Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Princess Mafalda breaks sad news to Marie Jose

February 18, 1934

Princess Mafalda of  Hesse had the unenviable task of breaking the news of King Albert's death to her sister-in-law, Princess Marie Jose.

Mafalda, the wife of German Prince Philipp of Hesse and the second daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele, traveled from Naples to Rome to see Princess Marie Jose, the Princess of Piedmont," whose health at this moment is delicate," reports the New York Times.

The Prince of Piedmont is expected to leave for Brussels "immediately," but it is not yet known if the Princess will be able to accompany him.

Pope Pius has sent a personal message to Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians, Albert's widow.

The Belgian ambassador to Italy, the Prince de Ligne, was at a shooting party when he learned of King Albert's death.  He left immediately for Brussels and asked the American Ambassador Breckinridge Long if he could accompany his daughter back to Rome.

Ambassador Long is also said to be "extremely grief-stricken," as he personally knew King Albert, "who had been his guest" during a trip to Washington, D.C.

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