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Old 10-29-2016, 02:25 AM
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Prince Charles's Marriage Prospects pre Diana and Camilla

Until he took a ride on the matrimony pony that fateful July day in 1981, Prince Charles was the most eligible bachelor in the world With his name being thrown together with a bewildering variety of young women from childhood. This thread is to discuss the 'what-ifs' of Prince Charles marriage prospects, which began in earnest At the tender age of 8, when The Express published an article arguing about the limited pool of potential candidates - mostly the daughters of aristocratic grandees and foreign princess's - and the need to loosen the requirements of a royal bride, which were in the post war era becoming needlessly burdensome and restrictive.

To complicate matters, the question of who would marry Charles and be future Queen also unfortunalty the subject of an unseemly court faction fight between the Queen Mother and Mountbatten pushing forward their own candidates, with the hope that their one would help check the others and either push for greater modernisation (Uncle Dickie) or maintain the good old ways (Cookie).

This ISN'T the old "Diana Vs Camilla" debate, so please only mention them when you need to, but all the other 'what ifs' and possiblites that often get overlooked. For example what if Amanda Knatchbull said yes when Ch popped the question? what if Ch married a foreign princess, say, Anne Marie of Denmark? One of the other women he was linked to? Tricia Nixon? (Ok Tricia is far fetched but still ... an intriguing possibility .....)
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Old 10-29-2016, 03:03 AM
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It was said at the time he met the Nixon girls that Tricky Dickie and his wife would have been highly delighted if there'd been a spark of interest. Unfortunately there wasn't, and that's what it all really comes down to doesn't it? The Press can match royals of the opposite sex all they like, Carl Gustav of Sweden was often matched with Princess Anne in the 1960's, of all things, but if there's nothing there, that's it.
It was the same with Amanda K. She liked Charles as an older friend and nothing else. The initial sexual attraction wasn't there and Amanda had enough sense to know marriage wouldn't work out without romantic love. So much easier in Albert Edward's (Bertie's) day. Your mother and sister looked through the likely candidates, including their photographs, and before you knew where you were you were in some garden proposing!

Which candidates turned up in the Express article of 1957? It would be fun to see what happened to each of these girls.
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Old 10-29-2016, 03:37 AM
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I can't find the actual article in question but both Anne Marie Denmark and Maria Christina of the Netherlands were explicitly mentioned in American Newspapers of the period (Ive lost my access to ProQuest Newspapers so I can't cite the paper but I think it was the Chicago Tribune). The original article was actually to critize the RF's approach to marriage partners and was I think the owner of the paper (can't remember who - sorry) was critizing Mountbattens scheming and influence. When you consider that marrying within other RF's was still standard in the mid 1950s the poss of Ch marrying AM wasn't as far fetched as it sounds. (realistically MCN would not have been considered on account of her partial blindness). The stuff about CG and Anne was actually CG's grandfathers idea - MB was later important in getting Silvia's foot in the door at the swedish court. (I have no idea what he thought about Harald and Sonja...) so none of this is as unrealistic as it looks from 2016.

It wasn't complely press speculation - the more senior royals took these possiblites quite seriously as did most aristicratic grandees.

The others I mentioned was just about hypothetical what ifs, for example what if the sparks were there between Ch and Amanda - what would have the consequences have been for the balence of power between the two competing factions of Mountbatten and the Queen Mothers? I know it all sounds a bit "game of thrones" but there was a lot riding on all this.

As for Tricia, well I just find the idea of Nixon trying this just hilarious - always makes me smile
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Old 10-29-2016, 05:57 AM
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The remarkable thing is that Charles did meet and fall in love with - allthough diddered and lost - The One as a young man.

I imagine the stress of making a successful marriage, particularly as 20s turned into 30s had to take it's toll, which while rediculous was a fact.

Other than his two wives, who else came close to being a partner?
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:47 AM
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In the 70s, one of the papers (I think the Express) ran a front page story heralding the imminent announcement of Charles' engagement to Princess Marie Astrid of Luxembourg, with their sons to be raised as Anglicans and their daughters as Catholic.
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Old 10-29-2016, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by wbenson View Post
In the 70s, one of the papers (I think the Express) ran a front page story heralding the imminent announcement of Charles' engagement to Princess Marie Astrid of Luxembourg, with their sons to be raised as Anglicans and their daughters as Catholic.

Nope sorry, that one is false. Ch never met Marie Astrid let alone express any interest in marrying her. It was made up by Buck House to see who was leaking stories to the papers.
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Old 10-29-2016, 07:19 AM
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Other than his two wives, who else came close to being a partner?
The closest anyone else ever got was Amanda Knatchbull, one of Mountbattens granddaughters. She was still in her teens when Dickie began to push that one and charles did in fact pop the question. However Amanda said no on the grounds that there was no sparks and she didn't want to be queen. Her and Charles are still on good terms though.

It was because of this aggressive matchmaking on Mountbattens part, the Queen Mother began to promote Ruth Fermoys granddaughters Sarah and later Diana Spencer - the fact MB was dead by the time D entered the picture helped as well.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:50 AM
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Wasn't there also some speculation that Charles might wed Princess Nora of Liechtenstein?
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:33 PM
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I'd forgotten about Princess Marie Astrid. The trouble was, I suspect, that most of the available Princesses who MIGHT have considered a proposal from Charles, IF they had fancied each other, were Roman Catholic. There were few Protestant Princesses of approximately the same age around. Was the youngest of Carl Gustav's sisters ever considered, or was she miles older than Charles? He was fond of his German cousins from Philip's side of the family. Did anyone, Philip perhaps, suggest any of them?

Seriously though, I think Charles was adrift after his mentor and friend Louis Mountbatten's terrible death. He may well not have married Diana if M had remained alive, but might have waited a year or two and chosen elsewhere.

I just don't believe the Queen Mother pushed Diana in the way that has been suggested. She didn't know her, and Diana's grandmother Ruth Fermoy had early doubts that she would fit into the RF. Sarah Spencer had more to do with Charles meeting Diana than anyone, and the rest was fate, unfortunately.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:15 PM
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The youngest of Carl Gustav's sisters, Princess Christina, is five years older than Charles, the eldes, Princess Margaretha, is 14 years older. I doubt Christina was ever considered for Charles as in addition to being older she also married in 1974, when Mountbatten was just beginning to bring up the idea of Charles marrying Amanda Knatchbull.

Foreign royals around Charles' age include:
  • Princess Marie-Christine of Belgium (born 1951), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Marie-Esmeralda of Belgium (born 1956), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Astrid of Belgium (born 1962), Roman Catholic
  • Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (born 1940), a foreign monarch
  • Princess Benedikte of Denmark (born 1944)
  • Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark (born 1946)
  • Princess Nora of Liechtenstein (born 1950), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Alexandra of Liechtenstein (born 1955), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Maria-Pia of Liechtenstein (born 1960), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Margarita of Liechtenstein (born 1950), Roman Catholic
  • Princes Maria Assunta of Liechtenstein (born 1952), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein (born 1954), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Marie Helene of Liechtenstein (born 1960), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Georgina of Liechtenstein (born 1996), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Marie Astrid of Luxembourg (born 1954), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg (born 1957), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Caroline of Monaco (born 1957), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Margreit of the Netherlands (born 1943)
  • Princess Christina of the Netherlands (born 1947)
  • Archduchess Andrea of Austria (born 1953), Roman Catholic
  • Archduchess Monika of Austria (born 1954), Roman Catholic
  • Archduchess Michaela of Austria (born 1956), Roman Catholic
  • Archduchess Walburga of Austria (born 1958), Roman Catholic
  • Archduchess Maria Beatrice of Austria (born 1954), Roman Catholic
  • Archduchess Maria del Pilar of Austria (born 1953), Roman Catholic
  • Archduchess Kinga Barbara of Austria (born 1955), Roman Catholic
  • Archduchess Myriam of Austria (born 1959), Roman Catholic
  • Archduchess Viridis of Austria (born 1961), Roman Catholic
  • Archduchess Alexandra of Austria (born 1952), Roman Catholic
  • Archduchess Maria Constanza of Austria (born 1957), Roman Catholic
  • Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (born 1954), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Marie of Orleans (born 1959), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Catherine Bonaparte (born 1950), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Laure Bonaparte (born 1952), Roman Catholic
  • Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark (born 1942)
  • Princess Ines Maria of Bourbon-Parma (born 1940), Roman Catholic
  • Crown Princess Margareta of Romania (born 1949)
  • Princess Elena of Romania (born 1950)
  • Princess Irina of Romania (born 1953)
  • Princess Sophie of Romania (born 1957)
  • Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirov of Russia (born 1953)
  • Princess Olga Andreevna Romanoff (born 1950)
  • Princess Maria Tatiana of Yugoslavia (born 1957)
  • Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia (born 1959)
  • Princess Marie Cecile of Prussia (born 1942)
  • Princess Kira of Prussia (born 1943)
  • Princess Xenia of Prussia (born 1949)
  • Princess Marie of Hanover (born 1952)
  • Princess Alexandra of Hanover (born 1959)
  • Duchess Elisabeth of Mecklenburg (born 1947), Roman Catholic
  • Duchess Marie Catherine of Mecklenburg (born 1949), Roman Catholic
  • Duchess Irene of Mecklenburg (born 1952), Roman Catholic
  • Duchess Helene of Oldenburg (born 1953)
  • Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (born 1945)
  • Princess Beatrice-Maria of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (born 1948)
  • Princess Claudia of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (born 1949)
  • Princess Beatrice Charlotte of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (born 1951)
  • Princess Eleanore Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen (born 1950)
  • Princess Almut of Saxe-Meiningen (born 1959)
  • Princess Marita of Schleswig-Holstein (born 1948)
  • Princess Ingeborg of Schleswig-Holstein (born 1956)
  • Princess Marie of Lippe (born 1949)
  • Princess Regina of Lippe (born 1959)
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:44 PM
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Thanks for the list. Very interesting. Of course some of those princesses, the Romanians for example, followed the Eastern Orthodox religion. Also I suppose the early 1970's was still not long enough after the war for some segments of the population who would have objected to a German bride.

In fact, in spite of the fantasies of some of the newspapers, it was almost certain that Charles would marry a British woman from the upper classes.
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:06 AM
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I don't think there was ever a chance of Camilla marrying Charles. She was in love with Parker-Bowles. That was that.

I do believe that had Mountbattan lived he would have successfully paired Amanda with Charles. We would have seen Amanda Knatchbull taking it on for 'King and Country'. Charles had gone so far as to purchase - or accept as a gift - a house on the Mountbattan estates, I believe. That says volumes imo. With Mountbattan's death and Amanda's subsequent refusal, the agreement around the house was quietly dissolved and Highgrove was purchased. I think it would have happened but for the death of Mountbattan. The result would have been a very sedate and more stereotypical aristocratic marriage, I think. No drama, no divorce. Very different social history for Britain and the BRF.

The other possibility was Davina Sheffield. That seemed to be a genuinely loving pairing. Had it not been for the boyfriend in her past that came out, that pairing looked like it was serious and would have gone the distance. A real shame. She was extraordinarily striking. In fact, the best looking of all of Charles' girlfriends imo.

I see no others as viable from that time.
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:21 AM
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Even if a German bride would have been acceptable, Philip only had a handful of nieces. The only one to close to Charles in age was princess Clarissa, Sophie's youngest from her first marriage will was born in 1944 but she was married in 1971. Margaritas daughter Beatrix was single but born in 1936 so likely too old. Theodora's daughter margarita was even older, and married in 1957, though her and Beatrix were both divorced by 81. Cecile's daughter died at two from meningitis.

But there was some talk of princess Friedrike of Hannover, Charissa's younger half sister being a possible bride. She was born in 1954 and single until 1979. Whether just rumour or any truth who knows.
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:25 AM
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Ish thank you for that list very interesting


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Old 10-30-2016, 12:25 AM
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There was a joke going around in the 1970s, that given the unrealistic expectations surrounding the sexual histories of any would be bride for Charles, that he should consider a well born woman from a Muslim family instead, because they still had the same conservative views on pre material sex as the RF.

The joke was actually that there was no realistic way a non-white non-christian person would have been accepted by the general public in the 1970s - this was only a few years after Enoch Powell 'rivers of blood' speech and the BNP and EDL were on the prowl...
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:27 AM
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Charles had gone so far as to purchase - or accept as a gift - a house on the Mountbattan estates, I believe. That says volumes imo. With Mountbattan's death and Amanda's subsequent refusal, the agreement around the house was quietly dissolved and Highgrove was purchased

If you're referring to Chevening, the story is a little more complicated than that.

It was owned by the last Earl of Stanhope, who bequeathed the estate to the Nation. Legislature in 1959 ensured that it would be the residence of the PM, a Cabinet Minister, the widow of George VI, a descendant of George VI, or a spouse or widow of a descendant of George VI.

The Earl himself hoped that Charles would live there, and Charles accepted the prospect of it in 1974 (at about the same time the idea of marrying Amanda first began to be discussed). Amanda's great-aunt was the wife of the Earl of Stanhope, so if Charles and Amanda married there would have been a family connection to the estate.

Charles voiced disinterest in the Estate as early as 1978, although he didn't officially renounce his residency until 1980.
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:34 AM
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I don't think we can say ..if he married such and such it would have been a happy marriage who knows what would have happened. Camilla would have been around whoever he picked



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Old 10-30-2016, 12:40 AM
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If you're referring to Chevening, the story is a little more complicated than that.[...]

The Earl himself hoped that Charles would live there, and Charles accepted the prospect of it in 1974 (at about the same time the idea of marrying Amanda first began to be discussed). Amanda's great-aunt was the wife of the Earl of Stanhope, so if Charles and Amanda married there would have been a family connection to the estate.

Charles voiced disinterest in the Estate as early as 1978, although he didn't officially renounce his residency until 1980.
After Amanda declined his proposal. I still hold onto this possibility.

Thank you, Ish, for the clarification.
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Old 10-31-2016, 11:04 PM
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I don't think we can say ..if he married such and such it would have been a happy marriage who knows what would have happened. Camilla would have been around whoever he picked
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It's entirely possible that Andrew PB could have been posted abroad for a long stretch to say Germany or some former colonial outpost with Camilla and the children in tow - in fact why didn't that happen? PuttING C on another continent and thus for all practical purposes getting her out of the way. Would have fixed a lot of problems in the long run. James Hewitt was dealt with in this fashion.

But knowing these things somone else would have taken her place - Kanga or some other society woman with too much time and money on their hands and complacent husbands....
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:22 PM
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One of Prince Charles' girlfriends was Lady Jane Wellesley. Lady Jane was a career lady with bright prospects in television. Would she have surrendered her professional opportunities to have been the Princess of Wales?
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