Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin & Wife Grand Duchess Anastasia in Cannes


Fine set of four antique snap shot style photographs of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin(1851 – 1897), and his wife Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna (1860-1922), at their home Villa Wenden in Cannes circa 1896. The photographs are mounted onto an album page. From left to right: the first shows them arriving at the villa, whilst the second show them seated with Count de Suzannet taking tea surrounded by family photos, the third photo shows the room in which the Club was founded, whilst he fourth shows them in another part of the maiin room surrounded by photos, with a bear fur rug on the floor and dog seated on a chair.

He was the penultimate Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, born in Schloss Ludwigslust the son of Friedrich Franz II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and his first wife Princess Augusta of Reuss-Köstritz.

From an early age Friedrich Franz suffered from asthma and severe breathing difficulties. He could not live in the north of Europe and lived instead on the shores of the Mediterranean, where the mild climate agreed with him. His homosexuality was an open secret.

Friedrich Franz's death in Cannes on 10 April 1897 is shrouded in mystery, as he was originally reported to have committed suicide by throwing himself off a parapet of a bridge. According to the official account of his death, however, he was in his garden when he experienced breathing difficulties and staggered around before falling over a low wall. He was succeeded by his son Friedrich Franz IV, who would be the last Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Friedrich Franz married Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia in St Petersburg on 24 January 1879. The Grand Duchess never became used to her new country where she was unpopular and so they lived amongst other places at Villa Wenden in Cannes. Of neo classic style with a German touch, the building was constructed in 1889, and rises from a garden terrace sustained by a spectacular peripheral wall.

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 Photo Size: 11 x 8.5 cm approx
Album Page Size: 23 x 17.5 cm approx

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