PEOPLE – LUDOVISI, Anna Boncompagni. Princess.
Accreditation Cleveland Standard 04/08/1934
Italian Princess on Holiday at Redcar
Niece of Governor of Rome
Only ten but can speak five Languages
For the past four years an Italian Princess has left her palatial home in Rome to spend an annual two months’ holiday in Redcar, living unknown in a small bungalow and enjoying herself amongst the hundreds of children of more humble birth.
Until this week her identity was a closely-guarded secret. Hundreds of people have seen her, but none have recognised her as a Royal personage
A little tiny figure, only ten years of age, she has poised on the high springboard of the Redcar open-air swimming pool diving stage and flown through the air in a clever dive, but watchers never dreamed that the exhibition was by a Princess.
The same figure, dressed in a blouse and riding breeches, has raced he pony along the beach from Redcar to Saltburn – but nobody knew that the flying fair hair from beneath the velvet cap belonged to a Princess.
Redcar is her annual summer rendezvous because it does her good and she is able to relax and enjoy herself without the restrictions which tend to bind her at home.
She is Princess Anna Boncompagni Ludovisi and is staying with her governess, Miss Dorothy Jackson a native of Redcar, at “Belvedere” a little bungalow in Walnut Grove, Redcar.
HOME A PALACE
Her home is a beautiful palace set amidst gorgeous scenery at Fontanella di Borghese, Rome.
She is the only child of H.H. Prince Bony Boncompagni Ludovisi, and her uncle is the Governor of Rome.
There could be no more charming or unaffected child than this lovely little suntanned Princess who, with her long hair tumbling over her shoulders and her wide blue eyes sparkling through their halo of tiny freckles, chatted so gaily to me about herself.
Every summer for four years she has come for two months to Redcar.
“I like Redcar better than any place!” she told me (writes a “Standard” representative), and laughed shyly when Miss Jackson explained to me that the reason why she liked Redcar so much was because she can do nearly anything she likes here and no studies to worry about.
“And she’s a handful sometimes!” added Miss Jackson.
“I don’t like studies, especially mathematics!”” said the Princess. “I like doing languages . . . they are easy to learn. I find it the easiest of my lessons. I think it is a gift I have inherited from father, who speaks eight languages.”
SPEAKS FIVE LANGUAGES
Incidentally, the Princess speaks five languages – Italian, English, French, German, and Hungarian. Miss Jackson speaks all these with the exception of Hungarian.
“Hungarian is very difficult,” said the Princess. “In most languages there is a similarity either in pronunciation or spelling but Hungarian is different. For ‘How do you do?’ for instance, you have to say…” and she uttered a long Hungarian phrase.
Princess Anna has also, the typical Italian talent for singing. She is a sweet vocalist.
Strangely enough she learnt to speak English long before she spoke Italian. She speaks perfect English and not until she was six years of age did she learn her native tongue. Since then she has learned the three other languages and passed matriculation standard in Italian.
But above anything else Princess Anna is a “sport.” One night without any sense of disrespect, call her a “tom-boy,” so keen is she, as well as proficient, in all branches of sport.
Her favourite sport is horse-riding. During her stay in Redcar she rides regularly from the stables of Mr. F. Walton, and on Wednesday she rode with 15 other children in a special parade which Mr. Walton arranged along the High Street and on the beach.
“I adore riding,” she said. “I go down to the stables every morning; the come back for lunch, then back to the stables again; then back for tea; and down to the stables once more in the evening! I love it. I generally ride from Redcar to Saltburn along the beach. Oh and I should love to be able to come back for the hunting!” she cried, clasping her hands with joy at the thought of it and bursting into a long rippling laugh.
She is also a keen swimmer. Often she goes into the sea for a “dip while she frequently visits the open-air bathing pool where she makes the best of the opportunity to dive off the top stage.
“She is an accomplished diver and swimmer,” Miss Jackson told me.
Of a less attractive nature is her interest in reading. She is fond of reading her book’s being mainly in Italian and French.
“I like books about travel and adventure,” she said.
FOND OF ANIMALS
In the winter she is seen at St. Moritz revelling in the snow, skating and skiing.
Princess Anna is very fond of animals. Recently she received a gift of a collie pup.
“And she makes it beg before every meal1” said Miss Jackson, whereat Princess Anna laughed and said, “He’s such a dear little thing and he looks so funny when he tries to beg!”
“I am very fond of dogs,” she continued. “I love animals, and at my grandma’s estate in Hungary I have a huge collection of all sorts of animals . . . rabbits and everything.”
She assured me that she had had a wonderful time in Redcar. “Of course when I first came here I was only young, and now I can have a much better time,” she said.
I rose to go. The Princess held out a tiny hand and we shook hands. “Good-bye!” I said.
“Good-bye!” she replied. “I hope I shall see you again,”
Soon she will leave Redcar for Switzerland, Hungary, and home.
March 9, 2010 People & Characters