Ira von Fürstenberg
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Ira von Fürstenberg in the 1950s
18 April 1940 |
|Spouse||Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (m.1955–1960)
Francisco Pignatari (m.1961–1964)
|Issue||Prince Christoph of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Prince Hubertus of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
|Father||Prince Tassilo of Fürstenberg|
|Mother||Clara Jeanne Agnelli|
Princess Virginia of Fürstenberg (born Virginia Carolina Theresa Pancrazia Galdina Prinzessin zu Fürstenberg) (born 18 April 1940) is a European socialite, actress, jewelry designer, former public relations manager for the fashion designer Valentino Garavani. She is and a member by birth of the House of Fürstenberg (Swabia) and by former marriage of the German House of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
The daughter of Prince Tassilo zu Fürstenberg and his first wife, Clara Agnelli, a Fiat heiress, she was born as Her Serene Highness Princess Virginia Carolina Theresa Pancrazia Galdina of Fürstenberg in Rome, Italy.
Her maternal great-grandmother was an American heiress, Jane Campbell (Princess di San Faustino, by marriage), and the elder of her two brothers was the fashion designer Egon von Fürstenberg. Her former sister-in-law is the fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg, and an uncle was Gianni Agnelli, the chairman of Fiat. She also has a younger brother, Prince Sebastian. She is first cousin of former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic the prince Karel Schwarzenberg.
Princess Ira was reportedly an occasional companion and potential consort of Prince Rainier III of Monaco after the death of his wife, the former Grace Kelly, but premature speculation in the press by her son about the marriage apparently dissuaded the prince from making a proposal. Like the late ruler of Monaco, her second cousin, she is a great-grandchild of the Scottish aristocrat Lady Mary Victoria Hamilton, the first wife of Prince Albert I of Monaco, though Ira is descended from Lady Mary's second marriage with the Hungarian prince Tassilo Festetics von Tolna. Tassilo´s sister, the countess Georgine Ernestine Festétics Von Tolna, was the great-grandmother of the current ruler of Liechtenstein, making Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein and princess Ira third cousins.
Fürstenberg's first husband, whom she married at Venice, Italy, on 17 September 1955, was Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1924–2003), who founded the Marbella Club, the Spanish resort. At the time of the wedding, the bride was 15, the groom, 31. They were divorced in 1960, and the marriage was annulled in 1969. They had two children:
- Christoph Victorio Egon Humberto (a.k.a. Kiko, 8 November 1956 – 5 August 2006), died of massive organ failure a few days after being imprisoned in Klongprem Central Prison in Bangkok on charges of suspicion of illegally altering a visa. His health had been weakened from a weight-loss regimen at a Thai wellness center.
- Hubertus (born 2 February 1959) is a musician and photographer who was on Mexico's Olympic skiing team in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994, 2010 and 2014.
Fürstenberg's second husband was Francisco "Baby" Pignatari (1916–1977), a Brazilian industrialist. They married in Reno, Nevada, on 12 January 1961. They divorced in Las Vegas in January 1964. They had no children.
Known for her plush silhouette, sloe eyes, and gift for light comedy, Ira von Fürstenberg (she and her brother Egon changed the zu to von for use in their public lives, although the former predicate historically implied a noble family's retention of ancestral estates, whereas von only suggests family origin) was a sumptuous star of European-made B-movies in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Her film appearances included the spy spoof Matchless (1968, co-starring Patrick O'Neal), I Killed Rasputin (1967), Dead Run (1967, co-starring Peter Lawford), My Bed Is Not for Sleeping (1968), The Vatican Affair (1968), The Battle of El Alamein (1969), Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970) and The Fifth Cord (1971).
Titles and styles
- Her Serene Highness Princess Virginia of Fürstenberg (1940–1955)
- Her Serene Highness Princess Virginia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Princess of Fürstenberg (1955–1960)
- Her Serene Highness Princess Virginia of Fürstenberg (1960–1961)
- Her Serene Highness Princess Virginia of Fürstenberg, Mrs. Pignatari (1961–1964)
- Her Serene Highness Princess Virginia of Fürstenberg (1964–present)
|Ancestors of Ira von Fürstenberg|
- Gloria Emerson, "Her Closets Brim With Fashion: Princess Virginia Ira von und zu Furstenberg", New York Times, 14 April 1966.
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