Friday, May 27, 2011

Royal renunciations

May 27, 1901

The Marquise de Fontenoy's latest column is about Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar's "renunciation of his titles and prerogatives as a member of a reigning house and as a Prince of the Blood" to become an ordinary noble with the title of Count von Crayenberg.  The Marquise points out that this is not a rare case among the families in Part I and Part II in the Almanach de Gotha.  

One of German Empress Auguste Viktoria's uncles, Prince Friedrich of Schleswig-Holstein "surrendered his status as a Prince of the Blood" and became Prince Noer "in order to be able to wed, on a footing of equality" and not as a morganatic marriage, to wed Miss Mary Lee, the daughter of a New York grocer.   After Friedrich's death,  Princess Noer married Count Waldersee, the German Field Marshall, who is now "commanding the allied forces in China."

Count Maximilian von Pappenheim surrendered his titles and privileges as a member of a mediatized family to marry Miss Wheeler of Philadelphia.     Princess Pauline of Württemberg renounced her royal rank and was created Baronne von Kirbach in "order to be able to marry on a footing of equality," Dr. Willim,  a physician she had met and fell in love when he treating her father. 

Archduke Johann of Austria became Johann Orth to marry a Viennese actress, Marguerite Stubbel.   Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, the British Field Marshall, contracted a morganatic marriage with the sister of the present Duke of Richmond.  But the parents of Miss Laura Seymour "would not hear of a morganatic union" between their daughter and the late Prince Victor zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg.  Laura was created as Countess Gleichen, and, Prince Victor, a nephew of Queen Victoria, chose to be styled as Count Gleichen to be of the same rank as his wife.  Some years after the marriage,  the count and countess reverted to the titles Prince and Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, although their four children remained as Count and Countesses Gleichen.

Prince Alexander of Sayn-Wittgenstein "sacrificed both his name and title" and became known as Count Hachenburg to marry his children's governess.   Prince Rudolf of Thurn und Taxis has become Baron von Troskow in "order to legalize the status of the children born to him by his actress wife."

Thus, Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar's decision to renounce his royal titles is not seen as "exceptional."     The prince was the third child of Prince Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and Princess Gerda zu Isenburg-Büdingen.   He renounced his rights on May 24, 1901, and was created Count von Crayenberg.  He married Marie Luise Brockmüller on October 10, 1900 at London. 

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