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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Royal relief

Wednesday, January 16th., Cadogan Square, London.

Lunched yesterday at Thesiger's to meet Princess Marie Louise (daughter of princess Christian). She married a Prince Albert of Anhalt, lived in Germany nine years, then got a separation. A woman of 51, dressed in mourning for her mother. Everyone called her 'ma'am' or 'madam' in every sentence, except me, and the women curtsied to her, and Thesiger said the only thing insisted on was that he should meet her at the door when she came.

Her lady-in-waiting, Miss Hawkes, was thee too. Marie Louise kissed her heartily when they met. Seemed a fairly sensible woman and pretty wise. Said nothing in particular but said it neatly, used of course to deference, which she received in plenty, though Thesiger teased her the whole time. Still, I was glad I had not been effusive when she wrote to me about the Queen's Doll's House twice, as I might have got dragged into St. James's Palace, which I should have hated, I know.

Princess Marie Louise (1872 – 1956) was a member of the British Royal Family, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. On 6 July 1891, Princess Marie Louise married Prince Aribert of Anhalt at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. The marriage, however, was unhappy and childless. (Years after the fact, it was debated that Aribert was homosexual and had been caught in bed with a servant, either by Marie Louise or his father.) In December 1900, her father-in-law used his prerogative as reigning Duke of Anhalt to annul the marriage. After the annulment, Princess Marie Louise devoted herself to charitable organizations and patronage of the arts. She inspired the creation of Queen Mary's Dolls' House to showcase the work of British craftsmen.

Also for Ernest Thesiger see 'Indecent exposure?', April 11th., -

Additionally for January 16th., see 'Death and burial' -

Today I had lunch early in order to go to Hardy's funeral at Westminster Abbey. It was all done very smoothly and calmly. Music good. South transept not full. John Galsworthy as a pall-bearer made a magnificent figure. According to my information Hardy had a pretty good idea that he might have to be buried in the Abbey, even if he did not want to. As to the excision of the heart, I regard that as merely outrageous.

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