Thursday, June 2, 2011

Archduke ends marriage

June 2, 1937

Archduke Albrecht of Austria and his commoner wife, Irene Lelbach Rudnay, were divorced today in Budapest, reports the New York Times.

The marriage between the Archduke, who once aspired to be King of Hungary, and the former wife of the Hungarian minister to Bulgaria, caused a great sensation seven years ago.  The marriage was opposed by Albrecht's parents, who asked former Empress Zita of Austria and King Alfonso XIII of Spain to "intervene with the Vatican to declare Mrs. Rudnay's previous marriage invalid."  The Vatican refused to do this.

After a long discussion, the couple decided to divorce, which was granted by the Royal Court.  Mrs. Rudnay "henceforth will have the title Duchess of Teschen."

The pre-war Royal Court, revived by Regent Nicolas Horthy, granted the archduke and his wife a civil divorce, who were married secretly in London in 1930.   Albrecht's supporters believe he will have a better chance to gain the Hungarian throne if he were not married to a commoner.

The divorce had been difficult to obtain.  The couple had sought a legal separation for several years, but ordinary courts "were considered without jurisdiction because of the Archduke's exalted status."

No comments: