Monday, September 8, 2014

Maria is an accomplished princess

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September 8, 1934

Princess Maria of Italy, who is reportedly engaged to Archduke Otto, heir to the former Austrian throne, is said to be an "accomplished young woman," reports the New York Times.

The 20-year-old princess is said to be "fond of music and plays the piano well."  She is a "singer of some attainments."  She enjoys tennis, and one of her favorite hobbies is to assist her father, King Vittorio Emanuele III, in "handling his immense collection of rare coins."

The king has a "world-wide reputation as a numismatist," and Princess Maria has obtained a "real knowledge of the subject."

The young princess has led a "quiet and retiring life," largely at the royal family's summer home at San Rossore, near Viareggio.   She resembles her mother, Queen Elena, "whose dark beauty dazzled Rome," when she came as a young bride from Montenegro.   Maria has "black eyes and almost black hair," which many see as the "perfect type of well-bred Montenegrin mountain girl."

She has been educated by governesses and tutors with occasional visits to Florence where she has attended lectures.

Princess Maria is the 5th and youngest child of King Vittorio Emanuele.  All four of her older siblings are married.  The eldest child, Princess Jolanda, "refused to be trammeled by considerations of royal tradition" when she married Count Calvi di Bergolo.   Crown Prince Umberto is married to Princess Marie Jose of Belgium.   Maria's two other sisters,  Mafalda and Giovanna, are married, respectively, to Prince Philipp of Hesse and King Boris III of Bulgaria.

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