Saturday, April 13, 2019

Life and Death of Sophie Charlotte of Bavaria, Duchess of Alençon

From Crowns, Tiaras and Coronets (via Queen of the Amazons):
On May 4, 1897, Sophie Charlotte was attending an annual charity event hosted by the French Catholic aristocracy in Paris called the Bazar de la Charité. The event was held in a different location every year but this year it was set up in a large wooden shed in the middle of the city. A projectionist’s equipment, which had been brought for entertainment, caught fire in the afternoon, which resulted in the deaths of a total of 126 people, most of whom were prominent aristocratic women. One of the victims of the fire was Sophie Charlotte herself, who refused several rescue attempts to make sure that the girls working with her at the event were saved before any effort was carried out to rescue her. But eventually, it was too late to save her and the Duchess of Alençon met her tragic end in that burning wooden shed, aged fifty years old. Her remains were collected and buried in the Royal Chapel of Dreux, the traditional burial site of members of the House of Orléans. Prince Ferdinand survived his wife by thirteen years before dying on July 29, 1910 at the age of sixty-six, after which he was buried with her. (Read more.)
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