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  #1  
Old 05-06-2010, 12:01 AM
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Hélène d'Orléans, Duchess of Aosta (1871-1951)

Hélène d'Orléans could have been Queen of England or Empress of Russia (or even Queen of Italy), but history proved it was not to be. Interestingly, Albert Victor, the Duke of Clarence had previously courted Alix of Hesse who went on to marry Hélène's other potential suitor, Nicholas II of Russia. Besides the current Duke of Aosta (and Savoy to some) being her grandson, she is a great-grandmother to Archduke Lorenz, Prince of Belgium. I find her quite interesting given her potential as a royal consort that was not to be. Anyone know of any other good reading material on her?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princes...f_Orl%C3%A9ans
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:35 PM
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Both these two would-be marriages didn't happen because of religion.
Hélène and the Duke of Clarence were in love and seriously intent upon marrying, but she was Catholic; her father and the Pope, Leo XIII, forbade her to convert in order to marry Albert Victor, therefore their marriage skipped.
Then, she was considered as a possible bride for Tsarevic Nicholas of Russia, later Tsar Nicholas II, but...again the Pope and the Count of Paris forbade Hélène to marry.
Then, in 1895 she married Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, nephew of the then King Umberto I; she was 24 at the time, he 2 years older.

Curiously, in the same period Albert Victor's sister Maud was considered as a possible bride for Emanuele Filiberto's cousin, Vittorio Emanuele (later King VE III); and in the early 1920s VE's daughter Jolanda was considered as a possible bride for Albert Edward and Maud's nephew Edward (later King Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor); but all these marriaged didn't happen due to religion: an Anglican Princess could not be accepted in Italy, and a Catholic one could not be accepted in UK.

Hélène and Emanuele Filiberto had two sons, Amedeo, 3rd Duke of Aosta, and Aimone, Duke of Spoleto and later 4th Duke of Aosta.
Amedeo married in 1927 his first cousin, Anne, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Guise (the Duchess was Hélène's younger sister); Aimone married in 1939 Irene, daughter of King Constantine I and Queen Sophia of Greece. Both sons predeceased Hélène: Amedeo died in 1942 during prisony in Kenia, Aimone died in 1948.

Hélène's husband died in 1931, and 5 years later she remarried to an Italian army officer, Otto Campini.

After the fall of the Monarchy in 1946, she continued residing in Italy, in Naples, where she died in 1951, aged 80.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:32 PM
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Helene is indeed an interesting topic.

I have always found it strange how the count of Paris, that was not regnant, could refuse for her daughter the 2 very best bachelors in Europe. When one party is so weak and the other one is so eligible usually the religious problem was overcome.

I'm also wondering if a French princess from a non reigning royal house would have been liked from the British public, while I guess that in Russia the public was not an issue and the prestige of the Bourbon family would have been enough to be very much welcome at the St Petersburg court.

Then, usually it is written that both the duke of Clarence and the Tzarevic were very attracted by her great beauty: I have seen very few pics of Helene and maybe always when she was not very young anymore, but I can't really see that beauty. Maybe somebody had this impression too? Maybe somebody can post pics that show a beautiful Helene?
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:18 PM
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I checked now "Jelena" by Luciano Regolo: he reports funny comments by some high italian politicians at the wedding of Emanuele Filiberto and Helene, not liking the appearence of the princess. Also Queen Margherita would have said :"she will become a beautiful woman", implying that she wasn't pretty at the moment.
It is also funny to read there that it was noticed by the same politicians with some disappointement that on the invitation the duke was called "di Savoja" and not "di Savoja-Aosta" .. a very old issue then!! lol
The same politicians also were in doubt about her being a Royal Highess before the marriage since her father had never been a king.
It is true that all these comments can also be explained by the proximity of these politicians to the King, the Queen and the heir who was not married yet at the time and by their concern about the duke of Aosta being seen as a better heir.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amedea View Post
I have always found it strange how the count of Paris, that was not regnant, could refuse for her daughter the 2 very best bachelors in Europe. When one party is so weak and the other one is so eligible usually the religious problem was overcome.
I think that the true problem was the Pope: the Pope clearly forbade Hélène to marry the Anglican Duke of Clarence, and the Count of Paris, claimant Most Christian Majesty, simply couldn't oppose to the Pope, and forbade too Hélène to marry the Duke.
As for Nicholas II, I checked some sources, and it seems that he also refused to marry the French Princess, because he was alreday deeply in love with Alix of Hesse.

Quote:
I'm also wondering if a French princess from a non reigning royal house would have been liked from the British public, while I guess that in Russia the public was not an issue and the prestige of the Bourbon family would have been enough to be very much welcome at the St Petersburg court.
Good question; maybe considering that Hélène grew up in Great Britain, she could have been considered enough accustomed to British habits to have been a good British subject, Princess and Queen.

Quote:
Then, usually it is written that both the duke of Clarence and the Tzarevic were very attracted by her great beauty: I have seen very few pics of Helene and maybe always when she was not very young anymore, but I can't really see that beauty. Maybe somebody had this impression too? Maybe somebody can post pics that show a beautiful Helene?
I have read very different opinions on her phisical features: some described her as rather ugly, some as quite pretty.
Imo she was not such a great beauty, but neither ugly; surely regal.

Quote:
It is also funny to read there that it was noticed by the same politicians with some disappointement that on the invitation the duke was called "di Savoja" and not "di Savoja-Aosta" .. a very old issue then!! lol
Very old issue indeed! But we can't forget that Savoy Family members, during the Monarchy, hold the title of Prince(ss) of Savoy; only in 1948 those who were living in Italy had their official surname changed into "Savoy-place name of their title", but since this is a rule of the Republican Constitution it doesn't affect the titles.
So it correct saying that Emanuele Filiberto was Prince of Savoy, nobody can dispute it.
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MAfan View Post

Curiously, in the same period Albert Edward's sister Maud was considered as a possible bride for Emanuele Filiberto's cousin, Vittorio Emanuele (later King VE III)
Surely you mean Daughter and not sister of Albert Edward (the Prince of Wales) ?.

i would also be very interested to learn more of this story, as i have read many biographies of Princess Maud, later Queen Consort of Norway and found no mention of this at all ......what are your sources MAfan ?
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:48 PM
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Is Princess Astrid of Belgium wearing her jewelry now ?
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:15 PM
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She started somewhat of a trend for Orléans princesses becoming Duchesses of Aosta. Her niece Anne married her son the 3rd Duke and her great-niece Claude (now divorced) married her grandson the current Duke.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jonnydep View Post
Surely you mean Daughter and not sister of Albert Edward (the Prince of Wales) ?.

i would also be very interested to learn more of this story, as i have read many biographies of Princess Maud, later Queen Consort of Norway and found no mention of this at all ......what are your sources MAfan ?
My mistake, I meant Albert Victor's sister (too many Alberts in that family...).

Princess Maud was considered as a possible bride for the Prince of Naples in the late 1880s; both Italian and British courts agreed about this marriage, except the Prince (who thought that Maud looked too much like his mother Queen Margherita). The only obstacle was the religion: Savoy Family was (and still is) Catholic, while Maud and the BRF were (and still are) Anglican; but the two courts agreed also on the conversion of Maud to Catholic.
What ruined all was the moment of her conversion: Queen Victoria, the King of Italy and even the Pope agreed to let Maud marry Vittorio Emanuele as Anglican, and later she would convert; but Queen Margherita refused this agreement, because she wanted her daughter-in-law to be already Catholic at the moment of the marriage; this happened in 1892 or 1893.
Then, the Italian court found another bride for the Prince of Naples (Princess Elena of Montenegro, who accepted to convert from Orthodox to Catholic before the wedding) and Princess Maud married Prince Carl of Denmark, future King of Norway; both marriages took place in 1896.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by EmpressRouge View Post
She started somewhat of a trend for Orléans princesses becoming Duchesses of Aosta. Her niece Anne married her son the 3rd Duke and her great-niece Claude (now divorced) married her grandson the current Duke.
And Claude and Amedeo's son, Aimone, is married to the granddaughter of Françoise, Anne's older sister and niece of Hélène.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MAfan View Post
My mistake, I meant Albert Victor's sister (too many Alberts in that family...).

Princess Maud was considered as a possible bride for the Prince of Naples in the late 1880s; both Italian and British courts agreed about this marriage, except the Prince (who thought that Maud looked too much like his mother Queen Margherita). The only obstacle was the religion: Savoy Family was (and still is) Catholic, while Maud and the BRF were (and still are) Anglican; but the two courts agreed also on the conversion of Maud to Catholic.
What ruined all was the moment of her conversion: Queen Victoria, the King of Italy and even the Pope agreed to let Maud marry Vittorio Emanuele as Anglican, and later she would convert; but Queen Margherita refused this agreement, because she wanted her daughter-in-law to be already Catholic at the moment of the marriage; this happened in 1892 or 1893.
Then, the Italian court found another bride for the Prince of Naples (Princess Elena of Montenegro, who accepted to convert from Orthodox to Catholic before the wedding) and Princess Maud married Prince Carl of Denmark, future King of Sweden; both marriages took place in 1896.
Thanks MAfan, for the adove info, very much appreciated !
btw, my apologies, but Carl was the future King of Norway and not Sweden, yes both countries were united until 1905 when Norway gained independance, resulting Carl being chosen as King !
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:48 PM
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Mistaken corrected, thanks for having showed me them.
(that's what happens when I'm tired and nevertheless I write...)
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by MAfan View Post
Very old issue indeed! But we can't forget that Savoy Family members, during the Monarchy, hold the title of Prince(ss) of Savoy; only in 1948 those who were living in Italy had their official surname changed into "Savoy-place name of their title", but since this is a rule of the Republican Constitution it doesn't affect the titles.
So it correct saying that Emanuele Filiberto was Prince of Savoy, nobody can dispute it.
So what was Emanuele Filiberto’s correct style? HRH prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, duke of Aosta? HRH Emanuele Filiberto, prince of Savoy, duke of Aosta? Were all the members of the IRF Royal Highnesses? Was there also a title of prince of Italy?
BTW, yes, she looks very regal, also in the video of her son Aimone’s wedding where you can see her gestures.
Quote:
Originally Posted by maria-olivia View Post
Is Princess Astrid of Belgium wearing her jewelry now ?
Well princess Astrid usually wear a tiara that was photopraphed already on a young duchess Anne of Aosta, but I don’t know if this tiara was already worn by Helene. Then, I’ve read elsewhere on the forum that Astrid worn another Aosta tiara in 1992 (the same tiara that her daughter in law Isabelle worn at her own wedding) and an Aosta emeralds necklace at king Harald 70 birthday. However since I wasn’t able to find any pics of these jewels I don’t know what jewels they are.
About Helene’s jewels I found this page, http://www.angelfire.com/realm3/casasavoia/fifteen.html
There are here 2 tiaras, one emeralds necklace (possibly the same that Astrid worn) and some other jewels. One of the tiaras has a motif with Savoy knots and is very much similar but not identical to the one now owned by the duke of Aosta. Maybe it was modified, maybe there are two similar tiaras (this isn’t likely, is it?).
Here Helene with another tiara and another necklace, File:Elenaaosta.jpg - Wikipedia
She seems to like very much that collier de chien necklace since she’s wearing it in all 3 pics! Lol

Finally I’m interested: where did she live mainly? In which year did she move to Naples? In which part of the Capodimonte royal palace did she live? Is it true that she could continue to live in the royal palace also after 1946? Did she and/or her daughter in law Anne owned some villa in Castellamare or on the Costiera? In which house did she die? There is a video of her funerals on youtube that show her carriage coming out of the Real Albergo Quisisana, maybe she used to live in that hotel?
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:27 AM
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Thanks for the pictures about Helene's jewels.
Indeed the only jewelry Princess Astrid is wearing are the tiara and the necklace , loan from het stepmother.
Claude and Silvia's tiara is an other one. I am sure the two sons share the jewelry and I am happy that Astrid ,who unfortunately has no important jewelry of her own ,may wear them at the Belgian royal events.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:07 AM
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Here's the magnificent diamond and emerald necklace of the first duchess of Aosta also worn by Helene: princess Astrid worn it at the concert for the wedding of Victoria of Sweden [DNF] Fotoarchief Denieuwsfoto
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