Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Short Marriage Of Princess Coal

Continuing my look through the British newspapers of 1914, this week I have chosen the Dundee Evening Telegraph and Post (January 9th, 1914). The article does not, however, focus on developments in Dundee, but events in far-off Berlin. You might think that we are beginning to see the first indications of those international events that would stain the year for the microscope of history : but no, it is a wedding we are focusing on, what the paper calls "The Fashionable Anglo-German Wedding". The participants are fascinating in their own right : the Hon John Freeman-Mitford was English aristocracy (and Uncle to the famous Mitford girls) and his bride Fraulein Marie Von Friedlander-Fuld was the German Coal King's daughter. At least we can content ourselves with the thought that Anglo-German relations started the year on a high note. But that note soon went sour : by June that year Princess Coal was suing for divorce and the marriage ended well before the lights went out all over Europe.


  1. One wonders if they wee fleeing a sinking ship !

  2. I wondered what would happen to the marriage when the lights went out.

  3. Some things never change. :)

  4. Perhaps Marie coaled it a day because she preferred a man with a mine of his own! Boom! Boom!

    1. Martin, you are banned from my Blog for a week.

  5. Who do you suppose decided that "evening clothes", i.e. gentleman's white and tails, were not to be worn by guests? Usually the bride's family would be in charge of wedding plans and casual dress seems a very unfashionable idea for a German ceremony in this era. Perhaps a coal miner's daughter wanted a more proletariat style event.

  6. There is an interesting reference to this marriage in the prologue of the new book "The Fateful Year - England 1914" by Mark Bostridge. Lloyd George saw the wedding as a sign of Anglo - German relations improving. But the divorce only months later was more an omen of the terrible things to come. According to the book, John Mitford may have committed an "unspeakable act" in the bedroom.


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