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ADOPTED BY ROYALTY., Star, Issue 9249, 30 May 1908
ADOPTED BY ROYALTY.
FORTUNATE CHILDREN WHO FIND FAIRY GOD-
(By EX-ATTACHE, in the "Times.JDemocrat.")
English newspapers have been extolling the good fortune of a young girl of the name of Alice Steele, who, an inmate of the village home at Alderstone, founded in. memory of the late Princess Mary of Cambridge, Duchess ,of Teck,/ attracted the attention of the latter's daughter, the Princess of Wales. So great is the interest which England's future queen has conceived for the girl that she has removed her from the institution, has sent her to an excellent school, and has promised to provide for her future welfare. That the-sym-pathy of the princess for the girl is of no mere ephemeral character, is shown by the fact that it originated some years ago, and that it was sufficiently pronounced to lead ther consort of the heir-apparent to send her presents all the way from India during the winter that she spent in visiting that great Oriental dependency. The English newspapers write about the matter, which they call an " adoption," as if it were an unusual and even unique occurrence. This is far from being the case. There are scores of other instances of the same kind in the annals of royalty, many of them characterised by romantio circumstances, but which do not reach the ears of the general public.
A BABY IN A BASKET.
Thus, on the eve of the marriage of the Duke.*of San Fernando to one of the royal nieces of King Ferdinand, at Madrid, in the early part of the last century, a hamper bearing the name and address of the Duke, and containing a little boy a few months old, was found in one of the gateways of his palace. Tho Duke, realising the i impression that would be created in' the mind of his bride if the story ever reached her ears from other lips than his owa, at once informed her of the affair. Fortunately for the baby, the princess was a kind-hearted woman, and chose to regard it as a mascot, destined to bring happiness to her married life, and decided to adopt the little fellow. As her union proved childless she and the duke by degrees came to look upon the foundling as their own son, had him educated as such at Madrid, and at Paris, along with other young Spaniards of high degree, and on dying left him their entire fortune, which he in turn, on his demise a few years ago, bequeathed to the present King. He used to go by the name of Don Alessandro Soler. He was not a grandee, and had therefore no recognised position at court. He was not even a Hidalgo, nothing in point of law but^ a foundling. Yet he was an honoured and welcome guest, in all the grandest houses of the Spanish aristocracy, forming part and parcel of the most exclusive coterie at Madrid, and was on a footing of equality with tho haughtiest descendants of the ancient nobility of Castile and of Arragon. His pronounced Bourbon features, and the regard manifested for him by the late Queen Isabella, and indeed by the entire Royal house of Spain, cave rise to a 6tory to the effect that lie was the offspring of a secret marriage of old Queen Christina with a young Englishman of the name of "Wanl* contracted in Italy before her union to King Ferdinand, and this was in a measure confirmed when he bequeathed all his fortune to the Present King, who was not enabled to secure possession thereof until there had been some litigation. But nothing definite was ever known about the origin of Don Alessandro, beyond the fact that he had been adopted as a foundling by the Duke of San Fernando and by his royal duchess.
AUSTRIAN INSTANCES. Empress Elizabeth of Austria adopted two little girls in their early childhood. One of them was her own niece, daughter of the Duke of Bavaria by his morganatic and actress wife, Henrietta Me-ndel. The actress had > received on the occasion of her marriage the title of Baroness Wallersee, .and this was accorded also to the child j which she bore to the Duke, and who ! was christened Marie-. Made von Wal- : lersee was brought up altogether by ! her aunt, the Empress, at the court of Austria, and there is no doubt that at one time she was encouraged by the affection bestowed upon her by her imperial relatives to imagine that.; she might wed her cousin and playmate, Crown Prince Rudolph, and eventually become Empress of Austria. For the Emperor and Empress had already waived in her case all the terribly strict ancestral qualifications insisted m for membership of the Order of Star Cross, and for the rank of Lady of the Palace, knd this had evidently led the girl ty believe that the obstacles in connection with her birth to her becoming the wife of the Crown Prince could be overcome in a similar manner To what extent she revealed the nature of her ambitions it is difficult to say, but they were effectually dispelled by the selection of a husband for her in the person of Count George Larisch; an exceedingly good-looking youno- cavalry officer of large means and ancient lineage. The wedding took place at the Castle of Godollo, in the presence of the Emperor and of his children, the Empress not only giving her niece away, but also providing her with a superb trousseau and a large dowry. The eldest son of this union, Count Francis Joseph Larisch, is married to an American girl, Miss Satterfield, of Buffalo. It is unnecessary to recall here- the subsequent unhappy career of Countess Larisch, who, after exhausting the generosity >of the Jfcnperor and Empress by her insane extravagance, was forced to leave Austria, and was deprived of her Order of the Star Cross, and of her rank as Lady of the Palace at the court of Vienna, on account of the unsavory role which she played in connection with the tragedy of Meyerling, was divorced by her husband, Count Larisoh, in 1869, and is now the wife of the ex-operatio singer. Otto Brucks, at present impresario of the principal theatre of Metz.
PRINCESS OF AUERSPERG.
Far more fortunate has been the fate of the Austrian Empress's other adopted childi Aglae, Princess of Auensperg, who, born within a few weeks of the Empress's youngest and favourite daughter. Archduchess Valeric, was brought up altogether with the latter at court. Indeed, the young archduchess and Princess Aglae Auersperg
were always together, and I cannot W*j call any photograph of the duche» 90 a child or as a young girl without th# princess figuring beside her. Prince* Aglae id now happily married to Conn* Ferdinand Kinsky, Master of tha Horse, Priw Councillor and Chamberlain to the fimpe-ror. She has almost afl large a family of children as her im« penal friend and foster sister, and that the affectionate intimacy between them fit ill subsists is shown by the fact tn«t> whereas one of the girls bears the name* of Marie Valeric, one of th© boys ia called Rudolph, in memory of the ill* fated and sincerely lamented orowtt prince. Let me add that a younger brother of Princess Aglae, namefy, Prince Francis of Auensperg, makes h»"" home in New York ; where- he earns hi* livelihood as a medical practitioner, ami is married to an American girl, mist Florence Hazard," daughter of a wholesale grocer, who lias made a fortune by means of the manufacture of a populaU sauce. ' i
CARED FOR BY THE CZARINA.
Russia's reigning Czarina has quite * large number of young people for wbtietf education, welfare and future she hat assumed the responsibility. \ Some of them are children of officers (who lost) their lives either in the recent war with Japan, or else a* the hands of the re< vofutionists. Perhaps the most inter* eating of all these protegees of the younger of the two Empresses is he* morganatic, brother. It may be reinem* bered that her father, the late Grand Duke Louis of Hesse, contracted a secret morganatio marriage at Darm-' stadt with the divorced wife of a Russian diplomat of the name of Kolo» mine, the lady being by birth A Countess Kapnist. ■, j The grand duke was forced by QueeS Victoria (the mother of his first wife), and by other of his relatives, including the late Emperor and Empraril Frederick and old Emperor William, to abandon his bride as soon as they learned of the marriage— -that fa ■ t»j say, within forty-eight houw of its taking place. Queen Victoria, indeed, who happened to be at Darmstadt at th«| time, carried the grand duke off ts) England, so as to prevent his seeing Mme. de Kolomine again. Three months afterwards the union was dissolved by the German courts, the lady receiving an annuity of 10,000dol ai year and the title of Countess of Rom* rod. At the end of the year she gay* birth to a son, of whom the grand duk« was the father, and of whose welfare and future the Czarina has assumed charge since she has been in Russia* The Countess Romrod has since married another Russian diplomat, th* Baron de Bacheracht, wno representf Russia in Switzerland. It is a strangfl coincidence that brings his wife back W the Swiss capital. For when the first of her three husbands, M. de Kolomine, was stationed there as secretary of 'le*,' gation, her beauty and her flirtation* led to so much perturbation and to so many duels that the Helvetian government is credited with having requested her husband's transfer to another post,
MARIE JOTJROVSKY'S CHILD. |» It is the now widowed Grand Duchssfl Sergius who first befriended and inter* ested herself in the welfare of the son born to her brother-in-law, Grand Duke Alexis, by his runaway marriage with his mother's maid of honour, Marie Jourovsky. niece of the poet of that name. This ecclesiastical union failing to receive the sanction of thef Czar, was never regarded «4 legal. The grand duke was forced hy his father to abandon the girl, who after giving birth to a boy, of whom the Grand Duke was the father, mar* ried in 1875 a Saxon officer of the name of Baron Henry de Woehrmann. Soon after Princess Elizabeth of Hesse went to Russia to become the wife of the late Grand Duke Sergius, she insisted oa taking charge of this boy of the Grand Duke Alexis, and had him brought up under her immediate care. She secured for him the title of Count Belevskoi, attached -him when he grew up to her husband's staff as an A.D.C., with r commission of officer of cavalry, and eventually married him to her own ex* tremeiy wealthy and very charming maid of honour, Princess Marie Troubetzkoi. Moreover, she interested the young fellow's father in him to such an, extent that he has arranged to bequeath to him at his death the whole of his large fortune.
Old Archduke and Archduchess Rainer of Austria have en adopted child in Marie Baroness Waideck, now married to x'fince Henry of Campof ranco, a grandson of the Royal Duchess of Berry, dt her second marriage with her Neapolitan chamberlain, Count Lucchesi Palli. The Princess, who has already been designated as the sole heiress of the colossal fortune of her foster-parents, the old Archduke and Archduchess Rainer, is the only chil| of the late Archduke Henry, who Jad ecclesiastically married the actress I.** poldine Hoffman, in defiance of 4M commands of the Emperor, and hag been in consequence thereof depnr-"! of his honours and banished from Austria. Thanks to the kindly intevvea» tion of the Empress, a complete WW"* ciliation was eventually brought awa between Archduke Henry\and the Emperor, who invited him to come to Vienna with his wife and daughter, then a young girl. The Archduke U» rived at Vienna, in which he had not set foot for twenty years, took up hi* residence at the Hotel Sacher, called upon the Emperor, and received from him not only a full and complete pardon for his disobedience, but also the restoration of all his honours and dignities. The interview between the cousins was most cordial, but wa» the last that ever took place. For on tht following morning the Archduke wa« seized with a violent illness, and on the evening of the same day his wife, who had just been created the Barones* Waideck by the Emperor, was als4 prostrated by a sudden sickness, b*- - lieved to have been ptomaine poisoning. The sufferings of the archduke and of the new Baroness were very brief, and on the following evening they succumb, ed, within an hour of each other, leav* ing their only child, Marie, an orphan, and alone in the hotel. The suddenness of her parents' death, and the loneli« ness of the young girl, who waswithout any relative on her mother's side, and whose bereavement was rendered doubly cruel by the fact that it occurred at the very moment when brighter prospects, seemed to be opening up for the little family after their many years of banishment and of financial stress, aroused universal sympathy, nowhere more so than among her Imperial rela« tives. Archduke and Archduchess Rainer who are childless, at once came forward, took charge of the girl, and adopted her, the Emperor conferring upon her the title of Countess in hex own right. A few years later she contracted, with the consent of the Emperor and of her adopted parents, A marriage with the eldest son of tha Duke Delia Grazzia, who abandoned to his son on the occasion of his marriage his second title of Prince Campofranco. In fact, adoption of children by Princes and Princesses of the blood are far more frequent than is generally known. Often romance plays a con* siderable role in connection therewith | sometimes drama, and even tragedy. There are cases in which the adoption may be regarded as an effort to repaif a wrong perpetrated by others, and am attempt to brighten the lot of those, who seem born to be the innocent victims of fate. But this interference with the course of destiny is not always attended with success. Sometimes it gives rise to unattainable ambitions, the disappointment of which results in bitterness, animosity and the rankest ingratitude. In fact, it is but the other day that a woman who had been brought up by a Royal Princess in Ger* many, and had forced her benefactreai to get rid of her on account of her be» haviour, actually instituted legal pro* ceedings against her on the ground that the Princess had not fulfilled tht intentions which she proclaimed of be* stowing upon her the larger part W her fortune.
ADOPTED BY ROYALTY., Star, Issue 9249, 30 May 1908
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