Grand-Duchesse de Luxembourg. Born Marie Adelheid Thérèse Hilda Wilhelmine von Nassau-Weilburg, the eldest daughter of Wilhelm IV von Nassau-Weilburg, Grand-Duc de Luxembourg and Maria Anna do Carmo de Bragança, Infanta de Portugal. Her father proclaimed her heir apparent on July 10, 1907. When he died after a long illness, she succeeded to the throne at the age of 17, her mother served as regent until her eighteenth birthday in June 1912. A devout Roman Catholic, she opposed the appointments of political radicals such as Communists, socialists and anti-clerics to government posts and found herself in conflict with Minister of State Paul Eyschen; refusing to sign his proposal to reduce religious instruction in the schools. At the outset of the First World War, on August 2, 1914, Germany violated the neutrality of Luxembourg, and Marie Adelaide issued formal protests which did nothing to prevent the military occupation of her country. With no other option, she did not attempt a resistance to the occupying army, but maintained her country's neutrality throughout the war. The political radicals in her own country painted her as pro-German, they supporting a Belgian proposal to annexation at war's end, and the perception of the Grand Duchess as pro-German led the French government to declare: "The French Government does not consider it possible to have contact or negotiations with the Government of the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, whom it considers as gravely compromised…." Under intense national and international pressure, the 25 year old Grand Duchess abdicated in favor of her sister Charlotte in January 1919. After her abdication she went into exile traveling in Europe, unsuccessfully attempting convent life first with the Carmelites and then with the Little Sisters of the Poor. She died in exile at Schloss Hohenberg, Bayern, Germany, apparently of influenza contracted while working with the poor of Rome.
Bio by: Iola