25 Nov 2019

How to Bring Kids Up Right

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This photo of long-ago insouciant aristocratic youth was appropriated by a wag as the basis for a Facebook jest. I was intrigued enough to look it up and found the original, and the real story, at Pique Show.

In this 1955 photograph, thirteen-year-old Princess Yvonne of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn in Germany is shown tipping back a bottle of Dry Sack sherry as her twelve-year-old brother Prince Alexander sits calmly by, his cigarette nearly finished. The photo was taken while the siblings were aboard a private yacht off the coast of Mallorca.

Before rushing to judgment on the lives of German nobility, it should be known that the photographer behind this image was the children’s mother, Princess Marianne Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. Affectionately known as Princess “Manni” or her more artistic moniker “Mamarazza,” she was an accomplished photographer, her images becoming featured in magazines as well as gallery exhibitions. Given this background, one can only hope that the shot above is the result of intentional composition and not reckless parenting.

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Andrew Cusack said:

It’s a cracking photo; the sort of thing guaranteed to irk the puritanical and bring a smile to the good-humoured.

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