Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yolanda to marry Count Calvi

February 5, 1923

"Their Majesties the King and Queen have today, Feb. 5, graciously consented to the engagement of their first-born daughter, Princess Yolanda to Count Calvi di Bergolo, Captain of cavalry and bombardier during the war in defense of his country and was decorated for bravery."

The announcement was made at a reception at the Quirinal Palace in Rome by Premier Mussolini, who also serves as an ex-officio lawyer of the royal household.
The announcement has "filled Italy with great joy." Since her birth nearly 22 years ago, Princess Yolanda "has been the darling of all Italian hearts. To celebrate her forthcoming nuptials, bonfires were set ablaze tonight "as an expression of joy for her engagement."

This is a love match. For several years, there have been many unconfirmed rumors about the Princess's engagement "to this or that person high in the aristocracy. This was the natural result of the deep affection of the Italian people for their princess," writes the New York Times' reporter.

Princess Yolanda first met her Count in London last year. She was in London as "a treat for her coming out." Count Calvi was there for an international military tournament, "being a member of the Italian team."

Count Calvi rode with "great distinction" during the riding competition, "repeatedly receiving the applause of the spectators, among whom there was also Princess Yolanda."

This led to their first meeting. Their relationship grew into a more intimate relationship, as they shared several common interests in riding and horses.
Their romance continued after both returned to Rome, and Count Calvi was a frequent visitor to the Quirinal Palace, "often riding with the Princess to the hounds."

Count Calvi is the "firstborn son of a very ancient and noble Piedmontese family." He entered the war as a member of the cavalry officer, but finding that there is little need in modern warfare for the cavalry, he joined the bombardiers. He served in the first-line trenches and was severely wounded. Count Calvi "was decorated for conspicuous gallantry."

This is the family's second marriage with a member of a reigning royal house. The count's sister, Mathilde, married Prince Aage of Denmark in 1914.

Count Calvi was born in Athens in 1887. He is 36-years-old. Princess Yolanda turned 21 last year.

The Princess, who was born in 1901, has three sisters (Mafalda, Giovanna, and Maria,) and one brother, Umberto. One of Europe's most beautiful princesses, Yolanda has been linked to nearly every eligible European prince - Carol of Roumania, King Alexander of Serbia, King Boris of Bulgaria, King George II of the Hellenes, and the Crown Prince of the Belgians. Her name was also often bracketed with the Prince of Wales as they had met in 1916 when they "did war work together." 

As the eldest child of the king and queen, Princess Yolanda has often acted as "the little mother" to her siblings, helping them with their lessons and games. She has also assisted with her father, a noted numismatist, with his coin collection. During the war, she often rivaled her brother "in accompanying the King on his excursions to the front." Once, she nearly lost her life during an air raid at Mestre. 

The Princess enjoys arts, speaks several languages, and loves to hunt. She is also an "excellent judge of horses." Yolanda is described as "most modest, democratic, generous and charitable, but with a disposition which seeks with patient persistency to have her own way."

This was evident when the Fascists marched into Rome last October. Yolanda wanted to join the crowds to welcome them "as the saviors of Italy," but she finally agreed to a compromise, whereby she could wave a flag from the palace balcony.
Just two weeks ago, Princess Yolanda was in the royal box at the Costanzi Theatre, when Premier Mussolini entered, "and was acclaimed by the audience." Yolanda's "braves" were said to be "quite audible."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The castle where the princess and her husband lived in Montemagno Italy is amazing. Her bed room remains as it was when she lived there and the family continues to own and maintain the property beautifully.