Friday, June 28, 2013

Blame the dog for Carola's illness

June 28, 1899

Queen Carola of Saxony's recent severe illness was "brought by a little dog," writes the Marquise de Fontenoy.  The Queen is "frightfully shortsighted," recently was walking through a badly lit room at Schloss Sybillenort, when she fell over a pet dog lying in the floor.  She was carrying a porcelain vase, which "was dashed to pieces and cut her face severely."

The queen developed erysipelas, and it seemed for a few days that King Albert would be "relieved of the amiable, but homely and childless consort who had been forced upon him by his father."

The Marquise notes that King Albert's first marriage to an actress was morganatic.  She also states that they "a large family of children."   But Albert was apparently forced to abandon his wife, and marry the daughter of (Crown Prince) Gustav Vasa, the last "male scion of the illustrious dynasty" that once reigned in Sweden.

The morganatic wife and their children "were shipped off to Hamburg," where the wife "married a man who squandered her fortune," and caused her to quarrel with King Albert, who eventually cut off her allowance.  It was only after her death four years ago in a London workhouse that her true identity was revealed.

Queen Carola was once "on the eve of becoming the Empress of the French."  Before he married Eugenie,  Napoleon III was sought Carola's hand in marriage, and she "intimated her readiness to accept him," but her father made her break off the engagement, as he would never permit "a parvenu" to marry his daughter, a "member of an illustrious race."

Instead,  Carola was forced to marry a man who did not love her.

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