia (1886-1954) and her sister Queen Alexandrine of Denmark (1879- 1952).


Anonymous said...

I agree: always try to read these posts. The give me so much insight in the royal history.
One remark though about this last sentense: "One of her uncle's, Heinrich, is to marry Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in February"
If this was 1905, they were already married for almost four year. could it be it should be 1901 this item should be in?

kind regards
Dick, a reader from the Netherlands

Bearn Bilker said...

Marie Antoinette was a very odd person. She was never taken serious