Thursday, April 4, 2019

Cecilia McEwen (1937-2019), great-great granddaughter of Princess Feodora of Leiningen

Cecilia McEwen, who died at her home in Scotland on March 30, was a German countess by birth (not princess).  She was born Cecilia Leontine Mary von Weiksersheim in London on October 27, 1937, the only child of HSH Franz Maria Joseph Antonius Benedictus, Prince von Weikersheim (1904-1983) and HSH Princess Irma of Windisch-Graetz (1913-1984). 

 She was a great-great-granddaughter of HSH Princess Feodora of Leiningen, elder half sister of Queen Victoria and HSH Ernst, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg,  Cecilia was a descendant through Feodora's eldest son, Carl (1829-1907) whose marriage in 1861 to Maria Grafwohl was morganatic, He renounced his rights in April 1860.  King Wilhelm II of Württemberg created Maria Baroness von Bronn in 1891.  Her children were Barons and Baronesses von Bronn.

In 1911, Emperor Franz Josef of Austria created Carl as Prince of Weikersheim.  His children were created Count and Countess von Weikersheim.

Carl and Maria had three children: Carl (1862-1925), Viktoria (1863-1946) and Beatrix (1868-1932).  In  1898, Carl married Countess Maria Aloysia Czernin von und zu Chudenitz.  They were the parents of two sons, Carl and Franz, and three daughters.  Carl renounced his rights two days after his father's death, and titles passed to Franz.  (Carl was married twice to commoners and had no issue. He was declared missing in action Russia in February 1945.)

Franz settled in England in the mid-1930s.   The title became extinct on his death at Farringdon, on October 17, 1983.

Princess Irma Christiane Maximiliana Egona Huberto Maria Hugo of Windisch-Graetz was the eldest of four children of Hugo, Prince of Windisch-Graetz, and Princess Leontine of Fürstenberg,  The current Prince of Windisch-Graetz, Mariano Hugo, is her nephew.

Prince Franz and Princess Irma were married in Vienna on October 25, 1936.

Cecilia made her debut in society in 1956 and attended several balls where the Duchess of Kent and her family were the guests of honor.  In November 1958 she was one of the adult bridesmaids at the marriage of Earl of Erne and Camilla Marguerite Roberts.  A year later, she was one of the godparents of Lord and Lady Erne's first child, Lady Cleone Lucinda.

She grew  up in Langton House, Langton Green in Kent and London, where her parents had a home on Egerton Crescent.

Langton House was built in 1811 and was once the family home of Lord Baden-Powell.

Her engagement to Alexander Dundas McEwen, fourth son of  Sir John McEwen, Bt,  was announced on October 27, 1959.  The marriage took place at St. George's Cathedral in Southwark, London.

Here is a link to a photograph from Cecilia's wedding.  I do not have the rights to publish it,.

Cecilia McEwen was 81 years old.  She is survived by her three children, Sophie (April 8, 1961),  Alexander Francis Charles (June 12, 1962)  Hugo Gabriel (February 28, 1965) and five grandchildren: Thomas, Archie and Maximilian McEwen (sons of Alexander and his wife, Natasha) and Emma and Hector McEwen (children of Hugo and his wife, Monica).   Hugo and his family live in Sweden, where he is a freelance writer for The Daily Telegraph.

Alex and Natasha live at Fowberry Mains Farmhouse, Wooler, Northumberland.


Mark Ballard said...

Langton house where she grew up is or was recently for sale. Here is a link to some photos.

Jérôme said...

Film director Luchino Visconti di Modrone was in love with Irma zu Windisch-Graetz and asked for her hand but her father turned him down.

Allan said...

Thanks for the article on the sad event, out of interest Marie Grathwohl was created Baroness von Bronn on 4 March 1890.

Unknown said...

Thought I'd just come on to say that I'm Hugo, Cecilia's son. I wrote my mother's obituary in the Times.
Thank you for all this.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

thank you, Hugo, for your kind remarks. I hope you and your family are doing well