Originally Posted by Marengo
The silence from Grand Duke Jean and other relatives about the matter does not need to mean anything at all. Most people don't like to show the public their dirty laundry.
JC supposedly sided with Henri and MT and persuaded her husband to accept the marriage. She was perhaps reminded of her own marriage, which was one of the last royal marriages that was forced upon the couple by their parents. Both were in love with somebody else at the time.
It was her own mother-in-law, Grand Duchess Charlotte, who was against it. Somehow people seem to mix this story with that of JC. The old Grand Duchess was so upset about the matter that the press was asked not to make pictures of her during the wedding. She turned around after the birth of Guillaume.
JC was in terrible pains from surgeries, chemo therapies etc. since the early nineties. On top of that, her stroke made her personality more difficult too, as happens sometimes. She was difficult towards all her children (in-law). It was Marie-Astrid -with a very Imperial husband- who received most of the blows as she took care of her mother most.
We will most likely never know the complete story, we only know 1 version, of an unstable (mentioned in an article at the time) Maria Teresa who had her curious meeting with the press. Instead of racism or snobbism, it may just have been a clash of personalities, which isn't uncommon between mothers and daughters-in-law.
This is the version of events that I read too...that it was actually J-C who supported her son's choice to marry the woman he loved. Even venerable Grand Duke Jean was reportedly not completely on board with the idea of then-Mademoiselle Mestre as a daughter-in-law.
I am always very uncomfortable with rumors/allegation presenting themselves as fact. On the Internet, this type of thing tends to take on a life of it's own.
Josephine-Charlotte lost her mother in a horrific accident when she was a little girl. She and her siblings and other family were taken captive by the Nazis and mistreated at Sankt Wolfgang(Allied troops who rescued them found J-C half starved and gave her a jar of peanut butter which she devoured. Baudouin's eyesight was badly damaged for the remainder of his life, hence the thick glasses)
So no, I am not prepared to believe that J-C, who had suffered much in life and knew firsthand
what extremes racism and bigotry can be taken to, rejected M-T on the basis of her race and non Royal status alone. That might be M-T's version of events but that does not constitute proof.
...thanks for the link to info on Princess Elisabeth. Fascinating!