Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prince Victor Napoleon's morganatic marriage

Yesterday, I wrote about an article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune in 1905. The article was about eligible princesses in Europe and their chances for marriage. One of the princesses was Princess Clementine of the Belgians, who was in love with Prince Victor Napoleon. The article referenced a morganatic marriage between the prince and a Miss Beauclerq. I was asked if I had further information about the marriage, but I didn't. I researched the topic further and found the following.

In an article in the Los Angeles Times (August 17, 1909), there is a reference to the marriage. The article is about Princess Clementine's desire to marry Prince Victor Napoleon, a "Prince without a royal family and with no prospect of the throne." The writer also refers to another problem. Victor "long ago contracted a formal marriage (morganatic in form) with a French lady."

On June 4, 1911, the New York Times, in an article about Princess Louise suing to obtain a part of her father's estate, mentioned that Princess Clementine was married to Prince Victor Napoleon: "whose many love affairs and romance with Baroness de Beauclerq had been for years the talk of Brussels."

However, one wonders how accurate were the claims of a true marriage.

 According to a New York Times article in 1904, Prince Victor first proposed marriage to Clementine in 1899, but King Leopold II would not permit the marriage.

Perhaps, Victor had a long-term relationship with the Baroness, but never officially married her.

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