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bogardesque 04-16-2008 05:34 AM

The Family of Archduchess Fransesca (née von Thyssen)
Doesn't she have a brother who in the 80s was the most eligible bachelor? I heard he converted to Islam and spent some time in Beirut where he did a movie.

Marengo 04-18-2008 10:56 AM

That would be her brother Lorne. He married a lady named Alexandra Wright
and the couple has one daughter, Julia (b. 2006). I am not sure if the baron is still a muslim or not btw.

bogardesque 05-02-2008 05:00 AM

that would be really interesting to find out if he's still a muslim or not actually. I also heard he did a movie called The Labyrinth, which is impossible to find. At least for me. Didn't realize he was married. I heard he'd been dating that woman. Tatler did a feature on him a while back (2003 or 2004 I believe) titled Missing heir found or something like that. Don't have the magazine with me though or I could post the article here.

maidmarion 05-02-2008 04:20 PM

To my knowledge, "The Labyrinth" was produced and created by Jim Henson from the Sesame Street and Muppets fame. It started David Bowie and other notables. Perhaps he "Lorne" did some work on it? This is what IMBD has in it's database about him.
Lorne Thyssen - Biography
Interesting indeed.
MM :rolleyes:

bogardesque 05-03-2008 05:16 PM

exactly, which makes the movie so hard to find. I'm guessing that since he made it there, he must have given it an Arabic title and that got translated into the Labyrinth. I also remember that Charles Dance was in it, played a professor who fell in love with a local girl and that the movie was supposed to be about the political situation in the region. There was also a discussion on a forum once about it but most of it was in Arabic, which unfortunately I don't speak. I wish I hadn't changed computers and still had the links. The article stated that it took him ten years to make and there was also something about the movie finding no distribution in Europe. I also asked a Lebanese friend about it a while back, he said that the movie title rang a bell and he would ask his friend back home but nothing ever came of it. Someone should write to Lorne and ask him about it :D A friend of mine was friends with someone who dated Francesca way back in the 80s. She lost touch with the guy though or else I could have asked her to ask him about the movie.

Wasn't he considered to be the black sheep of the family? I know his step-mother is on all the covers of Spanish tabloids. Really interesting family (history) though. I also remember reading somewhere, that the name Bornemissza was a joke meaning he who doesn't drink wine in Hungarian, which makes sense (bor=wine, nem=no/ not, issza= he drinks, this is a really sloppy translation though and I apologize to any Hungarians for mangling the grammar). It would be interesting to look into the etymology of surnames.

His great-uncle or something (I'd have to look it up), Fritz Thyssen, wrote a book titled I Paid Hitler. I think Fritz was actually the uncle of Lorne's father. It's a really fascinating history. The book should be available in college libraries, which is where I got it from in any case. I don't think it's easy to get in book stores. I'll post more if I think of something. Providing people are interested.

Warren 05-04-2008 09:21 AM


Originally Posted by bogardesque (Post 761531)
...Providing people are interested.

Yes, we are. Anything which fleshes out the shadowy outline is most welcome. :flowers:

szenterzsbet 05-05-2008 01:01 PM

"I also remember reading somewhere, that the name Bornemissza was a joke meaning he who doesn't drink wine in Hungarian, which makes sense (bor=wine, nem=no/ not, issza= he drinks, this is a really sloppy translation though and I apologize to any Hungarians for mangling the grammar). It would be interesting to look into the etymology of surnames. "

The name Bornemissza is not a joke, it is a very old Transylvanian-Hungarian family.
In fact the Thyssen-Bornemissza's have a title because the Bornemissza family has a baronial title.
(A Thyssen woman married a baron Bornemissza and their descendants are the Thyssen-Bornemissza's - holding their Bornemissza ancestors title)
The Thyssens had the money, not the title.

The translation by the way of the Bornemissza name was correct :smile:

magnik 05-05-2008 02:51 PM

Family tree of Thyssen and T-Bornemisza:
Thyssen-Bornemissza de Kászon


About father and his family Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

bogardesque 05-06-2008 01:44 AM

apologies for the joke part, wasn't one of the Bornemisszas employed at the King's court in Hungary? I seem to recall some mention of that as well.

I didn't realize they were actually Transylvanian (I mean from that part of Greater Hungary). I would have pegged them more near Békéscsaba but don't ask me why, might have them confused with someone else.

Thanks, Warren. :) on that note. I wonder if the name implies some religious leaning or perhaps I'm reading too much into this.

I tried to pick my friend's brain but all she could remember was that in the 80s Francesca and her brother had the reputation of party people and that they hung out with the London in-crowd back then. She didn't know about the movie either. We did however go to the Villa Favorita in Lugano but they wouldn't let us in (one wonders why, indeed). I remembered the locals being really negative about Tita Cervera for having taken all the art work out of the country and back to Spain, where it is in the Thyssen-Bornemissza museum in Madrid. Apparently, as you enter, you are greeted by two life size (possibly even larger than life) paintings of the baron and Tita Cervera.Haven't checked that one out yet but in Switzerland the locals said it had been quite a collection (which I can imagine very well).

In summer 2002 (sorry I can't be more specific, sorry about that but it might have been June) Vanity Fair ran a full feature on the baron shortly after he died.
It pretty much said the same as in the wikipedia link except that there was talk about Lorne Thyssen being the child of another man (an American actor perhaps) but Hans Heinrich not being aware of this fact, that he had been unlucky with women, that the kids were always afraid of getting kidnapped, and there was a quote from Lorne saying that in the family, girls weren't really a top priority, they were expected to get married and that was it. Lorne also joined the Swiss Army and studied Drama (I can't remember now if his sister did as well and whether he did so in London or in New York). Lucien Freud did a portrait of the baron, which Tita Cervera hated and when the parents divorced, Francesca had to go to boarding school, which got her mad and estranged her from her family but Lorne wasn't affected because he was too young. There was also a massive court battle when the baron died over who got what that lasted for two years or something.

Francesca was linked to a lot of celebrities of the time, the A-listers. Not in the article and could also be hearsay but my friend said she'd also spoken to someone who worked for her and apparently she's tough as a boss or at least she was back then and people feared her.

Doesn't she get featured in the German society magazine Bunte quite often? But there really doesn't seem to be anything on him, low profile indeed. I can't remember what the title of the Vanity Fair feature was, something about art and inheritance in the title but the Tatler article on Lorne was called Missing Heir Found.

Marengo 06-09-2008 04:51 AM

A clip of the wedding of Fransesca's stepbrother Borja:

YouTube - Borja Thyssen y Blanca Cuesta se casaron sin la baronesa

HMTLove23 07-19-2008 01:16 PM

Didnt her father 1st wife Therese?? just die.

Odette 07-20-2008 05:55 PM

Last I heard step mother Carmen adopted two little children and she was at odds with her natural son, the one Francesca's father had adopted.......
Her mother Fiona was linked with Alexandros Onassis which made papa Ari Onassis very very angry. According to some publication Fransesca's mother now lives on the Greek island of Hydra with a current husband.

Lilarenata 02-28-2010 03:06 PM

Francesca's mother lives in Scotland and Switzerland. Francesca has a brother (Lorne), an older half-brother Heini, another half-brother Alexander and the adopted brother Borja.
I read they are all pretty much at odds with each other and have sued each other.
And now her stepmother Tita has sued her own son Borja. and yes Tita has adopted twin girls...
Apparently Fiona (Francesca's mum) had an affair with Alexander Onassis when he was in his twenties and she was in her fourties.
David Litchfield's book about the Thyssen family is quite interesting and talks about four generations of Thyssens (mainly Francesca's dad though)

frank22 09-19-2010 06:18 AM

Thyssen family news:

El arte de ser mecenas (y Thyssen) · ELPAÍ

Marengo 10-13-2010 01:40 PM

An article I stumbled on on the internet from 2007. The subject is Countess Margit Betthyany, née Thyssen-Bornemisa. In the article she is called 'killer-countess' as she is co-responsible for the murder on 200 Jewish people after a party at her Castle:

The killer countess: The dark past of Baron Heinrich Thyssen's daughter - Profiles, People - The Independent

Margit Betthyany was a sister of the late baron Hans-Heinrich and an aunt of Archduchess Fransesca.

Fürstin Taxis 10-13-2010 02:43 PM


That´s heavy.
That´s her. Ugly.

Mermaid1962 10-13-2010 11:11 PM

What a horrible, awful incident. What's just as bad is that Margit was never held accountable.:eek:


Originally Posted by Marengo (Post 1147034)
An article I stumbled on on the internet from 2007.
Margit Betthyany was a sister of the late baron Hans-Heinrich and an aunt of Archduchess Fransesca.

Dee-dee 10-14-2010 01:35 PM

Oh, how awful is that... :(

Lilarenata 01-06-2011 01:37 PM

Francesca's cousin Henrietta died last month.

Read more: Tragic death of heiress Henriette Bentinck reveals family feud | Mail Online

.Henriette Luisa Maria Boissevain, (aka Baroness Bentinck Van
Schoonheten; Thyssen-Bornemisza) died at Almaden de la Plata (Sevilla,
Spain), 29 November 2010. She born circa 1948, a daughter of Baron
Bentinck, sometime Netherlands Ambassador to France, and married
1stly, 1967 (div 1973), Spencer Douglas David Compton, Earl Compton
(later 7th Marquess of Northampton), by whom she had a son, Daniel
Bingham Compton, styled Earl Compton (born 1973) and a daughter, Lady
Lara Katrina Compton (b 1968). She later married Richard Thompson and
then Serge Boissevain. She had 2 further children, Ambre (Boissevain)
and Katia (?)

Katrianna 01-07-2011 01:47 AM

Wealth doesn't always mean happiness. Mother and daughter split for so many years and grandchildren who never saw their grandmother. :sad:

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