Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Princess Torlonia dead at 53

December 21, 1941

Elsie Moore Torlonia, the former wife of Don Marino Torlonia, Prince of Civitella-Cesi, died today in her apartment at 375 Fifth Avenue in New York City, reports the New York Times. 

She had suffered from a long illness and was 53.   

The princess survived by her three children, Prince Alessandro Torlonia; Mrs. Cristiana Lord, and Mrs. Francis X. Shields, the wife of the tennis player.

Both daughters live in New York City.  Prince Alessandro, who is married to Infanta Beatriz of Spain, left for Italy last week.   He had arrived in New York by clipper ship on November 20, as the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, and Italy cooperated to "enable him to visit his mother."  When about to leave for Italy on December 14, he was detained at Ellis Island by FBI agents but was released after twenty-four hours.

The former Elsie Moore was raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. Her family has been in the United States since colonial days.  She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Moore of New York and Greenwich.

She was born in Brooklyn in 1888.   While on a trip to Venice with her parents in 1905, she met Don Marino Torlonia, a member of the Italian aristocracy.  They married two years later at the Moores' summer home in Greenwich.

The couple separated in 1925.  Princess Torlonia returned to the United States with her three children.  She filed for divorce in Connecticut, charging her husband with adultery, and named an Italian noblewoman as the other woman.  She also renounced her Italian citizenship and was able to regain her American nationality. 

A reconciliation between the former couple took place several years later, and the princess brought her children back to Italy.

Don Marino died in March 1933.  Don Alessandro "inherited his father's estates and title claims. Most of his education took place in the United States, but after his father's death, Don Alessandro returned to live in Rome. 

Princess Torlonia remained in Italy last April when she returned to the United States.

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