Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Portuguese Infanta and the Blue-Blooded American Bachelor

In May 1934, the engagement was announced between Infanta Maria Antónia of Portugal (1903-1973) and Mr Sidney Ashley Chanler (1907-1994). The infanta was the daughter of Infante Miguel, Duke of Bragança (1853-1927), and his second wife Princess Marie Therese zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (1870-1935). Mr Chanler was the son of Mr William Astor Chanler (1867-1934) and Mrs Beatrice Minerva Chanler (1881-1946; née Ashley); through his father, Ashley was a descendant of John Jacob Astor (1763-1848).

Infanta Maria Antónia of Portugal marries Mr Ashley Chanler
The couple were married on 13 June 1934 at Seebenstein, the Bragança family home near Vienna. Maria Antónia and Ashley settled in the United States after their wedding. A Harvard graduate, Ashley Chanler worked as a public relations executive. The Chanlers had three children: Mafalda (b.1935), Anthony (b.1938), and Robert (b.1941). The Chanlers divorced in 1948 and they received an annulment in 1954. Ashley Chanler went on to marry twice more and to have two further children. Maria Antónia never remarried.
Mafalda Chanler marries Count André Stenbock-Fermor


Of Maria Antónia and Ashley's children, only their daughter married and has issue. In January 1962, Mafalda Chanler wed Baron Emanuel von Pereira-Arnstein (1931-1976); the couple were divorced by the end of the year. In November 1967, Mafalda married Count André Stenbock-Fermor (b.1926). From this union, Infanta Maria Antónia of Portugal and Mr Ashley Chanler had two grandchildren: Count Alexis (b.1968) and Countess Xenia (b.1969). 


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