Thursday, June 18, 2009

Prussian royal wedding this week

June 18, 1949

Princess Cecilie of Prussia is getting married this week at Burg Hohenzollern, and one of the honored guests is her cocker spaniel Schnapps, who is being brought from Switzerland. The princess is marrying a Texan, Clyde Harris, "who, riding in a jeep, four years ago saved the castle where the princess was living,"
reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The castle is Schloss Wolfsgarten, in Langen, near Darmstadt, which is the home of Prince Ludwig of Hesse and By Rhine and his British wife, Margaret. An art expert, Harris, who served in the US Army, was able to protect Wolfsgarten as an historical monument. Several window panes "bear signatures cut with a diamond of emperors, king and princelings of the last hundred years. They include a wobbly signature reading 'Philip, 1931,' scratched there by Britain's Prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh." The prince, then 10-years-old, was visiting the schloss for the first time following the marriage of his sister Cecilie to Prince Ludwig's older brother, Prince Georg Donatus.

In 1937, the prince and princess and their two sons were killed in a plane crash in en route to Prince Ludwig's wedding to the Hon. Margaret Geddes.

Princess Cecilie of Prussia, "small, fair haired and quiet," fled Potsdam with two suitcases and her beloved Schnapps when Russian troops neared the city. She made her way to Wolfsgarten, where she was welcomed by Prince and Princess Ludwig.

The couple will have a brief honeymoon in her Italian Fiat car as Harris has to return to the United States in ten days. Once he arrives in Amarillo, he will begin the process of bring Cecilie to the US.

"We are only sorry that Cecilie can't go directly back with him," Princess Margaret told the Tribune.

The princess first met Clyde Harris in 1946, but did not see each other again until three weeks ago when Harris traveled to Switzerland to meet Cecilie and her parents.

The guests for the wedding will include the French occupational governor as Burg Hohenzollern is located in the French zone, the mayor of Amarillo and other American friends of Harris. Royal guests will include Prince and Princess Ludwig of Hesse and members of Cecilie's family, including her parents, Crown Prince Wilhelm and Crown Princess Cecilie, and her three brothers and their wives. They are Prince Louis Ferdinand, "who is in the automobile business" in Bremen and his wife, the former Grand Duchess Kira of Russia; Prince Hubertus, who works in the wine business near Wiesbaden, and his wife, Magdalene; and Prince Friedrich, who is a farmer on Britain. Friedrich, who calls himself George Mansfield, is coming from England with his wife, Lady Brigid Guinness.

Lady Brigid is bringing with her a wedding veil, which "will be the only non-German portion of Cecilie's wedding gown."

The princess' gown is of "white chiffon velvet with high neck and long sleeves." Her bridal bouquet is of white roses. "For going away with Harris and Schnapps," Cecilie will wear "a marine blue coat and skirt, hand made white blouse and striped red and white turban."

Crown Prince Wilhelm is said to be "as happy as a lark over the wedding."

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