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London

Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg Crown Prince Gustav Princess Victoria of Sweden Prince Nikolaus Wilhelm of Nassau Cannes 1890 Antique Photo

£595.00

Fine and rare set of three snap shot style photos taken in Cannes in April 1890. The first photo shows: Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg (1878-1948) holding a parasol, Crown Princess Viktoria of Sweden, later Queen of Sweden (1862-1930),  Cown Prince Gustav of Sweden later King Gustav V of Sweden (1858-1950) with a tennis racket in his hands, and Prince Nikolaus Wilhelm of Nassau (1832-1905). The second photo shows the Crown Prince of Sweden with Baron Fersen and Grand Duchess Anastasia of Mecklenberg-Schwerin (1860-1922). The third photo shows the Crown Prince of Sweden on the tennis court.

Duchess Marie was the eldest daughter of Adolf Friedrich V, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Princess Elisabeth of Anhalt. As a young woman Marie became pregnant by a palace servant.The servant, a married man named Hecht, was responsible for turning off the gas-lights in the bedrooms of the grand ducal children. Several of Marie's cousins, including the future King George V of the United Kingdom and William II, German Emperor, thought that Marie had been "hypnotised", while Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom thought that Marie had been "drugged". Hecht was dismissed from service on the charge of stealing; his subsequent lawsuit against the grand ducal family made the details of the story public. The story made radical newspaper headlines in its day. A daughter was born to Marie in 1898; she was raised under the protection of Marie's grandmother, Grand Duchess Augusta of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (born Princess Augusta of Cambridge).

Marie went to France where she met Count George Jametel, the son of Ernest Jametel, a banker and patent medicine manufacturer, and nephew of the politician Gustave-Louis Jametel ; he had received the title of Papal Count from Pope Leo XIII in 1886. Marie and George were married in 1899, at the Catholic Chapel of St. Elizabeth in Richmond Park, near White Lodge, the home of Marie's great-aunt, the Duchess of Teck (born Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge). There was a second Anglican wedding ceremony the same day at the Parish Church of Kew. In spite of the fact that the marriage was morganatic, many members of Marie's family attended the wedding, including her grandparents, parents, and three siblings. The wedding breakfast was given by her great-uncle the Duke of Cambridge at Cambridge Cottage, Kew. Marie and George received a large financial settlement ($200,000) from Marie's father and lived in the Faubourg St. Germain in Paris.

Marie's husband George had several affairs, most notoriously with the married Infanta Eulalia of Spain. In January 1908, Marie applied for a divorce from George. The Count was found to have married Marie for her money, and to have continued his affair with Eulalia. In August her nineteen-year-old brother, Duke Karl Borwin of Mecklenburg, decided to defend her honour and challenged George to a duel in which Karl Borwin was killed. Marie and George were divorced in 1908. Having lost her fortune due to the divorce, she resumed the use of her Mecklenburg title and lived in the Blasewitz section of Dresden.

Marie later married Prince Julius Ernst of Lippe . After their marriage Marie and Julius lived in Blasewitz.. She died at the age of seventy in Oberkassel near Bonn. She is buried with her second husband in the Lippe family mausoleum at Heisterbach Abbey.

Gustaf V was King of Sweden from 1907 until his death in 1950. He was the eldest son of King Oscar II of Sweden and Sophia of Nassau, a half-sister of Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Reigning from the death of his father Oscar II in 1907 until his own death 43 years later, he holds the record of being the oldest monarch of Sweden and the third-longest reigning after Magnus IV and Carl XVI Gustaf. He was also the last Swedish monarch to exercise his royal prerogatives, which largely died with him, although formally abolished only with the remaking of the Swedish constitution in 1974. He was the first Swedish king since the High Middle Ages not to have a coronation and hence never wore a crown, a tradition continuing to date.

Gustaf's early reign saw the rise of parliamentary rule in Sweden, although the leadup to World War I pre-empted his overthrow of Liberal Prime Minister Karl Staaff in 1914, replacing him with his own figurehead Hjalmar Hammarskjöld (father of Dag Hammarskjöld) for most of the war. However, after the Liberals and Social Democrats secured a parliamentary majority under Staaff's successor, Nils Edén, he allowed Edén to form a new government which de facto stripped the monarchy of all virtual powers and enacted universal and equal suffrage, including for women, by 1919. Bowing fully to the principles of parliamentary democracy, he remained a popular figurehead for the remaining 31 years of his rule, although not completely without influence – during World War II he allegedly urged Per Albin Hansson's coalition government to accept requests from Nazi Germany for logistics support, refusing which might have provoked an invasion. This remains controversial to date, although he is not known to have shown much support for fascism or radical nationalism; his pro-German and anti-Communist stance was well known also in World War I.

Following his death at age 92, he was implicated as a homosexual in the Haijby affair. His supposed lover – career criminal and accused pedophile Kurt Haijby – was imprisoned in 1952 for blackmail of the court in the 1930s. (Homosexuality was a criminal offense in Sweden until 1944, though Gustaf's position would have granted automatic immunity.) An avid hunter and sportsman, he presided over the 1912 Olympic Games and chaired the Swedish Association of Sports from 1897 to 1907. Most notably, he represented Sweden (under the alias of Mr G.) as a competitive tennis player, keeping up competitive tennis until his 80s, when his eyesight deteriorated rapidly. He died from flu complications and was succeed by his son, Gustaf VI Adolf.

Victoria was the Queen of Sweden by her marriage to King Gustaf V. She was politically active in a conservative fashion during the development of democracy and known to be pro-German during the First World War.

Princess Viktoria married in Karlsruhe on 20 September 1881 Crown Prince Gustaf of Sweden and Norway, the son of King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway and Sofia of Nassau. From then on, she used the name Victoria. The German Emperor and Empress were present at the wedding, and marriage was arranged as a sign that Sweden belonged to the German sphere in Europe. The marriage was popular in Sweden where she was called "The Vasa Princess", because of her descent from the old Vasa dynasty, and she received a very elaborate welcome on the official cortege into Stockholm 1 October 1881. On 1 February 1882, Victoria and Gustaf visited Oslo, where they were welcomed with a procession of 3,000 torch bearers.

She and Gustaf were brought together by their families and their marriage was reported not to have been a happy one. Their marriage produced three children. In 1890–1891, Victoria and Gustaf travelled to Egypt to repair their relationship, but it did not succeed, allegedly due to Victoria's interest in one of the courtiers, and she repeated the trip to Egypt in 1891–1892. After 1889, the personal relationship between Victoria and Gustaf is considered to have been finished, in part, as estimated by Lars Elgklou, due to the bisexuality of Gustaf. She suffered depression after the birth of her first child in 1882, and after this, she often spent the winters at spas abroad. She would continue to spend the winters outside Sweden from that year until her death. By 1888, her winter trips had made her unpopular, and she was described as very haughty. In 1889, she had pneumonia, and was formally ordered by the doctors to spend the cold Swedish winters in a southern climate. She had conflicts with her parents-in-law about her expensive stays abroad.

She greatly disapproved of the marriage between her brother-in-law prince Oscar and her lady-in-waiting Ebba Munck af Fulkila in 1888. She is described as strong-willed and artistically talented. She was an accomplished amateur photographer and painter and she also sculpted. On her travels in Egypt and Italy she both photographed and painted extensively, and experimented with various photo-developing techniques, producing high-quality photographic work. She was also an excellent pianist and, for example, could play through the complete Ring of the Nibelung by Wagner without notes. She had had a good music education and in her youth she had turned the notes on court concerts for Franz Liszt. Her favourite composers were Schubert and Beethoven. She was also described as a skillful rider.

Victoria became Queen-consort of Sweden with her father-in-law's death on 8 December 1907. As queen, she was only present in Sweden during the summers, but she still dominated the court. She arranged the marriage between her son Wilhelm and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia in 1908. She was also devoted to various kinds of charity, in Sweden, Germany and Italy.

Nikolaus Wilhelm, Prince of Nassau, was the only son of William, Duke of Nassau by his second wife Princess Pauline of Württemberg. He married morganatically in London on 1 July 1868 Natalya Alexandrovna Pushkina. She was the daughter of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin and wife Natalya Nikolaevna Goncharova, and a descendant of Abram Petrovich Gannibal and Petro Doroshenko, Hetman of Ukrainian Cossacks, in turn grandson of Mykhailo Doroshenko. She was divorced from Russian General Mikhail Leontievich von Dubelt, by whom she had a daughter. In 1868, George Victor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont created her Countess von Merenberg. Their daughter Countess Sophie of Merenberg, Countess of Torby, became the wide of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia.

Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna was the wife of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. She was a keen tennis player, with her own tennis court at the villa.The villa is remarkable and was the first residence in Cannes equipped with electricity and became the winter residence for the family. In 1914 the building was sequestrated and was later turned into luxury apartments and renamed Le Rouve.

Largest Size: 10.5 x 8 cm approx

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