Thursday, May 9, 2013

London newspaper: Prince of Wales to marry first cousin


May 9, 1917

The Marquise de Fontenoy notes in her latest column that when "a marriage has been arranged for the Prince of Wales the news will be communicated to the people from some other source than that of the London Weekly News."

The National News recently sent a cable "to the new world," which gave the report a lot of publicity, that the Prince of Wales was about to marry Princess Maud, the younger daughter of the Princess Royal and the late Duke of Fife.

The Marquise notes that the report must be "received with a good deal of caution."

Princess Maud is "extremely pretty and wholesome," but she is not a "beauty in the strict sense of the word."   She would quickly become a firm favorite, but the princess leads a very quiet life with her mother.  She would make a fine queen consort, but such a match is unlikely to happen because she and the Prince of Wales are first cousins.  The Princess Royal and King George V are siblings.

Although Queen Victoria married her first cousin, and two sets of her grandchildren married each other: Prince Henry of Prussia and Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine and Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and By Rhine who married (and divorced) Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh (who is now married to another first cousin, Grand Duke Kirill of Russia). 

King George V, aware of the disadvantages of a first cousin marriage, is unlikely to give his assent to the marriage.   Princess Maud's older sister, Alexandra is married to Prince Arthur of Connaught,  her mother's first cousin.

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