Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Countess Lonyay brings suit against father

May 12, 1903

The Countess Lonyay, the former Princess Stephanie of Belgium, has filed suit against her father, King Leopold II of the Belgians, according to the New York Times.

The Countess claims that she has not received her fair share of her late mother's estate. She believes she should have received $3,400,000 instead of the $120,000 offered by King Leopold.

The countess is the second daughter of King Leopold and Queen Marie-Henriette. In 1881, she married the heir to the Austrian throne, Crown Prince Rudolf, who killed himself and his mistress at Mayerling only seven years later. In 1900, Stephanie married Hungarian Count Elemer Lonyay.

This marriage did not have her father's approval, and since then, his relationship with his daughter has deteriorated. After Marie Henriette's death, King Leopold ordered Stephanie to leave Spa, "where she had gone to mourn at the bier of her mother." She left Belgium "amid demonstrations of sympathy from the people."

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