Helena Holbrook “Ella” <I>Walker</I> Principessa della Torre e Tasso

Photo added by Jeff Lloyd ©2004-2019

Helena Holbrook “Ella” Walker Principessa della Torre e Tasso

Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Death 20 Jun 1959 (aged 84)
Como, Provincia di Como, Lombardia, Italy
Burial Duino, Provincia di Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Memorial ID 71512224 · View Source
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HSH (Her Serene Highness) Ella, Principessa della Torre e Tasso.

She was born in the United States, the daughter of Franklin Hiram Walker & May Holbrook and the grand-daughter of Hiram Walker, the distiller known for "Canadian Club" whiskey and other products bearing his name and the founding of Walkerville, Ontario, Canada.

As an adult she had been described as "a beautiful woman of rather small stature, auburn hair, fair complexion, magnificent blue eyes, and a marvelous smile".

She was married three times during her eventful life. Her 1st marriage was to Count Manfred von Matuschka, Baron de Topholenzen and Spatten in 1897, which ended in 1926.

She next married James Hazen Hyde, an American capitalist, in 1930 at Versailles, France. The marriage lasted only two years.

She thirdly married the head of the Italian branch of the princely Thurn und Taxis family, Prince Alessandro von Thurn und Taxis, the Duke of Duino and Prince of Torre e Tasso, in 1932 at Vrana, Italy.

The two settled in Italy but appear to have lived much of the time apart, as he sought to re-build the Castel Duino near Trieste, his seat, and she sought to renovate the Villa Serbelloni on Lake Como, which she had owned since 1928. The Prince sadly died five years after the marriage in 1937.

Ella lived until the age of 84 years but was childless, save an adopted daughter, Huberta, from her first marriage to Graf Matuschka. She was a warm-hearted and sophisticated person, much loved by her husband's family. Before she died in June 1959 at the Villa Serbelloni, Ella gifted the property and 16 exquisite furnishings, plus an added two million dollar endowment in the Princess' last will for the promotion of international understanding, to the the Rockefeller Foundation.

Franklin H. Walker, Ella's father, was the first member of the Hiram Walker family to attend college, his alma-mater being the University of Michigan. Ella also left the University of Michigan a gift in her parent's names to extend educational loans to students in need.

The Villa Serbelloni is today also known as the Rockefeller Foundation Centre.

Ella is buried near her husband Prince Alessandro.

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  • Created by: Jeff Lloyd ©2004-2019
  • Added: 17 Jun 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 71512224
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Helena Holbrook “Ella” Walker Principessa della Torre e Tasso (17 Jan 1875–20 Jun 1959), Find A Grave Memorial no. 71512224, citing Cimitero di Castello di Duino, Duino, Provincia di Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy ; Maintained by Jeff Lloyd ©2004-2019 (contributor 46608645) .