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Old 12-23-2008, 12:17 PM
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Prince Christopher of Greece and Princess Franšoise of France (Orleans) - 1929

On 11 February 1929, prince Christopher of Greece & Denmark, youngest son of King George I of the Hellenes and Grand Duchess Olga of Russia, married Princess Franšoise of France, daughter of the Jean, Duke of Guise (pretender to the French throne) and princess Isabelle of France. The couple married in Palermo, Italy:



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Old 12-23-2008, 02:31 PM
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I have always been interested in learning about their marriage. Their son Prince Michael wrote in the 2003 Vanity Fair special issue on royals about the obstacles his parents had to go through to marry. Even the Pope got involved. Francoise was from the Catholic "Southern" royal set and Christopher was from the "Northern" Protestant and Orthodox sets, and royals usually didn't marry across the two sets.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:57 PM
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I am currently reading the biography of Prince Nikolaos, brother of Prince Christopher. I was struck to find out that King George never changed his faith when he came to Greece as a prince from Denmark. All the children were baptised as Greek Orthodox and Queen Olga was of course an Orthodox all along.
In that book which was published in 1926 Prince Nikolaos mentioned the wedding of Prince Christopher to Mrs Leeds in Vevey Switzerland. Mrs Leeds died in 1923.
Were the obstacles religion related or other according to the Vanity Fair article?
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:16 PM
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:38 PM
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I am currently reading the biography of Prince Nikolaos, brother of Prince Christopher. I was struck to find out that King George never changed his faith when he came to Greece as a prince from Denmark. All the children were baptised as Greek Orthodox and Queen Olga was of course an Orthodox all along.
In that book which was published in 1926 Prince Nikolaos mentioned the wedding of Prince Christopher to Mrs Leeds in Vevey Switzerland. Mrs Leeds died in 1923.
Were the obstacles religion related or other according to the Vanity Fair article?
Yup, Prince Michael writes that having a Catholic princess marry a non-Catholic was a big deal and the Pope got involved. I don't know if Prince Michael exaggerated the "scandal" since there were many Catholic--non-Catholic royals, although most seemed like the grooms were Catholic, not the bride.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:01 PM
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Yup, Prince Michael writes that having a Catholic princess marry a non-Catholic was a big deal and the Pope got involved. I don't know if Prince Michael exaggerated the "scandal" since there were many Catholic--non-Catholic royals, although most seemed like the grooms were Catholic, not the bride.
It is possible that the Catholic Church did not want their princesses converting to other faiths and raise their families as non Catholic.
Since Prince Michael was in line to the Greek throne, until his marriage, I would assume he was baptised Greek Orthodox like his father. Did he make any mention on that front??
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:33 PM
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It is possible that the Catholic Church did not want their princesses converting to other faiths and raise their families as non Catholic.
Since Prince Michael was in line to the Greek throne, until his marriage, I would assume he was baptised Greek Orthodox like his father. Did he make any mention on that front??
I rummaged through my back issues and found the original article "The Case for Kings" in the September 2003 issue. Prince Michael writes:

"Religion created a restrction as well as a geographic split in these unions. Since the Papacy discouraged Catholics from marrying members of other Christian denominations, the Catholics monarchies of southern Europe - France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Austria - married with one another. Their common language, to this day, is French. As the more tolerant Protestant and Orthodox churches accepted mixed marriages, the northern monarchies made up another bloc, in which Orthodox Russia, later joined by the Orthodox Balkans, married with Protestant Scandinavia, Germany, and England. Among them, the common language remains English. I am one of the few exceptions combining the two sides, since my father, Prince Christopher of Greece, belonged to the Protestant-Orthodox bloc, while my mother, Princess Francoise of France, whom he married in 1929, belonged to the Catholic side. The Vatican threw every obstacle imaginable in the way of their union, and most prickly negotitations were necessary before the marriage could go ahead."

That is all he says about his parents marriage, but I am sure issues of the children's religion becomes an issue in these negotiations.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:44 PM
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Thank you Empress Rouge. I suppose the marriage was performed in a Catholic Church? They were married in Palermo. Dear!! , things have changed a great deal since "those" days.
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Old 12-24-2008, 05:54 AM
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The Bride was praying during the Office , I never saw that (item 3)
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Old 07-17-2022, 12:11 PM
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Old 07-17-2022, 03:54 PM
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Definitely the religion was an issue and it put a kibosh on a number of romances like Helene of OrlÚans and Albert Victor. But Prince Christopher was luckier then most to marry his bride.
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