Friday, January 22, 2021

The Passing of a Vietnamese Princess and Italian Duchess

Emperor Bảo Đại of Vietnam and his eldest daughter Princess Phương Mai at the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Monza, 1955.
Photograph (c) Mario De Biasi/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images.  

Princess Phương Mai of Vietnam, Dowager Duchess di Addis Abeba, died on 16 January 2021 at Louveciennes. The princess was eighty-three years-old. A widow since 1992, Phương Mai had lived with her sister Princess Phương Dung in Louveciennes for quite some time.


Left to right: Empress Nam Phương, Crown Prince Bảo Long, Dowager Empress Рoan Huy holding her granddaughter Princess Phương Mai, and Emperor Bảo Đại.
Photograph circa 1937/1938.

Empress Nam Phương of Vietnam.

The last Empress of Vietnam with her five children.

Princess Phương Mai of Vietnam was born on 1 August 1937 at Da Lat. She was the second child and first daughter of Emperor Bảo Đại of Vietnam (1913-1997) and his first wife Empress Nam Phương (1914-1963). Princess Phương Mai had four full siblings: Crown Prince Bảo Long (1936-2007), Princess Phương Liên (b.1938; married Bernard Soulan), Princess Phương Dung (b.1942), and Prince Bảo Thắng (1943-2017). From her father's other wives and concubines, Princess Phương Mai had seven half-siblings. 

In 1947, Empress Nam Phương departed Vietnam with her children and lived at the Château Thorens, outside of Cannes. Princess Phương Mai received her education in France and returned to Vietnam, where she lived from 1949 until 1953. In 1955, Emperor Bảo Đại and Empress Nam Phương along with their children permanently relocated to France after Bảo Đại's overthrow. 

On 5 August 1971 at Paris, Princess Phương Mai of Vietnam married Don Pietro Badoglio (1939-1992), 2nd Duke di Addis Abeba and Marquis del Sabotino.

Don Pietro Badoglio was the eldest son of Don Mario Badoglio dei duchi di Addis Abeba (1905-1953) and his wife Donna Giuliana Rota dei conti di San Vito al Tagliamento (1913-). The ducal title was created for Pietro's grandfather Marshal Don Pietro Badoglio (1871-1956) in 1936 by King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy; Marshal Badaglio served as the Prime Minister of Italy from 1943-1944.

Pietro and Phương Mai had two children: Don Flavio (b.1973) and Donna Manuela (b.1959 or 1979).

Princess Phuong Mai of Vietnam, Dowager Duchess di Addis Abeba, was privately buried on 21 January 2021. She is survived by her two children, her two grandchildren, her two sisters, and her nieces and nephew.

May the Princess Rest in Peace. 

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