Thursday, March 22, 2012

Countess Bug

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

March 23, 1908

King Friedrich August III of Saxony has conferred the title Countess Bug on the morganatic wife of his "particular friend and crony" Prince Friedrich of Schönburg-Waldenburg, who is the former son-in-law of Don Carlos, pretender to the Spanish throne.

Prince Friedrich is a member of a mediatized princely house, and, according to the Marquise de Fontenoy, "cannot wed on a footing of equality, save with royalty, or with members of other mediatized houses."

Several weeks ago, he married Franziska Maison von Lobenstein, a member of the "petty nobility" of Austria.    The couple was married on November 19, 1907, at Bamberg in a ceremony performed by that city's archbishop.  Pope Pius X also sent the newlyweds a special blessing.

But because the bride is not equal to her husband, the marriage is morganatic, and she cannot share his title or his rank.  But now she is the Countess Bug in her own right, bestowed on her by the King of Saxony.

The decree creating this title also "provides that the children born on this union shall be little Bugs," but "they will have to content themselves with mere baronial rank."  The mother's title is for her life only, and will not be inherited by her children.

The name Bug comes from an "extremely picturesque village" near Bamburg, where Prince Friedrich owns a "handsome chateau," which will become of his primary residences.

Prince Friedrich's first wife was Princess Alice of Bourbon.  Pope Pius X, as the Archbishop of Venice, had officiated at the wedding in 1897.  The marriage was unhappy. Princess Alice was described as extravagant, and her behavior was seen as scandalous.  She and her husband had settled in Dresden, and her behavior was a source of scandal at the court.  Even the Crown Princess of Saxony was said to be shocked.  This was before the Crown Princess ran off with her children's tutor and then married the pianist Enrico Toselli.

Princess Alice ran off with an Italian cavalry officer, Lieut. Lino de Prete.  She left a note for her husband telling him that he was not the father of her six-month-old son.   For this reason, the marriage was dissolved by the Supreme Court of Saxony and then annulled on the "canonical grounds that she had been forced against her will into the marriage" with Prince Friedrich by her father, Don Carlos.

Princess Alice then married her cavalry officer in civil and ecclesiastical services.  She and her husband now live in Naples.


John said...

Is it pronounced "bug" like an insect? Or, "boog?" Or, "byoog?"

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...


John said...

Thank yuuuh