Talk:Olga de Meyer
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- I've remove the following:
- Two reasons: there's no citation on the Romain Brooks statement, and the ref for the Singer statement is vague at best. What would be great is if a source could be found that actually states that de Meyer was bisexual. So far all I've been able to find are vague statements and hints. -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 19:01, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Olga de Meyer
In view of the many citations from secondary sources in this Wikipedia entry I have decided to set out here a little of what is known about this lady’s birth. Her husband told many stories about himself that were quite untrue and she has also suffered the further lies of Jacques Emile Blanche and the biographer Philippe Jullian. Walter Sickert, who knew Blanche well, wrote that he was “liable to twist things he hears or doesn’t into monstrous fibs” and it was Jullian who, amongst other tales, invented the story that Jack the Ripper was the Duke of Clarence. Any statements derived from these two sources alone must be treated with the greatest care.
The basic facts about Olga de Meyer were first set out in my book Royal Mistresses and Bastards in 2007. Her parents married at Paris in September 1869 and her father, the Roman Catholic, Duke of Castelluccio, was present in London when their child Olga was born at 14 William Street, Lowndes Square, Chelsea, on 8 August 1871. He registered the birth of the child in Chelsea North-East Sub-District on 5 September 1871, “Olga” being the third and “Alberta” the fifth of her seven forenames. It had been reported in the Morning Post on Wednesday, 8 February 1871, that "Duke and Duchess Carraciolo have arrived at Thomas's Hotel" and the 1871 Census Returns of the Hotel [RG10/97-9-11], taken on 3 April 1871, show the couple [indexed by Ancestry.co.uk as 'Caracuols'] with her mother Virginia.
Although Olga’s Catholic baptismal entry has not been found, the Protestant Prince of Wales certainly could not have been her godfather (in spite of the later statements by Anita Leslie and J. E. Blanche to that effect). A god-daughter of the Prince would in any case have had “Alberta” as its first name. There is not, as some seem to think, a special significance in its use as some 223 children with “Alberta” as a forename were registered in 1871.
Although J. E. Blanche says that Olga’s parents separated immediately after their marriage (‘at the church door’) the couple remained together for more than two years. Lord Carrington’s diary (quoted in Jane Ridley’s life of Edward VII) shows that they were at Marlborough House together on 4 July 1871, when the Duchess was heavily pregnant and the Duke was unwell. The Prince would certainly have not invited them to his family home if he was the father of the child. Ridley says that after Olga’s birth the Duchess “scandalised London society that winter, going out shooting in a kilt and smoking cigarettes” [Jane Ridley, Bertie (2012) 138].
Although in 2007 I doubted the connection, it now seems that H. E. Wortham’s telling of a bishop’s visit to Sandringham in the 1870s relates to the Duchess and to Olga, the bishop saying that amongst those present were “an Italian Duchess, who is an Englishwoman, and her daughter, brought up a Roman Catholic and now turning Protestant” [H. E. Wortham, Delightful profession (1931) 190].
Immediately after her mother’s death in 1891, Olga went to Naples and (perhaps under pressure from her father’s family) married in 1892, Prince Marino Brancaccio, a member of another Catholic family, but they were divorced at Hamburg in June 1899. When Olga married Adolph de Meyer the following month in London she did so in a Protestant ceremony. AnthonyCamp (talk) 15:22, 30 September 2012 (UTC). Amended AnthonyCamp (talk) 16:56, 9 November 2012 (UTC). Pehaps I should now add that the catholic baptism of 'Maria Alberta Beatrix Olga Georgia Josephina Virginia Caracciolo-Pinelli', born 8 August 1871, took place on 10 September 1871 at St Mary's Church, Chelsea, her godmother being Maria Josephina de Sangro, Duchessa Castelluccio, but no godfather was recorded [page 277 of the Register of St Mary, Chelsea, 1864-73, in the Westminster Archdiocesan Archives]. AnthonyCamp (talk) 08:50, 14 July 2017 (UTC).
- I see that Baron and Baroness de Meyer arrived at Plymouth on the liner 'Paris', 9 May 1930 [Western Daily News, 10 May 1930, page 7], that both were at St Moritz early in 1931 [The Sketch, 21 January 1931, page 14] and that he alone is mentioned in Paris in March 1931 [The Bystander, 18 March 1931]. AnthonyCamp (talk) 09:50, 5 August 2017 (UTC).
- I further see that she died 6 January 1931 and was buried 8 January 1931 at Freiburg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, aged 52 [sic], as 'Olga Baronin De Meyer' [Ancestry.com: Baden, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1502-1985 (database on-line)]. AnthonyCamp (talk) 15:06, 5 August 2017 (UTC).