Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Princess Christina of Hesse (1933-2011)

HH Princess Christina of Hesse, the eldest daughter of the late Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark, died at Gersau, Switzerland, on November 21, 2011.  She was 78 years old.

Princess Christina Margarethe was born at Schloss Kronberg on January 10, 1933.  She was married twice.  Her first marriage took place at Kronberg in August 1956 when she married Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia, youngest son of King Alexander I and Princess Marie of Romania.  This marriage ended in divorce in 1962.

Prince Andrej filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery.  He received custody of the couple's two children,  Princess Maria Tatiana and Prince Christopher.

Soon after the divorce was granted, Princess Christina married Robert Floris van Eyck in December 1962.   This marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1986.

For many years, Princess Christina lived  in Gersau, Switzerland, with her sister, Princess Dorothea, the widow of Prince Friedrich of Windisch-Graetz.

She is survived by her daughters, Princess Maria Tatiana of Yugoslavia, Mrs Thune-Larsen and Helen van Eyck and her younger son, Mark van Eyck, and four grandchildren.  A son, Prince Christopher of Yugoslavia, died in 1994.  She also is survived by by her two younger sisters, Princesses Dorothea and Princess Clarissa of Hesse, her two younger brothers,  Princes Karl and Rainer of Hesse, her half brother, Prince Georg of Hannover and her half sister, Princess Frederika of Hanover, Mrs. Cyr.

[Note: one source has stated that the date of death is November 22.  This is incorrect, according to the family.]

Princess Christina's mother, Princess Sophie, the fourth daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, was 15-years-old when her engagement to Prince Christoph of Hesse was announced on June 8, 1930.  (She turned sixteen on June 26.)  On the same day, her sister, Princess Cecilie, became engaged to Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus of Hesse and By Rhine.

Princess Sophie and Prince Christoph were married at Kronberg on December 15, 1930.  She was the first of Prince and Princess Andrew's children to marry.  

On January 10, 1933, the Associated Press reported that Princess Christoph of Hesse "today gave birth to a daughter."


Hopewell said...

And she was a niece of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Bea said...

Marlene, is there anymore you can tell on her life? I have always been curious about her, there are so many articles on Christina and her cousin Beatrix, living in London and their career aspirations, I have seen nothing on her after her divorce from Andrej. Bea

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Christina was a housewife with a title ... she raised her second family, and it took some years before her two older children lived with her again. She did not live a newsworthy life.

Royalty & Enneagram Type said...

she is also survived by her uncle, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and his family... but I guess they are not in a hurry to remind people of their German ties :-)

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

what a silly comment. I wrote the article not Buckingham palace. Christina is also survived by various first cousins on both sides of her family.

Bea said...

Thanks Marlene, by the way you did a great section in QVD on Christina's son and his life...if anyone is intrested. Bea

RoyalCousin said...

Hi Bea, There is a beautiful photo of HH Princess Christina of Hesse processing out of Westminister Abbey following Queen Elizabeth's Coronation in 1953. Prince Phillips mother, Princess Alice, leads her family followed by her surviving daughters and their families.

I have no doubt Christina lived a noteworthy life. The fact that she was not "newsworthy" is no surprise. Many Royals try to avoid being "in the news" most of the time. Attracting that sort of attention is considered brash and sometimes downright vulgar even by many well off people in the US.

Anonymous said...

Marlene, Bea mentioned that you did a section in QVD about Christina's son and his life. Would this son be referring to Prince Christopher or Christina's son by her second marriage? Where can I view this? Thanks

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Prince Christopher. It is in my book, Queen Victoria's Descendants. Not online. Book out of print.