Interesting side-line of the Albanian Royal family: The Wied Family
Fürstin Marie of Wied was born on July 5th 1841 at "De Pauw" in Wassenaar. Quite a modest person, impregnated that duty always came first,she grew up lonely. Both her brothers Willem and Frederik had died young and her only sister Louise married the Crown Prince of Norway and Sweden in 1850, Marie was 9.
Her mother was the dominating(and quite impossible) Louise of Prussia, so Marie's younger years were unhappy most of the time. It proved almost impossible to find a suitor for her as she wasn't exactly blessed with good looks,but also developed a hearing disability since childhood, she was nearly deaf.
In 1869 Fürst Wilhelm of Wied wished to marry her, and dispite protests from Berlin(a Prince without any land marrying the offspring of the Prussians. Nonetheless King Willem III approved of the marriage and Marie's engagement was announced in the same year. The wedding, however,had to be postponed twice,first because of the French-German war, and then because both Marie's mother and sister Louise, Queen of Sweden, died within a short period of time.
The wedding finally took place at "De Pauw"on july 18th 1871.
The couple lived at Neuwied Palace and was blessed with 3 sons and 2 daughters.Marie's sister in law was the legendary Carmen Sylva, sister of Wilhelm married to King Carol I,Marie's mother in law,was another eccentric, néé Princess of Nassau. Missy(the notorious blabbermouth) wrote about the quite bizar Wied family in which the prozaic Princess Marie stood out, she greatly admired Marie and described her as;"a tres grande dame, completely without any form of eccentricity".
Marie and her family often visited Prince Frederik at "De Pauw"or stayed with her favorite aunt, Queen Sophie,at Huis ten Bosch Palace. The difficulties within the dutch RF (the unhappy marriage of Sophie and Willem III,ao) affected Marie deeply, and she and her husband represented the RF on many occasions in The Netherlands, and remained wellknown and respected figures here.
The bond between the dutch RF and the Wieds became even stronger from the time Queen Emma married Willem III. Marie's mother in law was a sister of Emma's mother, they not only shared the same family background but also the same views in general. After grandduchess Sophie's death, Emma had a strong supporter in Marie, with whom she "talked about everything".
In the days of the engagement of Queen Wilhelmina with Hendrik ,Emma wrote Marie how relieved she was her daughter was to marry and how she beamed with happiness. Marie must have frowned upon the news, as her own son, Wilhelm,was since long seen as a possible suitor for the young Queen. But, that was blocked by Emma. "Family ties were too close, and besides, A Wied wasn't good enough for a Queen". (The joy with which matchmaker Emma wrote her niece was totally misplaced as history would learn,soon). Wilhelm eventually married (1906) Princess Sophie of Schönburg-Waldenburg. Emma had more "whiffs"of Hoheitsfieber (a german expression, could be translated in superiority complex, to put it mildly) as she, Emma,also strongly disapproved of the marriage of Marie's son with Pauline of Württemberg, daughter of Emma's sister, as a Princess of the blood Royal was no match to the "simple" Wieds. This remark caused the Fürst of Wied to travel home highly irritated,right away after the Inthronisation ceremony of Queen Wilhelmina in 1898. Nonetheless, Queen's Emma and Wilhelmina attended the baptism of the couples firstborn at Potsdam,as Wilhelmina was the childs godmother.
So,we have that bond between Marie and Emma,w ith Marie always remaining her kind self, and Emma,allthough seemingly friendly, was the umptiest country girl from germany that forgot where she'd come from.S eemingly friendly, but exceptionally formal, the latter was forgiven for the first,and Marie must have thought the same, and remained on friendly terms. Being Her Majesty in public was justified, but to remain as distant in private towards family members, shows how Emma was clinging on to her status, at all times, unable to lay down her Royal mask and to give herself openly. Not wishing to sound too harsh on Emma, it must have been extremely difficult to be in her position at a time women had to really "fight" to be taken seriously, and to have all the responsibility she was bestowed with. But she did revel in it at times, and wasn't quite the distant aloof saintly lady at all times we dutch in general, think she was.
As the marriage of the young Wilhelmina remained childless for such a long time, (stillborn son and several miscarriages) Marie's son Fritz came in the spotlights, this time as a possible heir to the dutch Throne. (When Wilhelmina was ill with typhoid fever in 1902,the Prince had travelled to The Netherlands "to be at hand", just in case), furthermore Fritz's father in law, the King of Württemberg, had visited the Dutch Court at the time, and that only fuelled to the matter of Fritz's possibly becoming heir. That, however was highly frowned upon here, and deemed very undesirable, and it was with immens joy, and a sigh of relief, that dear Juliana was welcomed in 1909.
Princess Sophie von Wied Fürstin of Albania
Wilhelm,was bestowed with the (questionable..)honour of becoming Reigning Prince of Albania.Then as now still,a troublesome godforlorn piece of rocks and pebbles in the Balkan,then as now,no charm whatshowever,not from a landscape point of view,nor it's population,now and then,one of Europes poorhouses.Not to mention the backwardness.How on earth the position appealed to Wilhelm is lost on me,but others might clear that up.
Wilhelm I of Albania with his daughter,Princess Marie Eleonore
Fürst Friedrich Wilhelm and Fürstin Sophie Charlotte with daughter Princess Christina
Prince Ulrich and Princess Ilke with son Prince Wilhelm zu Wied
The Württembergs and zu Wieds(including the late Madame la Comtesse de Paris)