Friday, January 3, 2020

Widow of former king dies a nun

Jan 3, 1910

Mother Maria Benedicta, the prioress of the Benedictine Convent of St. Cecilia at Ryde on the Isle of Wight, died on December 16 at the age of 78, reports the Washington Post.   Her grandson,  Prince Miguel, Duke of Viseu, married the American heiress Anita Rhinelander Stewart in September 1909.

Princess Adelaide Sofia Amelia of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg was born at Kleinheubach on April 3, 1831, the daughter of Hereditary Prince Constantine of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg and Princess Agnes of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.  She was nearly five when her mother died and seven when her father passed away. She and her brother, Karl, were raised by their paternal grandparents.

She was only 20 when she married former King Miguel of Portugal. He was 29 years her senior,  The couple had seven children, Infanta Maria das Neves, who married Prince Alfonso Carlos, Duke of San Jaime, the Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne,  Infante Miguel, Duke of Braganza, Infanta Maria Theresa, the third wife of Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria, Infanta Maria Josefa, the second wife of  Duke Karl Theodor in Bavaria, Infante Adelgunde, who is married to Prince Enrico of Bourbon-Parma, Infanta Maria Anne, the consort of Grand Duke Wilhelm IV of Luxembourg, and Infanta Maria Antonia, who is the second wife of Duke Roberto I of Parma.

King Miguel died in 1866, leaving Adelaide to raise their family alone.  Despite their status as exiled royals, she was said to be ambitious in her desire to marry her children into prominent royal houses.

She was a devout Catholic who decided to become a nun in 1895.  She entered Sainte Cécile de Solemnes Abbey in France, where she took her final vows in June 1897.   Her religious community later moved to the Isle of Wight.

Adelaide's son-in-law, Duke Karl Theodor in Bavaria, a noted oculist, died on November 30 at the age of 70. 

 Karl Theodor's daughter, Elisabeth, is the wife of King Albert of the Belgians, who succeeded to the throne on December 17, following the death of Albert's father, King Leopold II.

The prioress was often visited by female members of the British royal family when they "happened to be in the Isle of Wight."

1 comment:

Allan said...

Three of Duke Roberto I of Parma children were also nuns at St Cecilia’s in Ryde.