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  #101  
Old 04-15-2021, 08:24 PM
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Two of his sister married really young; especially Sophie. I wonder whether they were all extremely desperate to leave their rather instable family home. Their mother had just been put into an sanatorium in Switzerland at that point.

Princess Sophie (born 26 June 1914) married on 15 December 1930 - aged 16(!)
Princess Cecilie (born 16 November 1911) married on 2 February 1931 - aged 19
Princess Margarita (born 18 April 1905) married on 20 April 1931 - aged 26
Princess Theodora (born 30 May 1906) married on 17 August 1931 - aged 25
Sophie was 15 when she got engaged. It's rather sad that no one thought of sending her to school. I can't believe that Victoria Milford Haven wouldn't have let her come and stay if she wanted, so perhaps marriage really was what Sophie and everyone felt was best? Or what she really wanted.
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  #102  
Old 04-15-2021, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
Yes, and Sophie became engaged (to Christoph Hesse) at 15 and I believe was the first sister married. I’ve always thought that Alice’s incarceration at the clinic was the final death knell to her and Andrew’s marriage (though there were great strains before) and after that there really wasn’t any home to speak of, at least not for Philip, and his sisters made their own lives as best they could.
Yes, see the overview in my post that ran from first (December 1930) to last (August 1931) marriage.
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  #103  
Old 04-15-2021, 10:45 PM
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Two of his sister married really young; especially Sophie. I wonder whether they were all extremely desperate to leave their rather instable family home. Their mother had just been put into an sanatorium in Switzerland at that point.

Princess Sophie (born 26 June 1914) married on 15 December 1930 - aged 16(!)
Princess Cecilie (born 16 November 1911) married on 2 February 1931 - aged 19
Princess Margarita (born 18 April 1905) married on 20 April 1931 - aged 26
Princess Theodora (born 30 May 1906) married on 17 August 1931 - aged 25


I wonder if it was less desperation/their own will so much as the family (whomever the decision makers were) decided that was the solution to Alice having a breakdown and Andrew mostly opting out as a parent going forward. Marry the girls off.

The 4 girls were married off staggeringly quickly- in less than a year. And all to Germans.
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  #104  
Old 04-15-2021, 10:53 PM
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Philip and his sisters had many German relatives though. And all the sisters’ husbands were their cousins, second cousins etc.
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  #105  
Old 04-15-2021, 10:55 PM
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Philip and his sisters had many German relatives though. And all the sisters’ husbands were their cousins, second cousins etc.


That’s true. It just struck me as....interesting I guess that they ALL married Germans.
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  #106  
Old 04-15-2021, 11:42 PM
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They had to marry protestants and in the years after WWI there weren't a lot of protestants around who weren't Germans in the right age bracket. There were two British princes, for instance: Henry and George, who ended up marrying one of their first cousins anyway in Marina.
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  #107  
Old 04-16-2021, 12:25 AM
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Why did the sisters have to marry Protestants? Both parents were of the Greek Orthodox faith.
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  #108  
Old 04-16-2021, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
Why did the sisters have to marry Protestants? Both parents were of the Greek Orthodox faith.
To remain in the line of succession to the British throne. The Greek Royal Family also weren't too keen on their citizens marrying Roman Catholics before WWII.

Greek Orthodox are 'in communion with' the CoE.
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  #109  
Old 04-16-2021, 02:04 AM
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I am not sure if marrying catholics was such a big problem for the Greeks. There were quite a few of catholic marriages in the family: Prince George with Marie Bonaparte, their daughter Eugenie firstly with Dominic Radziwill and secondly with the Prince of Torre e Tasso. Princess Elisabeth married Prince Hans-Veit of Toerring-Jettenbach, Princess Irene married the duke of Aosta, Prince Christopher married a Princess of Orléans and Princess Sofia married the king of Spain.

I can't see why a very distant possibility of succession rights int he UK would have influenced marital choices for Prince Philip's sisters. All the grooms-to-be seemed to be rather suitable candidates, three of them heirs of the great dynasties of Germany.
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  #110  
Old 04-16-2021, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
Sophie was 15 when she got engaged. It's rather sad that no one thought of sending her to school. I can't believe that Victoria Milford Haven wouldn't have let her come and stay if she wanted, so perhaps marriage really was what Sophie and everyone felt was best? Or what she really wanted.
On India Hicks podcast when she was interviewing her mother Pamela, I think I remember Pamela talking about Sophie's first marriage in a negative way. That she had been lucky to get out of it (he died during the war) and that the family much preferred her second husband. We don't really know the full dynamics there. Was she unhappy because she rushed into a marriage she wasn't ready for? Or was he not such a nice person, and that's why he focused on a 15-year-old from a unstable family in the first place?
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  #111  
Old 04-16-2021, 02:43 AM
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Firstly they had to marry Greek orthodox. If you go back to the first generation of Greek royals, King George I and his offspring, you have orthodox marriages. The King himself as well as 3 of his children married into Russian royal family. Exception the Crown Prince married Kaizer's sister (she converted to orthodox faith though), prince George married a catholic, (I doubt if Maria Bonaparte converted) Prince Andrew's wife also converted and Prince Christophoros married first an American (protestant?converted?) and then a catholic princess (much later).
But after 1917, the main niche of orthodox royalty /aristocracy, the Russian one, did not exist anymore, people were executed or refugees in Europe, without money most of them. They were more interested to marry rich Americans than dynastic marriages with Greek royals (fallen also).
Remaining as orthodox royalty, Romania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. If you see in the 30s , GRF had 2 royal weddings into RRF, as well as a 2 or 3 into YRF, but then, possibilities are limited, these royal families were very recent, and not so crowded to cover many marriages.

And now the 4 daughters of Prince Andreas. We have a family with high royal blood, but without money, chassed from their country, and living from the charity of their rich aunties (by marriage) Princess Marie Bonaparte and Princess Anastasia.
We are in the 30ies, royal and aristocracy ladies are not ment to work, are ment to wed.
In their case, girls without any money, and without any homeland, what could they do else? Ok, study, but for what for? Of course to have a better education end then what? Wedding again.
The 2 sisters who married at their 25s what did they do before? Nothing again. Educated, maybe, and then wedding.
So the only destiny it was the wedding, and the pressing was stronger as they were in a difficult situation for their lives, no money no homeland, walking around Europe from cousins to cousins, and with a nuclear family dismantled.
I don't know if they were arranged marriages or love matches, but they were good scenarios into the existing acceptable path, for a royal woman at this decade. Of course they could not really forsee that they would be involved with Nazis. (But this is another discussion).
Don't forget that 30 years after, another very young bride princess Anne-Marie of Denmark got engaged at 16 and married at 18. And it was considered as normal.

And a question, what is CoE?
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  #112  
Old 04-16-2021, 03:01 AM
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CoE is Church of England.

I never heard that Sophie was unhappy with her choice. Of course, like several Royal Houses in Germany at that time the von Hesse House turned to Nazism in the 1930s as a bulwark against Communism.


Christoph, Sophie’s husband, was an enthusiastic supporter of the Party along with his brother Phillip quite early in the 1930s. Royals and the Reich, a book by Jonathon Petropoulos is interesting and concentrates on the two brothers.


Perhaps the fact that he was high up in the Nazi Armed Forces put some of the Extended family off, but Prince Philip once told the writer Giles Brendryth that his brother in law Christoph was not what one would imagine, that he was in fact gentle and soft-voiced.
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  #113  
Old 04-16-2021, 03:10 AM
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I always get the impression that they were packed off to visit relatives in Germany with the intention of bagging husbands ASAP. There wasn't really much else for them to do.
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  #114  
Old 04-16-2021, 04:30 AM
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Exactly @Allison H. It was the mentality at this time, especially for fallen and broken female royals
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  #115  
Old 04-16-2021, 08:40 AM
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Just a couple of notes to add to this discussion:

According to Royals and the Reich: The Princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany by Jonathan Petropoulos, Sophie's marriage to Prince Christoph of Hesse was a love match: "Christoph's twin, Richard, also took a fancy to her and wanted to court her, but she quickly fell for Christoph" (p. 92). He also points out that Sophie was "virtually an orphan" and marriage allowed her to find a way out of a challenging situation.

In his biography of Princess Alice, Hugo Vickers states that when her illness first made its appearance in 1929, Alice claimed she had received "divine messages about potential husbands for her girls." As a result, her sister Crown Princess Louise of Sweden (who had suggested Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark as a suitor for Cecile) "began to regret her own attempts at matchmaking" (p. 200-201).
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  #116  
Old 04-16-2021, 08:43 AM
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I'm always a little surprised that none of the sisters married a Danish or Swedish Prince.
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  #117  
Old 04-16-2021, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
I never heard that Sophie was unhappy with her choice. Of course, like several Royal Houses in Germany at that time the von Hesse House turned to Nazism in the 1930s as a bulwark against Communism.


Christoph, Sophie’s husband, was an enthusiastic supporter of the Party along with his brother Phillip quite early in the 1930s. Royals and the Reich, a book by Jonathon Petropoulos is interesting and concentrates on the two brothers.


Perhaps the fact that he was high up in the Nazi Armed Forces put some of the Extended family off, but Prince Philip once told the writer Giles Brendryth that his brother in law Christoph was not what one would imagine, that he was in fact gentle and soft-voiced.
Was Christoph supporting Hitler even as early as the time of his marriage to Sophie? But there are "enthusiastic Nazi supporters" and there is joining the SS, which is about as enthusiastic as it got. It really didn't work out too well for Christoph, Philipp, or Mafalda, and even if there are hints Christoph came to regret his decision, he would have surely faced severe penalties had he survived the war, however nice a person he may otherwise have been. As I said in the other thread, I don't know what Georg Wilhelm of Hanover did in the war, but it seems to have been something a bit less than that.

As for Sophie and her choice, we know she was horror-stricken by her sister-in-law being imprisoned and dying in Buchenwald. The rest of her feelings about her marriages, the war, and being widowed are not public, afaik.
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  #118  
Old 04-16-2021, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by An Ard Ri View Post
I'm always a little surprised that none of the sisters married a Danish or Swedish Prince.
Didn't the Scandinavian royals tend to marry each other? e.g. Frederick IX of Denmark to Ingrid of Sweden; Olav of Norway to Martha of Sweden?

Gustav of Sweden (father of the present King Carl Gustav) married Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg, so maybe there weren't any eligible Scandinavian princes available for the Greek princesses? (I'm not sure, without checking, of the dates of the weddings I have just mentioned)
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  #119  
Old 04-16-2021, 11:22 AM
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Didn't the Scandinavian royals tend to marry each other? e.g. Frederick IX of Denmark to Ingrid of Sweden; Olav of Norway to Martha of Sweden?

Gustav of Sweden (father of the present King Carl Gustav) married Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg, so maybe there weren't any eligible Scandinavian princes available for the Greek princesses? (I'm not sure, without checking, of the dates of the weddings I have just mentioned)
Prince Frederik was originally engaged to Olga of Greece (one of Marina's older sisters, and the first cousin of Philip and his sisters), about a decade before Ingrid. But that didn't work out.

Their Aunt Louise was chaperoning Margarita and Theodora in the London season when she ended up marrying CG's grandpa/Ingrid's dad, Gustav Adolf. (Who had previously been married to a British princess).

The inter-Scandinavian thing is relatively new.
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  #120  
Old 04-16-2021, 11:27 AM
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Didn't the Scandinavian royals tend to marry each other? e.g. Frederick IX of Denmark to Ingrid of Sweden; Olav of Norway to Martha of Sweden?
Before Ingrid Frederik IX was engaged to Princess Olga of Greece in 1922 who was a first cousin of the sisters, but the engagement was broken off because Frederik was overly fond of alcohol. Maybe the sisters also knew this and bad reputation followed him so maybe that's why he married only in 1935 when he was already 36.
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