Princess Nicolás, Baroness de Ourenca

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Adelaide Princess Nicolás de Montillet
Baroness de Ourenca
Spouse(s) Prince Nicolás, 1st Baron de Ourenca (m. 1930; his death 1978)
Royal House Montillet
Father Kaspar Berlitz-Scheer
Mother Irina Mazilu-Bojin
Born 10 July 1900, Monzberg, Ravaria
Issue Xavier, 2nd Baron de Ourenca
Doña Maria de Ourenca
Don Guillermo de Ourenca
Doña Marina de Ourenca
Died 22 February 1979 (Aged 79)
Monzberg, Ravaria
Buried Prince's Crypt, Basilica on the Rock, Mantua

Princess Nicolás, Baroness de Ourenca (born Adelaide Marie Berlitz-Scheer; 10 July 1900, Monzberg, Ravaria - 22 February 1979, Monzberg, Ravaria) was the morganatic wife of Prince Nicolás, 1st Baron de Ourenca (1899 - 1978), the third child and youngest son of Prince Juan María of Mantua and Princess Marina del Viretta. Through her marriage, she was an aunt to the current reigning Sovereign Princess of Mantua, Fabiola.

Early Life[edit | edit source]

She was born Adelaide Berlitz-Scheer in 1900 in Monzberg, Ravaria, the daughter of Kaspar Berlitz-Scheer and his second wife Irina Mazilu-Bojin. Her father was the managing director of the Reipak Company which owned many factories mass-producing affordable tableware. As a result, this made the Berlitz family one of the wealthiest in Ravaria. Her brother, Moritz Berlitz-Scheer (1897 - 1957), was a prominent politician and served as Minister for Culture in the Ravarian government between 1932 and 1940. He was later raised to the status of a Count.

Adelaide's education was extremely limited and she did not attend a formal public school. When she was 10 years old her mother died and her father took a third wife, Magda Ritzen. Along with her younger sister Rita, Adelaide was sent to boarding school and rarely saw her father. At the age of 19, she became engaged to a Ravarian business owner. According to Adelaide, "He was three times my age, my father's choice and had been widowed twice". With the help of her uncle Maximilian Scheer, she fled Ravaria for Alexandria where she would meet her husband.

Marriage[edit | edit source]

In 1928, she began a relationship with Prince Nicolás of Mantua, the third child and youngest son of Prince Juan María of Mantua and Princess Marina del Viretta. Under the House Laws which governed the marriages of the Princely Family, Adelaide was considered an unsuitable bride as she was born a commoner. However, the pair could (with permission) contract a morganatic marriage which would see changes to the Prince's royal status but would not remove it altogether. Permission was given on 23 February 1930. They married at the Church of the Blessed Virgin on 16 August 1930. Adelaide was styled as Her Highness Princess Nicolás de Montillet following her marriage. Despite her morganatic status, she was well liked by the Princely Family and popular with the public. The couple had three children:-

Monogram used by Princess Nicolás.
  • 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]

Adelaide and Nicolás were not obligated to carry out public engagements, neither did they receive an appanage. However, the pair were financially comfortable and used their wealth to live a more private existence in Monzberg, Ravaria. The Princess shared her husband's love of sailing but she was also a well-respected painter specialising in watercolours. Her work is now displayed at the Ourenca Museum in Ravaria which the Princess funded during her lifetime to showcase art which the couple had collected since their marriage in 1930.

In 1968, Adelaide began to report problems with her sight and was diagnosed with chronic macular degeneration. By the age of 73, she was almost totally blind. A lifelong chain smoker, she suffered a series of small strokes in 1976 which left her confined to a wheelchair. She was no longer seen in public and Prince Nicolás devoted much of his time to care for her personally. In 1978, the Prince contracted pneumonia whilst attending a yacht race at Lake Monzberg near the couple's villa. He died on 31 October 1978. Adelaide was unable to attend her husband's funeral in Mantua because of ill health. The shock of losing her husband so suddenly had a devastating impact on the Princess who died less than 6 months later. She was buried next to her husband at the Prince's Crypt at the Basilica on the Rock in Mantua. Her tombstone is inscribed: Sacred to the Beloved Memory of Princess Nicolás, 1900 - 1979.

Titles, Styles, Honours & Arms[edit | edit source]

Contrary to popular belief, Adelaide was forced to style herself as Princess Nicolás because of her status as a commoner and not because of the status of her marriage. Morganatic marriage allowed for the spouse to take on a lesser title as designated by the Sovereign. Had the marriage between Nicolás and Adelaide been considered equal with no restrictions, she would still have had to have adopted her husband's name as only women of royal-birth marrying into the Princely Family may use their own Christian name - a rule that is still in place today. Had the marriage been equal, Nicolás would have been able to succeed his brother as Sovereign Prince making Adelaide the first ever commoner consort to a Sovereign Prince of Mantua.

  • 10 July 1900 - 16 August 1930: Miss Adelaide Berlitz-Scheer
  • 16 August 1930 - 31 October 1978: Her Highness Princess Nicolás, Baroness de Ourenca
  • 31 October 1978 - 22 February 1979: Her Highness Princess Nicolás, the Dowager Baroness de Ourenca

Honours[edit | edit source]