It is with the deepest sadness that I personally communicate to all our readers the untimely death of a dear friend, Alexandra, Duchess of Croÿ.
She was born at Schloß Sünching on July 7, 1960, the daughter of Serafim Miloradovich and of his wife Baroness Agnes von Hoenning O'Carroll. Alexandra's maternal grandfather was Baron Zdenko Hoenning O'Carroll, whose second wife was Princess Adelgunde of Bavaria (1917-2004). Due to this connection, Alexandra and her sisters were raised in close contact with members of the Royal Family of Bavaria. Hence, it came as no surprise that she eventually caught the eye of Hereditary Prince Rudolf of Croÿ, eldest son of Duke Carl and of his wife, Princess Gabriele of Bavaria, one of the many daughters of Crown prince Rupprecht and of his second wife, the former Princess Antonia of Luxembourg. Alexandra's mother-in-law and step-grandmother were first cousins!
Rudolf and Alexandra were married at Schloß Sünching in October 1987. Two years later she gave birth to their first child, Carl-Philipp. Eventually, five other children came along: Xenia, Marc, Heinrich, Alexander and Anastasia. The family lived at Merfeld, near Düllmen. There they built a happy and loving environment in which their children thrived. Alexandra, who was very gregarious, loved having a house full of guests, and in so doing she proved to be an amazing hostess. From the wines she served to the food regaled on us her guests, not to mention the enjoyable repertoire before, during and after dinner, visiting the couple will remain one of my most cherished memories.
I first met Alexandra many years ago at her mother-in-law's home, just a stone's throw from the main house at Merfeld. Princess Gabriele had sent me an invitation to join her and Duke Carl for dinner during an upcoming trip to Europe. We were four at lunch on the day I visited: the Dukes of Croÿ, Hereditary Princess Alexandra and me. During lunch, Alexandra was very interested in my work. Once we finished lunch, she invited me to her home, where we spent hours talking away. From then on, we remained frequent correspondents and I eventually became a guest a her home. One time she even sent to me a paper that one of her sons had written for school. "Please, Arturo, can you double check it, I want to make sure that it is all correct," she said. The paper was excellent and I believe we even published it in the magazine!
My last visit was last year and I never expected that it would be the last time I saw her.
Earlier this year, Alexandra and I talked and she asked when I was going to come visit them next. I promised to come stay right after the Third Royal Gatherings in The Hague (http://erhj.blogspot.com/2015/09/eurohistory-royal-gatherings-in-hague.html).
I was shocked when I read that she had died yesterday. I am still in quite a bit of a shock, besides terribly saddened at the loss of such an amazingly joyful friend. Her zest for life was unmatched!
Earlier today, I heard from two of her sons. The funeral will be on October 3 at St. Jakobus Church near Düllmen.
Although I will likely be unable to join them, I want to render testimony to the life of a wonderful woman ... I will miss her very, very much. I hope God provides her dear husband and lovely children with the solace and comfort they need as they experience this terrible loss.
My heart and soul are with them...May She Rest in Peace!