Friday, June 11, 2010

The Grand Duchess of Hesse loses baby

June 11, 1900

The Marquise de Fontenoy reports today that the "Grand Duke of Hesse and his people have sustained a particularly cruel disappointment." The young Grand Duchess has not been able to present her husband with the "so ardently longed for male heir to his throne." She recently gave birth to a child who did not survive.

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchesses are first cousins, and both are grandchildren of Queen Victoria. They have one child, a little girl, Princess Elisabeth, who is 5 years old.

One of the "principal reasons that induced the Grand Duchess to become reconciled to her husband after differences that have given rise to no end of gossip" was the "patriotic and dynastic duty incumbent upon her to provide an heir to the throne." Tragically, the expected son and heir was stillborn, and, one can only assume, that this stillbirth will put further strain on an already difficult marriage.

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