Saturday, February 13, 2010

Henriette the Huntress

Apparently, Princess Henriette of Belgium, Duchess of Vendome, was considered the best shot among royal sportswomen in her day. HERE is a New York Times article from 1908 on her trip to the Rocky Mountains to hunt grizzly bears. It rather amuses me, as Henriette was actually such a gentle and tender-hearted lady, yet, clearly, she was also a bold, daring and fierce princess!

Incidentally, Henriette's brother, King Albert I, hated hunting, considering it a cruel and unjustifiably sanguinary pursuit. During his youth, reportedly, he suffered severely when obliged to take part in family hunts. The First World War, with its appalling bloodshed, only intensified his aversion to all such activities. Albert's and Henriette's tastes, evidently, markedly diverged here. Nonetheless, they were always devoted siblings.

By the way, the promised post on Henriette's account of her great-grandmother, Marie-Amélie of Naples, will be coming soon...

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