Princess Christina Margarethe of Hesse
|Princess Christina Margarethe|
|Princess Christina Margarethe of Hesse|
Princess Andrew of Yugoslavia
|Born||10 January 1933|
Kronberg im Taunus, Weimar Republic
|Died||22 November 2011 (aged 78)|
Prince Andrew of Yugoslavia
(m. 1956; div. 1962)
Robert Floris van Eyck
(m. 1962; div. 1986)
|Issue||Princess Maria Tatiana of Yugoslavia|
Prince Christopher of Yugoslavia
Sophie van Eyck
Mark van Eyck
|Father||Prince Christoph of Hesse|
|Mother||Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark|
Princess Christina Margarethe of Hesse (German: Prinzessin Christina Margarethe von Hessen; 10 January 1933 – 22 November 2011) was the eldest daughter of Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark. From 1956 to 1962, she was married to Prince Andrew of Yugoslavia, with whom she had two children. Her second marriage to Robert Floris van Eyck, a Dutch artist based in London, lasted from 1962 to 1986.
Family background and early life
Princess Christina Margarethe of Hesse was born on 10 January 1933 at the Kronberg Castle in Kronberg im Taunus, Germany. She was the eldest child of Prince Christoph of Hesse (14 May 1901 — 7 October 1943) and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark (26 June 1914 — 3 November 2001), the elder sister of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She had four siblings: Princess Dorothea (born 1934), Prince Karl (born 1937), Prince Rainer (born 1939) and Princess Clarissa (born 1944). Although the German Empire had been abolished in 1918, Christina Margarethe and her siblings all received the title of Prince or Princess of Hesse, and were styled His or Her Highness.
Prince Christoph occupied high positions in Nazi Germany and the Nazi Party, serving as the chief of Hermann Göring's secret intelligence service, an aide to Heinrich Himmler, and a member of the Schutzstaffel (SS). During World War II, he was a major of the Luftwaffe. Prince Christoph died on 7 October 1943 in an airplane crash in the Apennine mountains near Forlì, Italy. Following the death of her husband, Princess Sophie remarried Prince George William of Hanover in 1946. Christina Margarethe gained three half-siblings from this marriage: Prince Welf Ernst (1947-1981), Prince Georg (born 1949) and Princess Friederike (born 1954).
Christina Margarethe was a descendant of Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert through both her father and her mother. (Through her father she was the great-granddaughter of their eldest child, Victoria, Princess Royal, and through her mother, the great-great-granddaughter of their 2nd daughter, Princess Alice of the United Kingdom.) Christina's ancestors also include German emperors Frederick III and William I, Danish king Christian IX, Greek king George I, and Russian emperor Nicholas I. Via her mother, Christina Margarethe was a niece of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a first cousin of Charles, Prince of Wales, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and a first cousin once removed of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry.
Princess Christina Margarethe of Hesse married Prince Andrew of Yugoslavia, the youngest son of Alexander I of Yugoslavia and Princess Maria of Romania, on 2 August 1956 in Kronberg im Taunus, Germany. They had two children:
- Princess Maria Tatiana (Tania) of Yugoslavia (born 18 July 1957), who is a current member of the Royal House of Yugoslavia; married Gregory Thune-Larsen on 30 June 1990. and she became the first great-great-great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria through her maternal grandmother's side. She now practises as a photographer under the name Tania Thune-Larsen, and has two children:
- Sonia Tatiana Thune-Larsen (born 29 October 1992)
- Olga Kristin Thune-Larsen (born 26 October 1995)
- Prince Christopher of Yugoslavia (4 February 1960 – 14 May 1994), who died in a car accident.
The family lived in London, where Prince Andrew had lived in exile after the fall of the monarchy in Yugoslavia. In 1962, Andrew filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery. The divorce was finalized on 31 May 1962, and Andrew received custody of the couple's two children, Princess Maria Tatiana and Prince Christopher. Christina Margarethe soon married her lover Robert Floris van Eyck. While Princess Christina was condemned for her adultery, Prince Andrew himself had a lover, Princess Kira of Leiningen (18 July 1930 – 24 September 2005), daughter of Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia. Andrew had already fathered a child with Kira at the time of his divorce from Christina.
Shortly after divorcing her first husband, Christina Margarethe married her lover Robert Floris van Eyck, a London–based Dutch artist of Sephardic ancestry, on 3 December 1962. Van Eyck was the son of poet, critic, essayist and philosopher Pieter Nicolaas van Eyck, and the brother of architect Aldo van Eyck. The couple had two children:
- Helen Sophia/Sophie van Eyck (born 25 October 1963), married to Roderick Alan Harman, with whom she has two children:
- Mark Nicholas van Eyck (born 16 February 1966), married in 1992 (as "Marc") Joanne Marea Green. Divorced. (She has since remarried.)
Christina Margarethe and Van Eyck separated in 1985, and divorced on 3 February 1986.
Titles and styles
Princess Christina Margarethe of Hesse
|Reference style||Her Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Highness|
- 10 January 1933 — 2 August 1956: Her Highness Princess Christina Margarethe of Hesse
- 2 August 1956 — 31 May 1962: Her Royal Highness Princess Christina Margarethe of Yugoslavia
- 31 May 1962 — 3 December 1962: Her Highness Princess Christina Margarethe of Hesse
- 3 December 1962 — 3 February 1986: Her Highness Princess Christina Margarethe of Hesse, Mrs. Robert Floris van Eyck
- 3 February 1986 — 22 November 2011: Her Highness Princess Christina Margarethe of Hesse
Her titles are translated in German as Ihre Hoheit Prinzessin Christina Margarethe von Hessen and Ihre Königliche Hoheit Prinzessin Andreas von Jugoslawien, and in Serbian as Njeno visočanstvo princeza Kristina Margareta od Hesea and Njeno kraljevsko visočanstvo princeza Kristina Margareta od Jugoslavije (Cyrillic: Њено височанство принцеза Кристина Маргарета од Хесеа and Њено краљевско височанство принцеза Кристина Маргарета од Југославије).
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