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Love and divorce

From Norway we hear of the separation and pending divorce between Princess Märtha Louise and her husband of fourteen years, author Ari Behn. Although not too common within the European Royal families, in recent years there has been an alarming increase in these unhappy events. In England it started off with Princess Margaret in 1978, followed by the Princess Royal in 1992, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York in 1996. In Denmark there is Prince Joachim in 2005 and in Holland Princess Irene in 1981 and Princess Christina in 1996. There are for obvious reasons fewer cases of divorce within Catholic families, but even they have had their share. Forgetting about the Monegasques, the recent (2009) divorce of Princess Elena of Spain comes to mind as well as a number of them within the house of Orléans. Among the Orthodox Royal Houses in the Balkans and in Russia, divorce seems to be more common than sticking together in lifelong marriages.
    In the 19th century Royal divorces were extremely scarce. Combing the genealogies, one comes up with just a few:



1809     Napoleon  Ω  Josephine
1810     Prince Christian (VIII) of Denmark  Ω  Duchess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
1812     King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden  Ω  Princess Friederike of Baden
1820     Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich  Ω  Princess Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
1826     Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld  Ω  Princess Luise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
1837     Crown Prince Frederik (VII) of Denmark  Ω  Princess Wilhelmine of Denmark 
1843     Prince Gustav Wasa (Sweden)  Ω  Princess Luise of Baden 
1846     Crown Prince Frederik (VII) of Denmark  Ω  Duchess Caroline of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
1848     Duke Friedrich of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg  Ω  
             Princess Adelheid of Schaumburg-Lippe
1849     Princess Marianne of the Netherlands  Ω  Prince Albrecht of Prussia
1861     Landgrave Alexis of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld  Ω  Princess Luise of Prussia  
1880     Prince Albert I of Monaco  Ω  Lady Mary Douglas-Hamilton

Unique in this collection is the 1848 one, where the couple had married in 1841, only to divorce seven years later. Somehow the relation between them must have improved, since they remarried one another in 1854 and had four more children. One wonders what the story might have been there?     

                                                                                    Ted Rosvall

            

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