Monday, March 7, 2022

Future peer to marry a German countess


Edward Charles Rolle Fane Trefusis is second in line to the Barony of Clinton, the seventh oldest barony in the peerage of England.  He is the elder son of the Hon. Charles Patrick Rolle Trefusis and Rosanna (Rosy) Izat.

 Charles is the heir apparent to the Clinton barony as he is the only son of the 22nd Lord Clinton, Gerard Neville Mark Fane, later Fane Trefusis after changing his surname by Deed Poll in 1959. The name change took place two years after the death of his great-grandfather, Charles Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefusis, 21st Lord Clinton.  That same year,  Gerard married  Nicola Harriet Purdon Coote.  

Edward was born on February 16, 1994.

When the 21st Lord Clinton died on July 5, 1957, the barony went into abeyance as he had only two daughters,  the Hon. Harriet Fane (1887-1958) and the Hon. Fenella Fane(1889-1966).  

Harriet married in 1910 to Major Henry Neville Fane.  They were the parents of seven children, including Charles Neville Fane (1911-1940).  He was killed in action, leaving behind a widow, Gladys Lowther, a young son, Gerald (1934), and two daughters, Carol and Fiona.    

It was Gerard's Aunt Fenella, who played a role in making sure her nephew inherited the peerage. In 1914, she married the Hon. John Bowes-Lyon, 2nd son of the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.  John (1886-1930) was an older brother of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.  

It was on March 18, 1965, that Gerard received the Writ "summoning him to the House of Lords," which had been "passed under the Great Seal."  He told The Times that his Aunt Fenella had  "had let it go to me," the new Lord Clinton.  "I shall take my seat in the House of Lords as soon as it is practicable."  The new Lord Clinton was the senior male descendant through the female line of the 21st Lord Clinton.

Fenella and John were the parents of five daughters, including Anne Bowes-Lyon who married twice, first to Viscount Anson, and following their divorce, she married Prince Georg of Denmark.

A genetic defect in the Clinton family was in the family's DNA and affected male and female descendants.  The children of Harriet and Fenella were the most affected.  Three of Harriet's daughters, Idonea (1912-2002), Rosemary (1914-1972), and Ethelreda (1922-1996), and two of Fenella's daughters, Nerissa (1919-1986) and Katherine (1926-2014) were all born with severe mental disabilities.  Rosemary's twin brother, Edmund lived for only 11 months.   Fenella's first-born daughter, Patricia, was also 11 months old when she died in June 1917.

In the 1930s  Lord Clinton arranged for his five granddaughters to be placed in the Royal Earlswood Hospital in Redhill, Surrey, where the family believed the young girls would receive proper care.  

H Ill H Countess Caroline Anna Amalia zu Solms-Sonnewalde is the second of three daughters of the late H Ill H Count Alfred Otto Friedrich zu Solms-Sonnewalde (1932-1922) and Christine Hüsmert (1964)   She was born in Weldam in the Netherlands on August 13, 1994.

The marriage of Count Alfred zu Solms-Sonnewalde and Christine Hüsmert, MD

Count Alfred died on February 11, 2022, at Schloss Wurschen in Weissenburg, Germany, where he and his wife and three daughters lived after the fall of communism.   He was able to reacquire the family home in 1997 and spent ten years restoring the Schloss.  They lived in an apartment on two floors.  Other rooms including the ballroom are available for rent.

The late Count's estate was divided between his three daughters.  The eldest daughter, Countess Charlotte has taken over the estate, including the castle, Weldam, the Netherlands, while the youngest sister, Countess Isabelle, inherited Schloss Wurschen and other German properties.

Countess Caroline is the heir to her father's properties in Scotland.   

Count Alfred was the last male in the Solms-Sonnewalde line, which means this title is extinct.

Edward will eventually inherit the family seat at Heanton Satchville in Okehampton, Devon.  He has a BS in Agricultural Management and an MBA in Advanced Farm Management from the Royal Agricultural University.  He currently works as a trader at ADM Agriculture Ltd in London.

His grandfather is the largest private landowner in Devon.

The wedding will take place on May 23, 2023


José said...

I know that Graf Alfred was the last male of the Sonnenwalde branch of the Solms family.

Will this title be considered extinct or could it pass to the closer line - Solms-Braunfels or Solms-Lich - and start a new life as a junior line of one of these branches ?


Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

it is extinct