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Colourising Remarkable Women - Daisy Princess of Pless

Daisy Princess of Pless - Colourisation by Claudia D'Souza

Daisy, Princess of Pless (Mary Theresa Olivia; née Cornwallis-West; 28 June 1873 – 29 June 1943) was a noted society beauty in the Edwardian period, and during her marriage a member of one of the wealthiest European noble families. Daisy and her husband Hans Heinrich XV were the owners of large estates and coal mines in Silesia (now in Poland) which brought the Hochbergs enormous fortune.

Born Mary Theresa Olivia Cornwallis-West at Ruthin Castle in Denbighshire, Wales, she was the daughter of Col. William Cornwallis-West (1835–1917) and his wife, Mary "Patsy" FitzPatrick (1856–1920). Her father was a patrilineal great-grandson of John West, 2nd Earl De La Warr.

Her mother was a daughter of Reverend Frederick FitzPatrick, himself a descendant of Barnaby Fitzpatrick, 1st Baron Upper Ossory (and thus the Kings of Osraige) and Lady Olivia Taylour, herself daughter of the 2nd Marquess of Headfort. Since the Cornwallis-West family was impoverished, the Hochbergs were forced to pay and organise the wedding.

The wedding ceremony took place at St. Margaret's in Westminster on 8 December 1891. Notable witnesses were Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and his wife Princess Alexandra. During her marriage, Daisy, known in German as the Fürstin von Pless, became a social reformer and militated for peace with her friends William II, German Emperor and King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. During World War I she served as a nurse.

After her divorce at Berlin on 12 December 1922 she published a series of memoirs that were widely read in the United Kingdom, the United States, and, in the German language, in Continental Europe.

Hans Heinrich married as his second wife, at London on 25 January 1925, Clotilde de Silva y González de Candamo (1898–1978). This marriage produced two children, and was annulled in 1934. Subsequently, Clotilde married her stepson, Bolko, and was the mother of Daisy's and Hans Heinrich's only grandchildren.

Daisy's brother George in 1900 married Jennie Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill, as his first wife, and after their divorce married in 1914 Mrs. Patrick Campbell, the actress, as his second. Her sister, Constance, married in 1901 Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster, and after their divorce she married in 1920 James FitzPatrick Lewes. Marriage