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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2021, 11:30:43 AM »

Princess Stéphanie of Belgium (21 May 1864 – 23 August 1945) and Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria (Rudolf Franz Karl Joseph)( 21 August 1858 – 30 January 1889)


Rudolf was the only son and third child of Emperor Franz Joseph I and Elisabeth of Bavaria. He was heir apparent to the Imperial throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from birth.

Stéphanie was born at the Royal Palace of Laeken in the Kingdom of Belgium. Her mother, Queen Marie Henriette, was an Archduchess of Austria by birth and aunt to the Queen of Spain. Her father, Leopold II of Belgium, finally became King of the Belgians in December 1865. The royal couple were ill-suited for each other and had an unhappy marriage. The contradictory Leopold II was serious and delicate. Marie Henriette was undisciplined, outspoken, and boisterous. Leopold was openly abrasive to her, and tried to dominate her with his criticisms and frequent infidelity. Leopold had little interest in Stéphanie and her older sister Princess Louise, and the education of his daughters was neglected as he focused all his doting attention on his son, Prince Léopold, Duke of Brabant, the future of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty in Belgium.


Brought up in the unhappy life that was the product of their parents' arranged marriage, Stéphanie and her sister did no better in their own. Louise married her second cousin, Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg, a harsh man who was fourteen years her senior. After she eloped with her lover, Leopold had her committed to a mental asylum. She was finally granted a divorce in 1907.

In March 1880, Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria was invited to the Belgian court at the insistence of Leopold II. Rudolf arrived in Brussels on 5 March. After meeting the fifteen-year-old Princess Stéphanie, he wrote to his mother, Empress Elisabeth that "[he had] found what [he] sought," noting that she was "pretty, good, [and] clever". Having refused Princess Mathilde of Saxony, as well as several Infantas of Portugal and Spain, he found that Stéphanie was one of the few available Catholic princesses in Europe. Under pressure by his parents to marry as soon as possible, the Crown Prince was satisfied with her and by the 7th of March, he asked for her hand and announced their engagement.

Rudolf's mother was deeply disappointed with the match as the Belgian monarchy dated only from 1830 and did not compare to the Habsburgs in terms of seniority, even though its royal house was a branch of that of Saxony (one of the oldest ruling houses in Europe). Rudolf's father was pleased, however, and approved the marriage.


Stéphanie was despatched to Vienna to be taught Imperial court etiquette in preparation for her marriage but a month after her arrival, the ladies-in-waiting realized that she had not yet reached puberty. When the obvious questions were put to her, it became clear that she had no idea what was meant; she had been left completely ignorant of the facts of life. The wedding had to be postponed, and the humiliated girl was sent back to Belgium for a time.

On 10 May 1881, a little over a week before her seventeenth birthday, Princess Stéphanie of Belgium married the Crown Prince in the Saint Augustine's Church in Vienna. Her parents walked her down the aisle.

The marriage was happy at first, but difficulties reportedly developed. Though intelligent, Rudolf was highly strung, unconventional, impulsive and very liberal, while Stéphanie's very conservative upbringing left her conventional, formal, and reactionary. Their only child, Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria, was born at Laxenburg Castle on 2 September 1883. She was known within the family as "Erzsi," short for "Erzsébet," the Hungarian form of "Elisabeth."

Stephanie received little support from the Imperial family during her marriage. Empress Elisabeth avoided Stéphanie and disdained her, believing her to be an inadequate match for her son. The relationship between Stephanie and Rudolf broke down quickly. In 1886, Rudolf infected Stephanie with gonorrhea which made further pregnancies impossible, and they reportedly discussed divorce. Both began to seek consolation outside their marriage.  During a visit to Galicia (presently, a region divided between Poland and Ukraine) in 1887, Stéphanie fell in love with a Polish Count. During the next eighteen months, she did not try to hide her affections for the count from her husband, who continued his own liaisons

In 1889 Rudolf and Baroness Mary Vetsera, his lover, were found dead. Their murder-suicide pact is known as the Mayerling incident.

Stéphanie married again on 22 March 1900 at Miramare. The groom was Count Lónyay de Nagy-Lónya et Vásárosnamény (Bodrogolaszi, 24 August 1863 - Budapest, 20 July 1946), a Hungarian nobleman of unequal rank who, in 1917, was elevated by the Emperor of Austria to the rank of Fürst (Prince). Her father was so furious at the marriage that he forbade Stéphanie to see her dying mother.


In 1935 she wanted to publish her memoir to set the record straight, but this caused a scandal and a court forbade their distribution. Police visited every bookshop in Vienna in order to seize the copies already on sale.In it she published Rudolf's last letter to her, and proclaimed that (in her view) he and the Baroness had made a suicide pact. Her memoir was eventually published outside of Austria in 1937 as Ich sollte Kaiserin werden (I Was To Be Empress)




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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2021, 11:39:53 AM »

Juan Carlos and Sofia.  A marriage the Spanish press kept selling as great when they had been leading separate lives for 30 years.  



Already for 30 years  Shocked

But indeed nice addition

30 years is a very conservative estimate.  Closer to 40 will be more realistic. 
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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2021, 11:48:36 AM »

Juan Carlos and Sofia.  A marriage the Spanish press kept selling as great when they had been leading separate lives for 30 years. 



Already for 30 years  Shocked

But indeed nice addition

30 years is a very conservative estimate.  Closer to 40 will be more realistic. 

Arranged marriage which was usually the case in those times.... the husband needs a suitable wife ... the Greeks were good at finding a wife for Tino and a husband for his sister.....

So Sophia would probably have turned her head the other way if her husband was more circumspect.... as she had a son she was going nowhere as she knew he’d get the golden prize one day
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2021, 11:50:49 AM »

As already mentioned by Kristallinchen:

Princess Louise of Belgium (French: Louise Marie Amélie)(18 February 1858 – 1 March 1924) and Ferdinand Philipp Maria August Raphael of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (28 March 1844 – 3 July 1921)


Louise was the eldest daughter of daughter of King Leopold II of Belgium and Queen Marie Henriette (born Archduchess of Austria).

Philipp was the second prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and lord of Csábrág and Szitnya, both in modern-day Slovakia. Born in the Tuileries Palace in Paris as Ferdinand Philipp Maria August Raphael of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, he was the eldest son of August, prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Clémentine of Orléans. His mother was a daughter of King Louis Philippe I of France. He was a member of the Catholic Koháry line of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry and an elder brother of Ferdinand, tsar of Bulgaria.


Louise has just celebrated her 14th birthday when she is actively sought after by several European princes because she has a pleasant exterior and her father is reputed to be wealthy. King Leopold II has long feared having to give her in marriage to the Prince Imperial, son and heir of Napoleon III. However, he considers the Bonapartes to be upstarts. After the fall of the Second French Empire and the proclamation of the French Third Republic, this "threat" fades and, very quickly, two candidates ask for the hand of the still teenage princess: Prince Frederick of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen –brother of the Countess of Flanders (sister-in-law of Leopold II)– and a 1st cousin once removed of King Leopold II, Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (member of the Koháry branch of the family)

Louise has been kept away from the matrimonial negotiations concerning her. However, once informed of her inminent engagement, she remembers favorably her future husband, fourteen years her senior, glimpsed during his visits to Brussels and that if they had said insignificant things to each other, she had the impression of "know him well, and have always been". She is looking forward to getting married. The betrothal, celebrated on 25 March 1874, lasted for a year because Louise is not reached yet a marriageable age and because both bride and groom are closely related was required a papal dispensation. After financial negotiations (King Leopold II wished to spend as little as possible), the wedding was concluded at the Royal Palace of Brussels on 4 February 1875. They settled in Vienna, where they had two children: Leopold Clement, born in 1878, and Dorothea, born in 1881.

Louise recalls in her memoirs: "Marrying me had become an obsession with him. What kind of love inspired him? Was he enamored of the grace of my chaste youth, or did the precise notion of the King's situation and the future of his undertakings inflame with a positive fire the heart of a man in love with the realities of down here?". She adds: "Healthy and pure, brought up in a beautiful balance of physical and moral health by the care of an incomparable mother, deprived by my rank, of more or less awake friends who make confidences, I gave myself all the energy of an ethereal confidence in the upcoming marriage, without realizing exactly what it could be"

Her marriage quickly fall apart. Louise, endowed with a strong and whole personality, refuses to submit to a husband who does not suit her and who was imposed by the reason of state. She reacts by leading a lavish and worldly life, making the heyday of the court of Vienna where her beauty attracts. Louise is quickly preceded by a reputation for scandal to which she gives credit by leading several successive affairs. In 1883, Louise began a liaison with Baron Daniël d'Ablaing de Giessenburg, her husband's military attaché. Queen Marie Henriette tries to convince her daughter to break up with the officer. Relations between Louise and her mother remain unstable, but the Queen is delighted to see her two daughters and her sons-in-law again during the festivities given in Brussels in honor of the fifty years of King Leopold II in April 1885. When Baron d'Ablaing died unexpectedly in 1888, Philipp replaced him with a young German aristocrat, Baron Nicolas Döry de Jobahàza, a distinguished horseman and hunting enthusiast. Louise quickly experiences passionate feelings for Döry, whom she sees a lot because her role as aide-de-camp requires a daily presence with the Coburg couple. While Philipp still has feelings for Louise, the latter takes advantage of her husband's absence to spend as much time as possible with Nicolas Döry. The liaison continues until Döry's marriage in October 1893. In May 1895, Louise meets, at the Prater in Vienna, a Croatian officer, Count Geza Mattachich, nine years her junior, who becomes her great love and benefactor. Louise's affair is known all over Europe. Queen Marie Henriette and King Leopold II forbid Stéphanie to see her sister Louise, who is no longer received in Belgium. On 18 February 1898, day of Louise's birthday, Prince Philipp challenges Geza Mattachich to a duel, in order to wash his honor as a scorned husband. Spared by his opponent, after two exchanges of balls without result followed by a duel, first with guns, then with swords,[50] in which the Prince was slightly injured in the hand. At the end of the duel, Mattachich joins Louise in Nice, where she was with her daughter. Philipp succeeds in separating Dorothea from her mother by sending the young girl and her fiancé Ernst Günther of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg to Dresden. Then, Philipp tries to settle the heavy debts of his wife, but he fails to fully meet the demands of the creditors. He addresses his father-in-law, King Leopold II, who refuses to pay any amount. Finally, it is Emperor Franz Joseph I who settles the debts by drawing on his personal cassette, causing the breakdown of relations between the King of the Belgians and the Emperor of Austria.

In 1898, a few weeks after the duel, Philipp and the Emperor of Austria were determined to bring Louise back to Austria and remove her from Mattachich's influence. Supported in his designs by the Belgian sovereigns, Philipp then had his wife declared insane and convinced Emperor Franz Joseph I to have her locked up in a psychiatric hospital. Louise had the choice between returning to the Palais Coburg or internment in a nursing home. She opts for the second solution: the nursing home in Döbling, near Vienna, where she is installed in a special pavilion, isolated from other residents because of her rank. Entered in May 1898, in Döbling, Louise is observed by various doctors, while Count Mattachich is accused of forgery in writing on drafts which he would have signed with the names of Louise and Stéphanie,[55] and imprisoned in the military prison of Zagreb. In January 1899, at the end of the pronouncement of his sentence, Geza is taken to the military prison of Möllersdorf, south of Vienna.

In November 1898, Louise was transferred to a sanatorium in Purkersdorf, also near Vienna, where she received more favorable treatment than in Döbling. Following the publication of several articles in the Austrian press favorable to his wife, Philipp believes that his own situation in Austria could become delicate. He therefore decides to have Louise installed outside the Empire. On 17 June 1899, Louise therefore was transferred to another medical institution, this time located in Saxony, the Lindenhof Sanatorium in Coswig, where she enjoys a villa in the park at her service and where she resides with her lady-in-waiting Anna von Gebauer and a maid, Olga Börner.Durin g her years of internment, apart from that of her daughter Dorothea, whom her mother wanted to see again in February 1903, Louise does not receive any other visit from her relatives, nor even that of Stéphanie.

While in detention near Vienna, Geza meets Maria Stöger, a 25-year-old married woman, who, having heard from the press of the affair with Louise, decides to work as a cantinière (lunch lady) in the Möllersdorf penitentiary where Geza is being held. She joins him in June 1899, manages to gain his trust and becomes his mistress. To obtain the release of her lover, she activates effectively with legal advisers before being retired from prison in June 1901. However, she lives near the prison and promotes the publication of press articles in favor of her lover. On 27 August 1902, Geza is pardoned and released. Geza is interviewed, in January 1903 by the French journalist and publisher Henri de Noussanne who becomes his friend and with whom he discusses his plans to free Louise. In exchange for exclusive rights to the story of the adventure planned for his daily newspaper Le Journal, he pays a monthly pension of 4,000 francs to Mattachich for one year.

Then Geza brings his plan to fruition and succeeds, on 31 August 1904, to make escape the princess then in thermal cure in Bad Elster, in Saxony, where the surveillance was somewhat relaxed. After a long journey, Louise, Geza, and Maria Stöger (who has just told the princess the true nature of her relationship with Mattachich)[69] arrive in France, where they stay at the Westminster hotel in the Rue de la Paix, Paris. The reactions of the Belgian royal family are lively: the Countess of Flanders (Louise's aunt), writes to her daughter Henriette that this kidnapping is an incredible thing and that her niece is unaware of her fate. Henriette answers him: "Louise Coburg's fugue is a dismal tragicomedy. This 46-year-old woman, faded and stamped, kidnapped in a car paid for by a French journalist, what will we see soon?".

In 1905, Louise was declared "sane" during a medical examination carried out by the judicial authorities in Paris. Prince Philipp proposes an amicable separation with a comfortable monthly pension of 7,000 Austro-Hungarian krones.The divorce was finally pronounced at Gotha on 15 January 1906,[73] but Louise, accustomed to living lavishly, finds herself in debt again and travels with Mattachich across Europe fleeing her numerous creditors.[74] From 1907, Maria Stöger no longer resides regularly with Louise and Geza, but the latter makes Anna von Gebauer, Louise's lady-in-waiting, his new mistress. While she has just signed an acknowledgment of debts amounting to 250,000 marks in Berlin, Louise learns, by November 1907, that her share of the jewelry of late Queen Marie Henriette (who died in 1902) seized by her creditors, is put on public sale. Then, it is Louise's wardrobe which is dispersed at auction in Vienna.

When King Leopold II died in December 1909, Louise returns to Belgium, but, because of her cohabitation with Mattachich, she is forced to remain in the shadow of the funeral ceremonies. Louise and her sisters discovered that their father had left as main beneficiary of his will to his chief mistress, the French prostitute Caroline Lacroix and a portion of his legacy to the Royal Trust, but also deliberately concealed property included in his estate in shell companies in Germany and France. His goal was not only to deprive his daughters of it, but also to allow his town planning projects to continue. Louise is determined to receive her share of the paternal inheritance. The Belgian state offers a financial transaction to the three daughters of the king who would each receive a sum of 2 million francs. If Stéphanie and Clémentine accept the proposal, Louise refuses it and intends, in December 1910, a first trial against the State and his two sisters. In April 1911, Louise initiates a second lawsuit concerning the French companies created by Léopold II. In 1912, Louise, with the help of her sister Stéphanie, who had become her ally, was defended by Henri Jaspar and Paul-Émile Janson and persevered in her legal actions. The two princesses refuse a new amicable agreement with the State, before being dismissed by the Court of Appeal of Brussels in April 1913. However, on 22 January 1914, an agreement is concluded between Louise, the Belgian State and some of her creditors: she receives, like her two sisters, a little more than 5 million francs from her late father's fortune

When World War I broke out in 1914, Louise and Geza resided in their apartments at the Parkhotel in Vienna-Hietzing. Up to August 1916, Louise and Geza live in Munich with Maria Stöger who joined them six months before, without suffering too much deprivation, but then financial resources dwindle. The annual pension of 50,000 francs paid to her by the Belgian state in her capacity as Princess of Belgium is cut. Louise takes out new loans. In April 1916, her son Leopold Clement, who had openly sided with his father and refused all contact with his mother, dies in tragic circumstances following a fight with his mistress who before committing suicide had thrown him acid in the face and then shoot him four times. On 25 August 1916 Geza is arrested at the instigation of the Austrian government which suspects him, as a Croatian subject, of conspiring against the Empire. He was sent to a camp not far from Budapest. Louise experiences poverty again and has to sell her jewelry in order to ensure her livelihood.

While trying to return to Belgium since 1920, Louise, who had become undesirable in her native country because of her situation as an "enemy subject", was forced to stay outside Belgian borders, so as not to offend public opinion still battered by the war.
During an illegal stay in Paris, Geza Mattachich died on 1 October 1923 following uremia aggravated by cardiac pathology, in the modest hotel where he and Louise were stayed. Now completely isolated because no member of the Belgian royal family wants to help or receive her in Belgium, in December of the same year, the Belgian consul general in Paris offered Louise to settle in Wiesbaden, where she moved to the Hotel Nassauer Hof with a lady-in-waiting and a maid.

In February 1924, Louise suffers from acute circulatory problems suddenly aggravated by a double congestion. In the early afternoon of Saturday 1 March, she receives a visit from a friend, Julius Fritz, who notices that she is dying. Fritz sets out to find a priest to administer the last rites to him, but when he returns with the clergyman, the two men can only note Louise's death at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. Three days later, after a very sober funeral ceremony, she was buried in the South Cemetery of Wiesbaden


Source: Wikipedia
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« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2021, 12:03:12 PM »

Also mentioned by Kristallinchen:

Archduchess Marie Henriette of Austria (Marie Henriette Anne)(23 August 1836 – 19 September 1902) and  King Leopold II of Belgium (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909).


Marie Henriette was one of five children from the marriage of Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary, and Duchess Maria Dorothea of Württemberg. Marie Henriette was a cousin of Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria, and granddaughter of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, through her father. She was also a first cousin, once removed to the future Queen Mary of the United Kingdom through her mother.

Leopold was born in Brussels on 9 April 1835, the second child of the reigning Belgian monarch, Leopold I, and of his second wife, Louise, the daughter of King Louis Philippe of France. Leopold was the second but eldest surviving son


One day before her 17th birthday, Marie Henriette married 18-year-old (then) Prince Leopold of Belgium on 22 August 1853. The marriage was arranged to strengthen the status of the Belgian Monarchy. As the former Protestant monarch of a newly established monarchy, the Belgian king wished his son to marry a member from a Roman Catholic and prestigious dynasty, and the name Habsburg was one of her more important qualities. The marriage further more created an historical link between the new Kingdom of Belgium and the Habsburg dynasty of the Austrian Netherlands.The marriage was suggested by her future father-in-law the king of Belgium to her guardian, the Archduke John of Austria, and arranged by the two men over her head. She was introduced to Leopold on an Imperial court ball at Hofburg in May 1853, and she was informed that she was to marry him. Neither she or Leopold made a good impression on each other. She protested against the marriage plans without success, but was convinced to submit to it by her mother. Leopold himself also commented that he had agreed to the marriage because of his father. Marie Henriette resigned from her rights to the Austrian throne and signed the marriage contract in Vienna on 8 August 1853. A wedding by proxy was celebrated at the Schönbrunn Palace on 10 August, after which she travelled to Brussels, where the final ceremony was celebrated with Leopold in person on 22 August. The wedding was followed by a tour through the Belgian provinces and a trip to Great Britain in October. Queen Victoria commented to king Leopold I about the differences between the couple. Marie Henriette was described as intelligent, well educated and cultivated, Leopold as well spoken and interested in military issues, but with no common interests whatsoever. The marriage was arranged against the will of both Marie Henriette and Leopold, and was to be unhappy from the start.

In 1858, Marie Henriette gave birth to her first child. The fact that the child was a girl was a cause of disappointment. The future heir to the throne was finally born in 1859. In 1860 and in 1864, Leopold made two more long health trips, this time without Marie Henriette, the last trip to Egypt, Ceylon, India and China. Both trips were made when Marie Henriette was pregnant, and she expressed her disappointment in being left at home with the children while he was making long journeys to faraway lands. On 10 December 1865, King Leopold I died and was succeeded by his son Leopold II, making Marie Henriette queen. When the king was enthroned, there were questions as to whether Marie Henriette should participate, but the king refused and the queen was instead reduced to being a spectator at the ceremony. Marie Henriette and Leopold still lived together during the first seven years as king and queen, but their relationship was distant, and Leopold was described as a polite but authoritarian husband. Marie Henriette was interested in opera and theatre and often visited the Royal Theatre of La Monnaie, where the royal box was extended with a private room where the queen could socialize with a circle of private friends she gathered over the years.

In 1869, the eldest son of the royal couple died. Marie Henriette did not show her grief as open as Leopold, but made several journeys to Switzerland and Hungary without Leopold to mourn, and developed an interest in religion. The king and queen temporarily reconciled in hopes of having another son, but when their efforts resulted in the birth of another daughter, Clementine, in 1872, they lived separately for the rest of their lives, though officially still married. Leopold II accused Marie Henriette of the death of their son, an accusation she could not forgive. She was also humiliated by Leopold's open adultery. After 1872 they were no longer personally involved with each other but continued to appear in public as king and queen. The wedding anniversary of the king and queen in August 1878 was the subject of national celebrations all over Belgium: Festivals were arranged, public buildings decorated and four holidays declared. Marie Henriette was given a tiara financed by the contributions of citizens through a public committee, and the queen held a patriotic speech in gratitude.

Queen Marie Henriette was interested in music and painting. Her main interest was in her Hungarian horses. She did not keep horses only for riding, but was actively engaged in their breeding. She also personally tended to their needs, something which was not customary for a royal woman to do in this time period and was considered eccentric.

After the death of her son, Marie Henriette left the care of her children almost entirely to governesses and tutors who reportedly abused their authority and treated them badly, while their mother became a distant figure to them and approved of the tutor's strict disciplinarian methods. She wished for her daughters to enter dynastic marriages. She was pleased with Louise's marriage

Queen Marie Henriette did not support king Leopold's interest in the Congo, who compared it to the failed project of the Mexican Empire and saw the whole colonial project as an unrealistic adventure.

Leopold had many mistresses. In 1899, in his 65th year, Leopold took as a mistress Caroline Lacroix, a 16-year-old French prostitute, and they remained together for the next decade until his death. Leopold lavished upon her large sums of money, estates, gifts, and a noble title, Baroness de Vaughan. Owing to these gifts and the unofficial nature of their relationship, Caroline became deeply unpopular among the Belgian people and internationally. She and Leopold married secretly in a religious ceremony five days before his death. Their failure to perform a civil ceremony rendered the marriage invalid under Belgian law. After the king's death, it soon emerged that he had left Caroline a large fortune, which the Belgian government and Leopold's three estranged daughters tried to seize as rightfully theirs. Caroline bore two sons, probably fathered by Leopold.

With their unhappy mariage both Leopold and Marie Henriette made their children unhappy / miserable.
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« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2021, 12:16:08 PM »

King Willem III of the Netherlands (Willem Alexander Paul Frederik Lodewijk) (19 February 1817 – 23 November 1890) and his 1st wife Sophie of Württemberg (Sophie Emma Matilda)(17 June 1818 – 3 June 1877)


Sophie was born in Stuttgart; her parents were King Willhelm I of Württemberg and Grand Duchess Catharina Pavlovna of Russia, the fourth eldest daughter of Tsar Paul I. Shortly after Sophie's birth, her mother died, and she was cared for by her aunt, Catharina of Württemberg. She was niece of tsars Alexander I and Nicholas I of Russia.

Willem was the son of King Willem II and Anna Pavlovna of Russia. On the abdication of his grandfather Willem I in 1840, he became the Prince of Orange. On the death of his father in 1849, he succeeded as king of the Netherlands.

Their mothers Catharina and Anna were sisters, therefore the couple were 1st cousins.


Sophie married her maternal first cousin, the future Prince of Orange (later King Willem III), in Stuttgart on 18 June 1839 with the idea that she would in the end succeed in dominating him. The marriage was arranged. Her father, while being a liberal progressive in other aspects, still favored dynastic marriages and wished for his daughters to marry monarchs. Prior to her marriage, King Otto of Greece and Duke William of Brunswick were possible suitors for Princess Sophie. The engagement with the first came to nothing because Princess Sophie's ambitious father had no confidence in the newly established Greek monarchy of Otto. Chance prevented a proposal by the second candidate because her father let it be known that Princess Sophie was already betrothed. Sophie herself had preferred to marry Wilhelm of Brunswick, and she stated herself that her marriage to Willem of The Netherlands was a sacrifice she made to her father.

After the wedding, Sophie and Willem settled in the Paleis aan het Plein in The Hague. Sophie came to have a good relationship to her father-in-law as well as to her uncle-in-law Prince Frederick of the Netherlands. King Willem's mother, whom he completely relied on, was totally against the marriage to a daughter of the sister she loathed and treated her daughter-in-law and niece with disdain. She and her mother-in-law Anna was never to be on good terms: Anna was also her maternal aunt, but she had never been on good terms with her sister, Sophie's mother, and she had opposed the marriage between Sophie and her son.

The marriage between Sophie and Willem was arranged and never a happy one. Their relationship was not improved by the birth of their children, whose upbringing was a constant cause for conflict between their parents. Willem was constantly unfaithful. Sophie did not wish to live with him and devoted herself on cultivating her own intellectual interests and the private study of various subjects. A divorce was contemplated early on, but was continually postponed because it was not seen as suitable for a king and queen.


In March 1849, king Willem II suddenly died. Willem III and Sophie were crowned and king and queen of The Netherlands on 12 May 1849 and settled in the Noordeinde Palace. The relationship between Sophie and Willem was not improved, and they continued to be in a state of constant conflict. Their son Maurits died in 1850 after both parents had hired a different physician since they could not agree on how his illness should be treated. When Sophie was pregnant with their third son Alexander (1851–1884), Willem had their eldest son sent to boarding school despite Sophie's opposition.

Intellectually, Queen Sophie was superior to her husband. She, on the other hand, did not fit his sensual character. While he loved contemporary painting, music and theatre, she had a specific interest in history and science. Willem III had several extramarital relations. She let it be publicly known that she found him inferior and unsuitable to be king, and that she would do better as a regent for her son.

The discussions of divorce continued after they became king and queen. Both Sophie and Willem mutually wished to have a divorce, but a divorce was seen as an impossible scandal because of their position. By the mediation of Prince Frederik of the Netherlands, a formal separation without divorce was finalized in 1855, and it was decided that the couple was to remain formally married in public, but allowed to live separate lives in practice.Willem was to be given full right to decide about the upbringing of their eldest son, while Sophie was given full custody of their youngest, Alexander. Sophie was to fulfill her representational duties as queen in public, but allowed to live her private life as she wished.From 1855 the couple lived separately during the summer season.

Sophie was an unusual queen with her left leaning political opinions and scientific interests, and her non-dogmatic views on religion, her support for a progressive development and her distain for etiquette gave her the soubriquet "la reine rouge" ('The Red Queen'). Sophie died at Huis ten Bosch Palace in the Hague. She was buried in her wedding dress, because, in her own view, her life had ended on the day she married.

In 1877 when Queen Sophie died years of war in the palace came to an end. In the same year, King Willem announced his intention to marry Émilie Ambre, a French opera singer, whom he ennobled as countess d'Ambroise – without government consent. Under pressure from society and the government, he abandoned these marriage plans. Willem remained eager to remarry. In 1878, he first proposed to his niece, Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Weimar. He then considered marriage with Princess Pauline of Waldeck and Pyrmont, a small German principality, and Princess Thyra of Denmark, who had her own private scandalous history. He finally decided to marry Pauline's younger sister Emma. Some politicians were quite angry, as she was 41 years the king's junior. Emma showed herself, however, as a cordial woman. Willem asked permission from parliament, this was easily granted. The couple were quickly married in Arolsen on 7 January 1879. Emma had a relieving influence on William's capricious personality and the marriage was happy. The king had stopped interfering with most aspects of government. In 1880, Wilhelmina was born. She became heir presumptive in 1884 after the death of the last remaining son from Willem's first marriage. Many potential male heirs had died between 1878 and 1884.



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« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2021, 12:25:01 PM »

Maria Sophie Amalie, Duchess in Bavaria (4 October 1841 – 19 January 1925) and  Francis II of the Two Sicilies (Francesco d'Assisi Maria Leopoldo)( 16 January 1836 – 27 December 1894)


Maria Sophie was one of the ten children of Maximilian Joseph, Duke in Bavaria and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria. She was born as Duchess Maria Sophia in Bavaria. She was the younger sister of the better-known Elisabeth of Bavaria ("Sisi") who married Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria.

Francis was the only son and heir of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies by his first wife, Maria Christina of Savoy, Francis II was the last of the Bourbon kings of Naples, where he was born in 1836. His education had been much neglected and he proved a man of weak character, greatly influenced by his stepmother Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, whom he feared, and also by the priests, and by the camarilla, or reactionary court set.

On 8 January 1859 in Munich at the Allerheiligen-Hofkirche Maria Sophie was married by proxy and then again married in-person on 3 February 1859 in Bari to Francis then the Duke of Calabria. Within the year, with the death of the king, her husband ascended to the throne as Francis II of the Two Sicilies, and Maria Sophie became queen of a realm that was shortly to be overwhelmed by the forces of Giuseppe Garibaldi and the Piedmontese army.

However, their marriage was unhappy. Their only daughter, Maria Cristina, was born ten years after her parents married, and lived only three months (24 December 1869 – 28 March 1870).


Maria Sophie's wealth and privilege were, to a certain extent, overshadowed by personal tragedies. Her marriage was not consummated for many years, as her husband suffered from phimosis. While in exile in Rome, Maria fell in love with another man, may be with an officer of the papal guard, and became pregnant by him. She retreated to her parents' home at Possenhofen, where a family council decided that she must give birth in secret to prevent scandal. On 24 November 1862, Maria Sophie gave birth to a daughter in St. Ursula's Convent in Augsburg. The child was immediately given to the family of the father. Maria Sophia was forced to promise that she would never see her daughter again. In later life, Maria Sophie suffered from depression, which is believed to have been rooted in this event.

A year later, on the advice of her family, Maria Sophia decided to confess the affair to her husband. Afterwards, the relationship between the two improved for a time. Francis submitted to an operation which allowed him to consummate the marriage, and Maria became pregnant a second time, this time by her husband. Both were overjoyed at the turn of events and full of hope. On 24 December 1869, after ten years of marriage, Marie Sophie gave birth to a daughter, Maria Cristina Pia. Cristina was born on the birthday of her aunt, Empress Elisabeth, who became her godmother. Unfortunately, the baby lived only three months and died on 28 March 1870. Maria Sophie and her husband never had another child.



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« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2021, 12:32:11 PM »

Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha ((25 November 1876 – 2 March 1936) and her 1st husband Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse (German: Ernst Ludwig Karl Albrecht Wilhelm)(25 November 1868 – 9 October 1937)

Victoria Melita was the third child and second daughter of Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and of Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. She was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and also of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. Born a British princess, Victoria spent her early life in England and lived for three years in Malta, where her father served in the Royal Navy. In 1889 the family moved to Coburg, where Victoria's father became the reigning duke in 1893. In her teens Victoria fell in love with her first cousin Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia (the son of her mother's brother, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia) but his faith, Orthodox Christianity, discouraged marriage between first cousins.

Ernest Louis was the elder son of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was named Louis after his father. His nickname was "Ernie". One of seven siblings, two of whom died in childhood, Ernest grew up with his four surviving sisters in Darmstadt.

Bowing to family pressure, Victoria married her paternal first-cousin, Ernest Louis, in 1894, following the wishes of their grandmother, Queen Victoria. The marriage failed – Victoria Melita scandalized the royal families of Europe when she divorced her husband in 1901. The couple's only child, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine, died of typhoid fever in 1903.


Victoria married Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich in 1905. They wed without the formal approval of Britain's King Edward VII (as the Royal Marriages Act 1772 would have required), and in defiance of Russia's Emperor Nicholas II. In retaliation, the Tsar stripped Kirill of his offices and honours, also initially banishing the couple from Russia. They had two daughters and settled in Paris before being allowed to visit Russia in 1909. In 1910 they moved to Russia, where Nicholas recognized Victoria Melita as Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna. After the fall of the Russian monarchy in 1917 they escaped to Finland (then still part of the Russian Republic) where she gave birth to her only son in August 1917. In exile they lived for some years among her relatives in Germany, and from the late 1920s on an estate they bought in Saint-Briac in Brittany. In 1926 Kirill proclaimed himself Russian emperor in exile, and Victoria supported her husband's claims. Victoria died after suffering a stroke while visiting her daughter Maria in Amorbach (Lower Franconia).

Ernest Louis remarried in Darmstadt, on 2 February 1905, to Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich (17 September 1871 – 16 November 1937). This marriage proved harmonious and happy. The couple had two sons

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« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2021, 12:38:50 PM »

Wow Principessa, you've really earned your PhD in Sour Royal Marriages here!  Jumping So interesting! And reminds me I need to order that "Twilight of Empire" book off my wishlist, about the Mayerling incident.
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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2021, 12:40:38 PM »

Tessy Antony (28 October 1985) and Prince Louis of Luxembourg (Louis Xavier Marie Guillaume) (born 3 August 1986)

Tessy is the daughter of François Antony and Régine Anne Heidemann.She has one older sister and three brothers. One of her older brothers died shortly after his birth. One brother is her twin (Ronny)

Louis is the third son of the Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.


Tessy met  Louis for the first time while they were both a member of the Luxembourg army. On 12 March 2006, Tessy gave birth to a boy, christened Gabriel Michael Louis Ronny de Nassau, who was born at a private Swiss hospital, Clinic des Grangettes, in Geneva. The baby was the first grandchild for Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa.

The couple married on 29 September 2006 at a parish church in Gilsdorf. Upon their marriage, Prince Louis gave up succession rights for himself and his descendants, but retained the title of Prince of Luxembourg and the style of Royal Highness.

The couple's second son, Noah Etienne Guillaume Gabriel Matthias Xavier de Nassau, was born on 21 September 2007 at Grand Duchess Charlotte Maternity Hospital. The couple's sons were initially given the surname de Nassau with no titles. Sometime after the birth of Noah, Tessy had a third pregnancy which ended in a miscarriage. She has called it "one of the most difficult situations I have ever faced."


On Luxembourg's National Day on 23 June 2009, a decree was issued granting Tessy the title of Princess of Luxembourg and Princess of Bourbon-Parma with the style Her Royal Highness. The same decree gave the title Prince of Nassau and style Royal Highness to her and Louis' sons Gabriel and Noah and possible future children. In 2012, Princess Tessy received the Order of Civil and Military Merit of Adolph of Nassau. The decree granting Tessy de Nassau the rank of Princess of Luxembourg was, however, unlike previous decrees conferring titles, not made transparent to the public.


On 18 January 2017, the Grand Ducal Court announced the separation of the Prince and Princess, and their intention to divorce, whereupon Princess Tessy lost her Grand Ducal titles


The divorce proceedings occurred in London, and the divorce was finalized on 4 April 2019.


On 31 December 2020, Tessy announced her engagement to Swiss businessman Frank Floessel on social media.They married on 23 July 2021 in Zürich, Switzerland. On 24 February 2021, she and Floessel announced via Instagram that they are expecting their first child together. It will be Tessy's third and Floessel's second child (he has a daughter, Julia). On 24 June 2021 Tessy announced the baby would be a boy.


On 6 April 2021, the Grand Ducal Court announced the engagement of Prince Louis to Scarlett-Lauren Sirgue (8 August 1991). She is the daughter of Pierre Sirgue, a lawyer and former member of the French National Assembly for National Front (a far-right political party), and Scarlett Berrebi, a lawyer.
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« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2021, 12:41:13 PM »

Wow Principessa, you've really earned your PhD in Sour Royal Marriages here!  Jumping So interesting! And reminds me I need to order that "Twilight of Empire" book off my wishlist, about the Mayerling incident.

Thank you! 
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« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2021, 12:45:40 PM »

Prince Jean of Luxembourg (Jean Félix Marie Guillaume)(15 May 1957) and his 1st wife Hélène Suzanna Vestur (31 May 1958)

Jean is the second son of Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium. He is the twin brother of Princess Margaretha. He frequently goes by the name of Jean Nassau.

Hélène is the daughter of François Philippe Vestur (1927) and Cécile Ernestine Buisson (1928)

The couple married on 27 May 1987. Hélène and children bore the title "Count(ess) of Nassau" from 21 September 1995.On 27 November 2004 Grand-Duc Henri issued an Arrêté Grand-Ducal upgrading the titles of Prince Jean's children to Prince/Princesse de Nassau with the qualification of Altesse Royale, without succession rights. The prince and former countess divorced in 2004, having had four children together


On 18 March 2009, Prince Jean married Diane de Guerre (13 July 1962). She is a daughter of Belgian aristocrat General Claude Gaston de Guerre (1910–1997) and German Countess Eugenie Wolff-Metternich zur Gracht (1923–2016), and based on the grand ducal house law was granted the title of "Comtesse de Nassau" (Countess Diane of Nassau).
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« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2021, 12:51:33 PM »

Prince Joachim of Denmark (Joachim Holger Waldemar Christian) (7 June 1969) and his 1st wife Alexandra Christina Manley (30 June 1964).

Of English, Chinese, Czech, Iranian, Armenian and Austrian ancestry, Alexandra Manley was born in Hong Kong, as the eldest of three daughters of Richard Nigel Manley (born in Shanghai, China on 11 August 1924 to a father of English, Armenian, Iranian and Chinese ancestry, died 12 January 2010) and Christa Maria Manley of Czech and Austrian descent (born Christa Maria Nowotny in Austria in 1933). Her father was an insurance company executive and her mother was the manager of a communications company.

Joachim is the younger son of Queen Margrethe II, he is sixth in the line of succession to the Danish throne, following his elder brother, Crown Prince Frederik, and Frederik's four children.


Alexandra met Prince Joachim at a private dinner in Hong Kong in January 1994, where he was working for a Danish shipping company. After a whirlwind courtship, thought to have begun in late 1994, Prince Joachim presented Alexandra with a diamond and ruby engagement ring while on vacation in the Philippines. Their engagement was officially announced in May 1995. They were married on 18 November 1995.


Through the span of their 9-year marriage, Joachim and Alexandra welcomed two sons. On 28 August 1999, Prince Nikolai, the first grandchild of the Queen and Prince Consort, was born. His younger brother, Prince Felix, followed three years later on 22 July 2002.


Alexandra became popular with the Danish people. Known for her fashion sense and charity work, she was dubbed the Diana of the North. She is a native English and German speaker (through her father and mother, respectively), and her fluency in German helped her pick up the Danish language quickly. Within a few months she spoke it nearly without accent, which further endeared her to the Danes.


On 16 September 2004, Alexandra and Joachim announced their separation and eventual intention to divorce. It would be the first in the Royal Family since 1846. The Folketing decided to put Alexandra on the civil list for life, independent of her possible future remarriage. Alexandra's payments of her new yearly allowance of 2.1m kroner (US$330,000) started retroactively from 1 October 2004. The couple divorced on 8 April 2005.


As early as mid-2005, there were reports and pictures of Alexandra with Martin Jørgensen, the son of Jacob Jørgensen, a well-known film producer whose company, JJ Film, has produced – and continues to produce – numerous documentaries in which the Danish royal family has participated. Alexandra married Martin Jørgensen on 3 March 2007. In September 2015, it was announced that Jørgensen and the Countess were divorcing after eight and a half years of marriage. The Countess had cited differences in values as the reason for the divorce. The divorce was finalised in 2015.


Alexandra still occasionally attends events with the Danish royal family.


On 3 October 2007, the Danish court announced that Prince Joachim had become engaged to French native Marie Cavallier (6 February 1976) Their wedding took place on 24 May 2008 in Møgeltønder Church near Schackenborg Castle. The wedding date marked the 73rd anniversary of the wedding of Joachim's grandparents, King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark.[15] The couple have two children, Prince Henrik and Princess Athena.
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« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2021, 01:00:58 PM »

Princess Stéphanie Marie Elisabeth of Monaco (1 February 1965) and Daniel Ducruet (27 November 1964)

Stéphanie is the youngest child of Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and the American actress Grace Kelly. She is the younger sister of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Caroline, Princess of Hanover. Currently 14th in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne.

Daniel was born in Beausoleil, Alpes-Maritimes to Henri Ducruet, a manual laborer and his wife Maguy (née Barbero), a homemaker.

Daniel attended the University of Nice but dropped out after a year. He worked as a bodybuilder, pet shop clerk and a fishmonger before being accepted into Monaco's police force as a trainee officer in 1986. Within two years he had been appointed a Palace bodyguard with responsibility for Prince Albert. In 1991, he was appointed by Prince Rainier to accompany his daughter Princess Stéphanie as bodyguard on her ill-fated tour to promote her record album.

Daniel's first marriage to Sandra Naccache ended in divorce in the mid-1980s.

Daniel's girlfriend Martine Malbouvier was six months pregnant with his first child when he went public with his relationship with Princess Stéphanie. His first son, Michaël Ducruet, was born in February 1992. On 26 November 1992, ten months after the birth of his first child, Ducruet had a second son Louis Robert Paul with Princess Stéphanie.


Stéphanie campaigned long and hard for her father to approve a marriage between her and Daniel, since he was reluctant to sanction a marriage between the two. Only after the birth of their second child, a daughter Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet, born on 4 May 1994, and his own double-bypass surgery did Prince Rainier give his blessing. Louis and Pauline Ducruet were legitimated by their parents' marriage and are currently 15th and 16th in the line of succession to the Monégasque throne.


On 1 July 1995 Daniel and Princess Stéphanie were married in a civil ceremony at the Monaco town hall. In September 1996, Daniel's infidelity with Muriel "Fili" Mol-Houteman, Miss Bare Breasts of Belgium 1995, was photographed by the paparazzi and the images were published in the Italian tabloids Evatremila and Gente. Daniel said that he was set up. At the height of the scandal, a 90-minute video of the Ducruet's encounter with Houteman sold in Italy. When the story made headlines, Daniel fled to Morocco. Upon his return he met with his wife who then submitted, to her father, a written request for a divorce, dated 16 September 1996. Princess Stéphanie divorced Daniel on 4 October 1996.


Currently, Daniel is married to Kelly Marie Carla Lancien. They have a daughter, Linoué.


Stéphanie gave birth to her third child, Camille Gottlieb, on 15 July 1998 at Princess Grace Hospital Centre. Although she did not identify the father's name on the birth certificate, many suspected, from the start, that Camille's father is her Head of Security Jean Raymond Gottlieb and, indeed, Camille herself has acknowledged Gottlieb as her father.  As her parents never married, Camille is not included in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne.

In 2001, Stéphanie began a relationship with married elephant trainer Franco Knie and moved, along with her three children, into Knie's circus caravan. However, that relationship came to an end in 2002, and Stéphanie and her family returned to Monaco.On 12 September 2003, Stéphanie married Portuguese acrobat Adans Lopez Peres, a member of Knie's circus ensemble. The marriage ended in divorce on 24 November 2004.
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« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2021, 01:08:35 PM »

Marie-José of Belgium (Marie-José Charlotte Sophie Amélie Henriette Gabrielle) (4 August 1906 – 27 January 2001) and Umberto II of Italy (Umberto Nicola Tommaso Giovanni Maria di Savoia) (15 September 1904 – 18 March 1983).


Umberto was born at the Castle of Racconigi in Piedmont. He was the third child, and the only son, of King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and his wife, Jelena of Montenegro. As such, he became heir apparent upon his birth, since the Italian throne was limited to male descendants.

Princess Marie-José was born in Ostend, the youngest child of King Albert I of the Belgians and his consort, Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria.

On 8 January 1930, Marie-José married Crown Prince Umberto of Italy, from the House of Savoy, at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, and so became Princess of Piedmont (Italian: Principessa di Piemonte). It has been said that this marriage was arranged, as the were one of the few Catholic royals left and "available" (with regard to age, statute and related). The couple had four children.


During the Second World War she was one of the very few diplomatic channels between the German/Italian camp and the other European countries involved in the war, as she was the sister of Leopold III of Belgium (kept hostage by the German forces) and at the same time, as the wife of the heir to the throne, close to some of the ministers of Benito Mussolini's cabinet. A British diplomat in Rome recorded that the Princess of Piedmont was the only member of the Italian Royal Family with good political judgment. Mussolini's mistress, Claretta Petacci, claimed in her diary that in 1937 the then princess and wife of the heir to the throne tried and failed to seduce the dictator at a beach resort near Rome. However, Mussolini's son, Romano, claims that the princess and dictator entered into a sexual relationship.

Following Italy's defection to the Allied side in the war, her discredited father-in-law, King Victor Emmanuel III, withdrew from government. Her husband became acting monarch under the title of Lieutenant General of the Realm. He and Marie-José toured war torn Italy, where they made a positive impression. However, King Victor Emmanuel III refused to abdicate until only weeks before the referendum. Upon the eventual abdication on 9 May 1946 of her father-in-law, Marie-José became Queen consort of Italy, and remained such until the monarchy was abolished by plebiscite, on 2 June 1946.

In exile, the family gathered for a brief time on the Portuguese Riviera, but she and Umberto separated. She and their four children soon left for Switzerland where she lived most of the time for the rest of her life, while Umberto remained in Portugal. However, the couple, both devout Catholics, never divorced. The republican constitution not only forbade the restoration of the monarchy, but also barred all male members of the House of Savoy, as well as former queens consort, from returning to Italian soil.


For some time, she lived in Mexico with her daughter, Princess Marie-Beatrice, and her grandchildren. Marie-José returned to Italy after her husband's death in 1983. She herself died in a Geneva clinic of lung cancer at the age of 94, surviving her two brothers and some of her nieces and nephews.

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