Tuesday, July 5, 2022

OTD in 1957: The Marriage of Prince Henri d'Orléans & Duchess Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg

Henri & Marie-Thérèse.
The Royal Chapel of Dreux.
The invitation to the royal wedding.

Sixty-five years ago today, Prince Henri d'Orléans, Count of Clermont, and Duchess Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg were married at Dreux. 

The first photo of Henri: the prince is held by his mother, the Countess of Paris, while his older sister Princess Isabelle plants a kiss on his forehead.
The Duke of Guise holds his grandson during Prince Henri's baptism.
The Count of Paris and little Princess Isabelle look on.
A tender moment: the Duke of Guise and his grandson Prince Henri.
Prince Henri, aged 2 1/2.
Prince Henri, aged four.

Prince Henri d'Orléans was born in exile, at the Manoir d'Anjou near Brussels, on 14 June 1933. The Manoir d'Anjou was then the residence of the pretender to the throne of France, Prince Jean, Duke of Guise, who had inherited it from his cousin, Prince Philippe, Duke d'Orléans, who died in 1926. The birth of the young prince was greeted with great jubilation, and the story goes that the French monarchists then found a way to ring the great bell of Notre-Dame to celebrate this event.

On the day of his baptism, 5 July 1933 (exactly 24 years before his wedding day) his grandfather, the Duke of Guise, made him swallow a few drops of Jurançon wine and rubbed his lips with a pod of garlic, in memory of the tradition attached to the birth of King Henri IV.

The prince's childhood was spent in Belgium, either with his grandparents or at the Château d'Agimont, his parents' residence, very close to the French border. He came to France early, during the visits that the Countess of Paris could make there, since she was not affected by the law of exile.

When war was declared in 1939, Prince Henri d'Orléans was on a trip to Brazil with the royal family. The Count of Paris returned hastily to Europe and offered to serve his country on the military field, an opportunity that was refused to him: he was to enlist in the Foreign Legion during the invasion of France and to know the fate of the armed forces of his country under the name of Orliac, and the uniform of a 2nd class soldier in the Foreign Legion. His eldest son Prince Henri, as well as all Henri's brothers and sisters, left at this time with Madame the Countess of Paris for Morocco, where the royal family lived until 1942.

In 1943, the Royal House of France moved to Pamplona, ​​then, at the end of the war, to Portugal near Cintra, in a rural property, the Quinta dos Anjinhos. The family of the Count of Paris then consisted of ten children, and Prince Henri and his sister Princess Isabelle well understood the constraints and duties of all the eldest siblings of large families. Henri continued his studies with French professors, occupying his spare time by participating in agricultural work or writing and printing with his brothers and sisters a small newspaper, entitled first We Ten, then We Eleven, after the birth of Prince Thibaut.

In 1948, he traveled with his brother Prince François - thanks to special permission - on a long trip through France, then, in October of the same year, he was authorised, by way of derogation of the Law of Exile, to continue his studies at the Lycée Longchamp in Bordeaux.

After his baccalaureate, Prince Henri entered the School of Political Science.

Duchess Marie-Thérèse, aged four.
Duchess Marie-Thérèse, aged eight.

Duchess Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg was born at Schloß Altshausen on 12 November 1934; she was the fourth child and third daughter of Duke Philipp, head of the Royal House of Württemberg and his second wife, Archduchess Rosa of Austria.

The childhood of the young duchess passed in the residences of Altshausen and Friedrichshofen, on Lake Constance, or in Austria. After having undertaken her early studies with her siblings, then at the monastery of Saint Lioba, in Wald, Württemberg, she took interpreting courses in Munich at the end of which she graduated, then at the University of Tübingen the duchess enrolled in childcare welfare courses. Marie-Thérèse had planned a career as an interpreter for the United Nations. 


Marie-Thérèse and Henri show her engagement ring.
The newly-engaged couple walking through the halls of Altshausen.
Marie-Thérèse and Henri in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

In 1959, Marianne Andrau spoke with Prince Henri, Count of Clermont, as well as with Princess Marie-Thérèse, Countess of Clermont, during the course of Mme Andrau's writing of the book, Famille royale à la mode de France. Henri spoke of how he met Marie-Thérèse, and how their relationship progressed until they became engaged:
Princess Marie-Thérèse: "It is all the same a chance, that since the famous marriage of Marie od France with my ancestor the Duke of Württemberg, our family became Catholic. Thus, between us, no difference."

Prince Henri: "That's what I said to myself when, after meeting you in 1955 at that ball given in Munich by the Thurn and Taxis, I wanted to know more about you.

I noticed Marie-Thérèse the evening of that ball. I cannot say, however, what in her caught my attention. I don't remember how she was dressed. She was wearing a light dress... I think. What I noticed right away were her eyes... her blue eyes. Very large, very soft perhaps, but at the same time... firm. I found this to be very pleasing."

Mme Andrau: "So, Monseigneur, you invited this young girl in a light dress and with blue eyes to dance?"

Prince Henri: "Yes, but I only danced with her once that night. Everyone was asking for it. And since I knew very little about her... I contented myself with observing her from afar. But I had remembered it. I had spoken about it to Papa, who had told me that he held her family in high esteem. He himself considered Duchess Marie-Thérèse to be a serious and agreeable young woman.

Long after... three months it seems to me, I saw the Duchess Marie-Thérèse again at home. She had friends in France, she had come to Paris, she called. I guessed then that she didn't mind seeing me again. She could have not phoned, right?

Duchess Marie-Thérèse then came to lunch at Louveciennes. We couldn't talk much. The whole family was there. Then she came to Portugal in the summer. Unfortunately I was not there. I had work in Paris. Anyway, I hadn't decided to rush things. I wasn't sure what shape they would take. I thought: "We have to wait. We have to see..."

In September, we invited Marie-Thérèse to Louveciennes. There, we finally had the time to speak a little more freely. We had many common tastes that we discovered little by little. But she is much more savvy in music than I am. I liked this young woman more and more. However, I did not envisage marriage with her; just a friendship.

It was after he left that we started writing to each other. Then, in October, my parents and we were invited to 'chez euz', in Germany. Their welcome was very family-like. At the beginning, my brothers, my sisters, and I had a certain reservation vis-à-vis the young Württembergs. They were less exuberant than our family. It is only an appearance, with them, a little cold. But they are easily warmed up and they are charming.

So I stayed there, four or five days. I found Marie-Thérèse always very kind and affectionate. But I haven't asked her anything yet. I wanted to know if our budding feelings were solid.

Despite this, on my return, I had to put up with the jokes of my brothers and my sisters; those of Michael of Greece too. Me, I was silent. I didn't want to commit myself lightly, marriage is very important to me.

Finally, during the summer of 1956, when we were leaving for the mountains, Isabelle, Hélène, François and myself, Marie-Thérèse accompanied us to Chamonix. It was very nice. Then she went back home.

Me, after three days, I was seized with violent headaches. I had to abandon the caravan. It was too cold and I have a sensitive liver. But, naturally, my brothers and sisters didn't want to believe my discomfort. 'It's not altitude sickness you have, they said, it's heartsickness.'

In fact, I immediately went from Chamonix to Württemberg. And this time, I was determined to get married if Duchess Marie-Thérèse was too."
The betrothal of the prince and the duchess was officially announced on 14 November 1956.

The couple in the hôtel de ville de Dreux.
With them are the Count and Countess of Paris, Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, King Umberto II of Italy, the Count of Barcelona, and King Pavlos of Greece (obscured).
Prince Henri signs the marriage registry.
Duchess Marie-Thérèse signs the marriage registry.

Before their religious wedding, Prince Henri d'Orléans and Duchess Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg were civilly married at the mairie de Dreux. The prince's witnesses were the Count of Barcelona and the King of the Hellenes. The duchess's witnesses were her brothers Duke Ludwig and Duke Carl of Württemberg.

Prince Henri d'Orléans, Count of Clermont, and the Countess of Paris.
The Count of Paris and Duchess Rosa of Württemberg.
Duke Philipp of Württemberg and Duchess Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg.
King Umberto II of Italy, Queen Frederica of Greece, and King Simeon II of Bulgaria.
Marie-Thérèse places the wedding band on Henri's hand.



In the Royal Chapel of Dreux, the Abbe Noisée delivered the following sermon at the wedding of Prince Henri d'Orléans, Count of Clermont, and Duchess Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg:
There are dates in life that seem to bring together so many happy and important events that we like to choose them to add new ones.
5 July: the day of your birth, Monseigneur the Count of Paris, and also how happy that this was the day when you were able to return in complete freedom to the soil of a France so loved by you!

5 July: the anniversary of your baptism, Monseigneur the Count of Clermont, and now for many years no doubt - since, in one of the prayers at the altar, the priest will ask "that you may see your children's children until the third and fourth generation" - July 5th will remain the anniversary of this union that you will shortly contract with the one whom you have chosen for her proven moral qualities, her perfect education, her gentle but strong character for the accomplishment of duty.

By your asking me to deliver to you a few words from His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris - in whom you find your first archbishop - who receives your request, you wanted to prove your affectionate gratitude for all that your adolescence, during these past years in Bordeaux, given from these strong friendships which surround you, trying to replace your family then distant from France, from these devoted teachers who instructed you, from these fellow pupils who remain attached to you, and from the one you call and who remains with so much affection: your abbot.

Be deeply convinced that by allowing your union God first wants you to be happy, because what can a father desire for his child if not happiness. Now, who is more of a Father than God?

But the Lord is also accustomed to making His own participate in His work; that is why you will not find this happiness ready-made. Under what conditions will you establish it? By thinking each one has to make the other happy. Besides, is not love above all about wanting the happiness of the other and being ready to sacrifice everything, even oneself if necessary, to achieve it?

If many couples are disappointed by marriage, it is not the fault of this institution willed by God, but, too often, because we seek more to profane love than to accept it with its joys, its requirements. Selfishness in the home may for a time bring satisfaction to one who no longer struggles, but, like the worm in the fruit, it destroys happiness, and sometimes with happiness, the home itself.

Besides, it will not be enough for you to be happy, even for each other, for both of you. If you must know this sweetness and this strength of love, it will be to allow those little beings whom the Lord will entrust to you, to find in your home this atmosphere of real joys so necessary for children to blossom and to prepare for the struggles of life.

If there are so many unhappy children in the world, it is because there are too many homes where we do not love each other as we should. You who know what a real family is, you will continue the example left by those who gave it to you.

Faithful to each other, you will be, because to carry out a common task, you always need undivided love.

Do I need to tell you that your marriage, not going unnoticed, as well as your existence, your home must, more than others, remain an example, because, to remind people of the greatness of the family, a real Christian home consists of more than a grand wedding.

To help you live this ideal, you will have the grace that the sacrament of marriage will bring you, that praying together will strengthen.

The presence at your side today of His Excellency the Bishop of Chartres guarantees that you will not be without the help of the Virgin, to whom he prays for you in her beautiful cathedral.

So, trusting in God as you both do, leaning on each other, go joyfully towards the life that disappoints only those who do not trust it. Even if it is rough at certain times, and it will be, your love will only come out stronger, because shared sorrows unite two hearts even more than joys.

You are well aware, Madame, of what the family means to many French people who has given you the eldest of their sons with all the responsibilities he carries, and you know with what joy and with what confidence they do so.

We who know and love the person who will become your traveling companion for good and bad days - because true love goes so far - we know that he will make you happy. We have, moreover, the same certainty with regard to you; you too will make him happy.

Does not a very old popular song from your country proclaim "No one has yet repented of having loved a young Swabian girl", and we are firmly convinced that it is not the descendant of Princess Marie d'Orléans, Duchess of Württemberg, who could begin to disappoint the trust and affection of the one who gave her everything!

You can now say the "yes" that will link your two lives.

Silent, we listen to you, but, now more than ever, our souls pray with you and for you.

Amen.
The Count and Countess of Clermont cut the wedding cake.
Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.
Princess Anne, Dowager Duchess of Aosta, and Archduke Gottfried of Austria-Tuscany.
King Umberto II of Italy and Queen Frederica of Greece.
Behind them are King Pavlos of Greece and Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain.
Count Evrard von Limburg-Stirum and Princess Diane d'Orléans.
Princess Isabelle d'Orléans.

Numerous royal and noble families attended the wedding of the Count and Countess of Clermont.

Austria
Archduke Robert and Archduchess Margherita of Austria
Archduke Ferdinand and Archduchess Helen of Austria
Archduke Heinrich of Austria

Baden
Margrave Berthold and Margravine Theodora of Baden
Hereditary Prince Max of Baden

Bavaria
Duke Albrecht and Duchess Marita of Bavaria
Hereditary Prince Franz of Bavaria
Duke Max Emanuel of Bavaria
Princess Marie Gabrielle of Bavaria
Duke Luitpold in Bavaria

Brazil
Princess Elisabeth of Orléans and Bragança
Prince Pedro Gastão and Princess Esperanza of Orléans and Bragança
Prince Pedro Carlos of Orléans and Bragança
Princess Teresa of Orléans and Bragança
Princess Maria Pia of Orléans and Bragança
Prince Luiz of Orléans and Bragança
Princess Pia Maria, Countess René de Nicolay

Bulgaria
Queen Mother Giovanna of Bulgaria
King Simeon II of the Bulgarians

Denmark
Prince Axel and Princess Margaretha of Denmark
Prince Viggo and Princess Viggo, Count and Countess of Rosenborg 

France
The Count and Countess of Paris
Princess Isabelle d'Orléans
Princess Hélène d'Orléans and Count Evrard von Limburg-Stirum
Prince François d'Orléans
Princess Anne d'Orléans
Princess Diane d'Orléans
Prince Michel d'Orléans
Prince Jacques d'Orléans
Princess Claude d'Orléans
Princess Chantal d'Orléans
Prince Thibaut d'Orléans
Princess Isabelle, Princess Pierre Murat
Princess Isabel, Dowager Duchess of Montpensier
Princess Geneviève, Marquise de Chaponay

Greece
King Pavlos and Queen Frederica of Greece
Crown Prince Constantine of Greece
Princess Sophia of Greece
Prince Michael of Greece

Hannover
Prince Ernst August and Princess Ortrud of Hannover
Prince Christian of Hannover
Prince Welf Heinrich of Hannover

Hohenlohe
Fürst Gottfried and Fürstin Margarita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Hereditary Prince Kraft of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

Italy
King Umberto II of Italy
Princess Anne, Dowager Duchess of Aosta
Princess Maria Cristina of Savoy-Aosta

Liechtenstein
Fürst Franz Joseph II and Fürstin Georgina of Liechtenstein
Prince Karl Alfred and Princess Agnes of Liechtenstein
Prince Georg and Princess Marie Christine of Liechtenstein
Princess Margarita of Liechtenstein
Prince Ulrich of Liechtenstein
Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein
Prince Heinrich of Liechtenstein

Löwenstein
Fürst Karl and Fürstin Carolina of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg

Luxembourg
Hereditary Grand Duke Jean and Hereditary Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg
Princess Marie Adelaide of Luxembourg
Prince Charles of Luxembourg

The Netherlands
Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands
Princess Irene of the Netherlands

Parma
Princess Hedwige of Bourbon-Parma
Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma
Prince Louis and Princess Maria of Bourbon-Parma

Portugal
Duarte Nuno and Maria Francisca, Duke and Duchess of Braganza

Saxony
Margrave Friedrich Christian and Margravine Elisabeth Helene of Meißen
Hereditary Prince Maria Emanuel of Saxony

Spain
Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain
The Count and Countess of Barcelona
Infanta Pilar of Spain
Infante Jose Eugenio of Spain, Prince of Bavaria, and Princess Marisol of Bavaria

Thurn and Taxis
Fürst Franz Joseph and Fürstin Elisabeth of Thurn and Taxis
Prince Karl August and Princess Maria Ana of Thurn and Taxis
Prince Johannes of Thurn and Taxis
Prince Raimundo delle Torre e Tasso

Tuscany
Archduke Gottfried and Archduchess Dorothea of Austria
Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria
Archduchess Alice of Austria
Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria
Archduke Radbot Ferdinand of Austria
Archduchess Walburga of Austria
Archduchess Katharina of Austria
Archduke Hubert Salvator and Archduchess Rosemary of Austria

Two Sicilies
Infanta Alicia, Duchess of Calabria
Princess Teresa of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Princess Inès of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Prince Antonio of Bourbon-Two Sicilies

Württemberg
Duke Philipp and Duchess Rosa of Württemberg
Duke Louis of Württemberg
Duke Carl of Württemberg
Duchess Helene of Württemberg
Duchess Elisabeth of Württemberg 
Duchess Marie Antoinette of Württemberg
Duchess Nadeshda of Württemberg
Duke Ferdinand of Württemberg
Duchess Margarethe of Württemberg
Duke Eugen Eberhard of Württemberg
Duke Alexander of Württemberg
Duchess Sophie of Württemberg

Yugoslavia
Prince Alexander and Princess Maria Pia of Yugoslavia

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