Mary Elsie Moore
|Mary Elsie Moore, Princess Civitella-Cesi|
October 22, 1889|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||December 21, 1941
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Don Marino Torlonia, 4th Prince of Civitella-Cesi
(m. 1907; div. 1926)
|Children||Princess Donna Olimpia Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi
Don Alessandro Torlonia, 5th Prince di Civitella-Cesi
Princess Donna Cristina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi
Princess Donna Marina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi
|Parent(s)||Charles Arthur Moore
Mary L. Campbell
|Relatives||Francis Alexander Shields (grandson)|
Mary Elsie Moore, Princess Civitella-Cesi (October 22, 1889 – December 21, 1941) was an American heiress who married and divorced Italian prince Don Marino Torlonia, 4th prince of Civitella-Cesi.
Early life and education
Mary Elsie Moore was born October 22, 1889 in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest child of Charles Arthur Moore, a shipping broker and hardware manufacturer from Connecticut, who went on to become the president of Manning, Maxwell and Moore, a large industrial concern. Her mother was Mary L. Campbell. Her siblings were Charles Arthur Moore Jr., who married Elizabeth Hyde (actress Glenn Close's maternal grandfather), Eugene Maxwell Moore (who married Titanic survivor Margaret Graham) and Jessie Ann Moore, who married with homonymous son of US Navy Admiral Colby Mitchell Chester. Mary Elsie was educated at Mrs. Dow's School in Briarcliff Manor, New York.
Marriage and children
The Prince and Princess of Civitella-Cesi had four children:
- Princess Donna Olimpia Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi
- Don Alessandro Torlonia, 5th Prince di Civitella-Cesi, who married Infanta Beatriz of Spain
- Princess Donna Cristina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi
- Princess Donna Marina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi, who married two Americans: Francis Xavier Shields (by whom she had several children, including a son who became the father of the actress Brooke Shields) and Edward Slater
In 1925, the couple separated; the duchess filed for divorce in the United States in 1926. Her American citizenship was brought into question, but the Connecticut courts decided that her residence in the state was legal and granted her divorce in February 1928.
Moore died on December 21, 1941 in New York.
- "MISS MOORE WEDS THE DUKE TORLONIA; New York Girl Becomes Duchess of Poli at Quiet Wedding in Greenwich". The New York Times. 1907-08-16. p. 7.
- "AMERICAN DUCHESS SEEKS DIVORCE HERE; Move in Suit of Former Elsie Moore Against Italian Duke of Torlonia Is Due Friday". The New York Times. 1926-11-22. p. 8.
- "HER CITIZENSHIP IS ISSUE; Duchess of Torlonia's Passport Is Called For in Divorce Suit". The New York Times. 1927-11-23. p. 2.
- "DUCHESS TORLONIA OBTAINS A DIVORCE; Bridgeport Judge Frees Former Elsie Moore From Italian Husband". The New York Times. 1928-02-11. p. 19.
- "DUCHESS TORLONIA WINS DIVORCE SUIT APPEAL; Gains Decision of Connecticut High Court That Residence in State Is Legal". The New York Times. 1928-07-28. p. 6.
- "PRINCESS TORLONIA DEAD HERE AT 53; Former Wife of Late Italian Nobleman Succumbs to Long Illness in Her Home". New York Times. 1941-12-22. p. 17.