Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nancy Leishman snubbed by Gotha

The marriage of the Duke of Croy and Miss Nancy Leishman appeared in the 1914 edition of the Almanach de Gotha, which was published in December 1913. 

The annual volume stated that the marriage "is not a marriage of equal birth."   The New York Times' Berlin correspondent states that this "phraseology" was at the "instigation of the Prussian Royal Heralds' Office and is intended as notice to the Duke that his wife is not entitled to the privileges of the Kaiser's Court or the other royal courts of Germany."

After the engagement was announced in April 1913,  the match was "disapproved at a family council" called by the Dowager Duchess of Croy, the Duke's mother, and members of other branches of the family in Belgium, France, Prussia and Hungary.  

Several genealogical authorities assert that Miss Leishman could become the Duchess of Croy because the House of Croy "derived its nobility from France," and members of the family were not bound by German law.   But the Germany aristocracy and the Prussian Court contented that Croy, as a mediatized house,  once belonged to the Holy Roman Empire, and was subject to the rules "of all German royal houses regarding marriage and titles."

The Duke also has property in Austria, where his wife would be "less likely to receive recognition." This is due to the rules at the Court in Vienna, where a morganatic wife would have none of the privileges of her husband.  She would be allowed "only those which she inherits from her ancestors."

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