Thursday, October 18, 2012

Royal Wedding: Sweden-Saxe Coburg and Gotha

October 18, 1932

The tiny former duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is looking forward to celebrating its "first international royal alliance" since Germany became a republic, reports the New York Times.

But there is one major difference between this wedding and pre-republican royal weddings.  Journalists have swarmed into Coburg, something that would have been unthinkable before the World War.

The newspaper reporters and photographers -- 20 alone from Scandinavia -- attended a press reception today at the Veste castle in Coburg hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The press were provided with all the details about the wedding.  They also got a first glimpse at the wedding presents.

The town of Coburg's gift is a cradle of "ancient peasant design."  The cradle has a double bottom, "between the boards there is Coburg earth," so that Sweden's future king  will be able to "spend its infancy on its mother;s native soil.
German President von Hindenburg has given the couple two candelabra and a fruit dish.  He has also ordered a company of the Reichswehr to mount a guard" at the castle on the day of wedding.

Tomorrow local residents of Coburg will be able to meet with Princess Sybilla and Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf.  A selection of residents will also be able to attend the gala performance at the opera.

King George V will be represented by his brother-in-law, the Earl of Athlone, whose wife, Princess Alice, is the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha's older sister.  The King of Sweden, the bridegroom's grandfather, will be represented by the Swedish Ambassador to Berlin.

The Duke of Connaught is also attending the wedding.  He is the only surviving son of Queen Victoria, and, thus, is the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha's uncle.  The Duke was born Prince Charles Edward, posthumous son of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, Queen Victoria's youngest son. 

Other guests have also arrived in Coburg:Prince Harald of Denmark,  Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna of Russia, a first cousin of the bride's father,  King Ferdinand of Bulgaria, a Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha by birth, and other German princes.  Crown Prince Rupprecht and Crown Princess Antonia of Bavaria are also attending the wedding.

Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia, son of the former Kaiser, is said to be representing the "Hitlerites."

The Nazi swastika is still seen flying in some parts of Coburg, although the local authorities have been requested to "to see their seemly disappearance."  A number of the Brown Shirts are "stalking about with scowling faces," in spite of the fact that the first telegram to the couple after their engagement was announced came from Herr Hitler.

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