Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Another Coburg scandal

July 6, 1905

Another Coburg scandal is about to happen, according to the Marquise de Fontenoy's latest dispatch.  It appears that the doctors who were appointed to evaluate the mental condition of Princess Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, have "decided that she is perfectly sane."    There is also no evidence to "show that she has been demented in the past," and her confinement in a sanitarium "was therefore entirely unwarranted."

The Princess' husband, Prince Philipp, has stopped paying her allowance, and has also "instituted a suit for divorce against her."  He has the view that if she is "sane, and if she has been sane all along,  then she is responsible for her acts," which have including running off with former captain, Geza Mattatich, who served in the Austrian army.

Princess Philipp, who was born Princess Louise of Belgium,  may have "considerable difficult in disculpating herself" from her estranged husband's accusations, but she may be "relied upon to defend herself by counter charges of an equally grievous description against her husband."   She is intent on charging Prince Philipp with "cruelty, neglect, infidelity" and drunkenness.  She also plans to sue him for "conspiracy and perjury" in regards to her incarceration in an asylum for several years even though she was "perfectly sane."

This scandal has the makings of a very unsavory situation as "any that have gone before in connection with the Coburgs."

A divorce will be difficult because the Prince and Princess are Roman Catholics, and "neither of them will be able to marry again when divorced unless they change their religion."   Now that the Princess' allowance has ceased, she has little funds to live on.   She is not in communication with her father, King Leopold II, and her elder sister, the former Crown Princess Stephanie of Austria, has "quarreled with her again" for refusing to get involved with the "suit now pending in Brussels against King Leopold for recovery of the late queen of Belgium's fortune."

Stephanie, now married to Hungarian Count Elmer Lonyay, has "effected a sort of reconciliation" with her only child, Princess Otto of Windisch-Graetz.   She recently spent several days with her daughter in Prague, and got to meet her second grandchild, who is 6 months old.   Stephanie was not accompanied by her husband because  Princess Otto, the former Archduchess Elisabeth,  has refused to meet or "recognize in anyway her stepfather."  She considers her mother's second marriage as an "insult to the memory of her own father," Crown Prince Rudolf.

The Count and Countess Lonyay are largely shunned by everyone in Europe.  They are now renting Ashdean, a country house in Sussex, "yet the English royal family holds aloof from them, and English society follows suit."

Stephanie's social position has been ruined by her second marriage.  She lost all of her "royal and imperial prerogatives," as well as her fortune. 


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