Prince Nicolás, 1st Baron de Ourenca

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Nicolás Prince de Montillet
1st Baron de Ourenca
Spouse(s) Adelaide Berlitz-Scheer (m. 1930; his death 1978)
Royal House Montillet
Father Prince Juan María of Mantua
Mother Princess Marina del Viretta
Born 5 April 1899
Cavaletta Palace, Mantua
Issue Xavier, 2nd Baron de Ourenca
Doña Maria de Ourenca
Don Guillermo de Ourenca
Doña Marina de Ourenca
Died 31 October 1978 (Aged 79)
Monzberg, Ravaria
Buried Prince's Crypt, Basilica on the Rock, Mantua

Prince Nicolás, 1st Baron de Ourenca (Nicolás Vincente Xavier Jaime Guillermo María; 5 April 1899, Cavaletta Palace, Mantua - 31 October 1978, Monzberg, Ravaria) was the third child and youngest son of Prince Juan María of Mantua and Princess Marina del Viretta. He was the brother of Prince Amalio III and uncle to the current reigning Sovereign Princess of Mantua, Fabiola. In 1930 he morganatically married Adelaide Berlitz-Scheer. He lost his place in the line of succession to the Mantuan throne and his children were unable to inherit his royal status but as he married with the permission of his brother, he was neither denied his appanage from the state or his own status as a member of the Princely House of Montillet. He was created Baron de Ourenca in order to provide his wife and children with a title. He was best known for his role as President of the Mantuan Yacht Club and was a keen sailor himself, establishing the Prince Nicolás Cup for Sailing in 1965. He died in 1978.

Early Life[edit | edit source]

He was born Prince Nicolás Vincente Xavier Jaime Guillermo María of Mantua on 5 April 1899 at the Cavaletta Palace in Mantua, the third child and youngest son of Prince Juan María of Mantua and Princess Marina del Viretta. His siblings were Amalio III, Prince of Mantua, Carlos, Baron de San Pablo, Princess Mafalda of Mantua and Princess Fabiola, Baroness Debarros. His education was limited and as was traditional for male children of the Princely Family, he served with the Imperial Alexandrian Armed Forces from the age of 18 until the age of 25. Unlike his elder brothers, he did not carry out public engagements and decided instead to start his own yacht-building company in 1931 which he named 'Ourenca'. The company is still in operation to this day and is owned by his eldest son, Xavier.

Marriage & Family[edit | edit source]

In 1930, he proposed marriage to Adelaide Berlitz-Scheer, a commoner. Under the House Laws which governed the marriages of the Princely Family, Nicolás could only marry Adelaide morganatically which would see a change to his royal status. He formally asked for permission to marry her on 23 February 1930. At the time he made his request, he was second in line to the Mantuan throne but as it was expected that one of his older brothers would produce a male heir, it was not considered important for him to retain his succession rights. Permission was therefore given for the Prince to marry morganatically. He married Adelaide at the Church of the Blessed Virgin on 16 August 1930. On the morning of his wedding, he was granted the Barony de Ourenca. Nicolás lost his place in the line of succession as a result of his marriage and accepted that any children born of the marriage would also have no claims to the Mantuan throne. He lost his style of 'Serene Highness' but was granted the style of 'His Highness' which was extended to his wife. Special provision was made to allow Nicolás to keep his rank of Prince but the territorial designation "of Mantua" was replace with the surname "de Montillet". His princely rank was not inherited by his children but provision was made for his ancestors to inherit the Barony de Ourenca which is currently held by his eldest grandchild, Nicolás, 3rd Baron de Ourenca.

Prince Nicolás' Monogram.

Had Nicolás contracted a dynastic marriage, he would have succeeded his elder brother Amalio when Prince Carlos was expelled from the Princely Family for marrying Margarita da Silva without royal permission. It is unlikely that the succession laws would have been changed in favour of Princess Fabiola in 1950 had Nicolás not also removed himself from the line of succession, albeit with his brother's permission.

Nicolás and Adelaide had three children:-

  • Xavier, 2nd Baron de Ourenca (1933 - 2013) who later served as Chief Minister of Mantua. He married Elisabeth Clairveaux (1931 - 2003) in 1960 and the couple had two sons; Nicolás, 3rd Baron de Ourenca (b. 1963) and Don Juan Xavier de Ourenca (1965 - 1985)
  • Doña Maria de Ourenca (1935 - 2016). Unmarried. No issue.
  • Don Guillermo de Ourenca (b. 1938) who became managing director of Ourenca Inc following his older brother's death in 2013. He has been married three times. Firstly to Carlotta Franci in 1963 with whom he had a daughter, Elisabeth (b. 1965). Guillermo and Carlotta divorced in 1968. Secondly, he married Paulina Teixeira in 1972 with whom he had a son, Juan Donato (b. 1974). They divorced in 1979. Thirdly, he married Baroness Silvia de Senra-Silva y Vella y Rucina in 1992. They remain married but have no children.
  • Doña Marina de Ourenca (b. 1940) who married Dr David Andersen in 1971. The couple have two daughters, Marilène (b. 1973) and Mirabelle (b. 1975).

Later Life[edit | edit source]

Despite undertaking no public duties, Nicolás did accept the Presidency of the Mantuan Yacht Club, a position he held from 1935 until his death. He established the Prince Nicolás Sailing Cup, a regatta held annually in Mantua, which became an important social event and attracts the rich and famous from around the world who compete to win the cup itself and a prize of E500,000. A keen sailor himself, he held several prizes for sailing competitions and was nicknamed 'the Kingfisher' for his swimming abilities. It was not unusual to see Prince Nicolás swimming from his yacht 'Titan II' which was permanently moored in Princess Sofia Harbour. He was attending the Lake Monzberg Yacht Race as a judge in 1978 when he developed a fever two days later. He died at his villa in Monzberg on the 31 October 1978. He was 79 years old. His wife died the following year and was buried next to her husband at the Prince's Crypt at the Basilica of the Rock. In 1985, their grandson Juan Xavier died from a drugs overdose at the age of 20. Special permission was sought by his parents to bury his ashes with his grandparents, making him the first non-member of the Princely Family to be buried in the crypt.

Titles & Styles from Birth to Death[edit | edit source]

  • 5 April 1899 - 16 August 1930: His Serene Highness Prince Nicolás of Mantua
  • 16 August 1930 - 31 October 1978: His Highness Prince Nicolás, 1st Baron de Ourenca

Honours and Arms[edit | edit source]

National Honours[edit | edit source]

Arms[edit | edit source]


Prince Nicolás' arms were quarterly: 1st and 4th quadrant vert with an ermine division and imposed with the coat of arms of Ourenca of which he was Baron. Following his morganatic marriage, he was no longer entitled to use the arms belonging to a Prince of Mantua, instead using those of a Prince of Montillet. These were in the 2nd and 3rd quadrant azure with the white rose of Montillet mounted on a radiance. The Prince's arms were mounted on the collar of the Royal Order of Montillet and featured a Prince's coronet.