Marina De Bourbon

Picture of Marina De Bourbon

Citizenship: France


- When the Germans came to France, I was sent from Paris to Brittany, in the most common Catholic board. There was a war, and to emphasize its gentility was indecent. So I, like all pupils, starved, was also badly dressed. And because before that my name is a piece of "de", indicating noble descent, I was no better fed or warmer than the rest.

Maybe it`s for the best. His children I gave in a very respectable institutions, but they somehow just suffered greatly due to his name: they had to be protected at all times. Director of the Lyceum, which studied Tatiana, my eldest daughter even asked to remove the particle "de" to the other children did not feel inequality. Therefore, younger, Astrid, studied in England - there the name of Bourbon does not bother anyone.

- How the idea was born to open a workshop? What book was twisting your hobby?

- Hobbies ?! Yes, after the war we just do not have the money, like almost all the noblest families of Europe! Some even sold their nobility titles, well, I decided to go to work. Why bookbinding? You see, this craft has taught me Mademoiselle Blanche Mantes, a teacher of dance. In the late forties in "Grand Opera" were three sisters Mantes, three dancers. One of them took me to prepare to enter the conservatory. Parents do not interfere with our studies, however, are constantly reminded that the ballet - it is so insecure ... I once told this to Mademoiselle Mantes. She laughed and offered to teach me just in case bind the book: "I have a bookbinding machine, if you want, I`ll give it to you." In the conservatory, I failed, and a year later, when I was 18, opened a small workshop, which lasted nearly a decade. So it bookbinding really proved to be more reliable than the dance ...

- I guess this is where you met her future husband? One day the Duke of Parma has come to you to give a volume of Voltaire in trouble ...

- No, no, our meeting took place in the south of France. My future in-law, Princess of Denmark, was a house in Villefranche. Andre came to see her, and I was just at this time was staying with his aunt, Marie Bonaparte. We happened to run on the beach, when we were all alone - he and I. But could meet much earlier, we had common friends - Jean Cocteau, for example.

- It seems that your husband was handsome, once you`ve been paying attention to it on the beach?

- Yes, slim, tanned, tattoo on her shoulder - Gallic rooster. For some reason I`m scared like this cock ...

So I get out of the water, and he comes and suddenly asks: "Tell me, Mademoiselle, we could not see each other yesterday in Saint-Tropez?" It turned out the day before we were really on the same receipt. We got to talking, Andre invited me to dinner. And from that day has never parted ... However, what we know, no one spoke, hiding from everyone. We wanted it to be our secret, our secret.

The first time I met a man who was so taciturn, did not say compliments, not repeating his love, and this, strangely enough, I was completely captivated. I do not believe the vows: love dumb ...

A month later, Andre asked for my hand. Very modestly, without explanation lush. My parents have given consent to the marriage, and in May I960, we were married.

We got married in the same place, where they met - in Villefranche. If the wedding staged in Paris, it would have to invite a huge number of people, and we do not want. Villefranche - a wonderful place, the only piece of France once belonged to Russia. Here, 50 kilometers from Nice, standing in the roads Russian Imperial Navy.

We were married in the famous "Chapel of the fishermen", painted by Jean Cocteau. The invitation was quite a bit. Firstly, this chapel is so small that it can fit no more than a dozen people. And secondly, on the same day married Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth of England, and many of our friends, including Jean Cocteau, advance received an invitation to a celebration. So we have to get a real "marriage of love" - ??without prying eyes.

This day I remember like it was yesterday. After the wedding, we sat in the evening train and went to Parma, where Andre`s childhood. When the King of Italy was dethroned, his family fled the country, and my husband, the Duke of Parma, grew up in Paris. But when we went to the palace, where Andre lived a child, it turned out that it is well remembered here. The meeting was very exciting. Then we went back to Paris and ... began to work together already.

- He also had no money?

- Not a penny! He, as I sometimes joke, I was attached to my studio, and very successfully. Andre, graduated from Ecole-Buhl (school, founded by Louis the Fourteenth), spent several years working with Jean-sung, a famous Parisian decorator. After the wedding, we discovered, so to speak, the family firm: husband restored antique furniture, I bind books and made baguettes.

- How can Danish princess reacted to the fact that her son is engaged in manual labor, like a mere mortal?

- She blessed us and even allowed to use the name of the Duke of Parma in the name of our small company.

Things went so well, that after some time we have been able to buy a small shop on the Rue Bonaparte, hire six masters and to engage in trade in antiques. Perhaps it was the best time of my zhiznPri shop we opened the bar, I myself was standing behind the counter, making coffee and mixed cocktails. People coming for a drink or a snack in haste, could not help but look at the market. Often they went out from us have with any purchase. Incidentally, cocktails in France brought into vogue by Jean Cocteau - he was an incredible inventor. At receptions own mixed drinks and was always willing to share the recipe with everyone. Incidentally, the "Cartier" logo also appeared thanks to Cocteau. Jean once ordered from Cartier three rings of colored gold - white, red and yellow. These three interwoven ringlet with time and became a symbol of "Cartier" ... Cocteau was talented in everything: he wrote a novel that was read all over Paris, filmed very interesting films-dreams.

- Cocteau was friends with many Russian, who lived in Paris. Among his friends were Serge Lifar, and Vaslav Nijinsky - Diaghilev troupe dancers. You have not met them?

- Nijinsky, I did not know, for many years he was seriously ill and did not leave the Swiss clinic, where he ended his days. Serge Lifar ... I met with him a little girl - he came to my parents` house. Lifar was a regular at the little bistro in Montmartre, I sat there all night. A brilliant man and a great master of outrageous, he liked to say: "All my life - huge scandal." After the war, many of Serge criticized for the fact that he danced in front of Hitler. Lifar also jokingly explained that he was acting for the benefit of France: "After all, I`m with her dancers and dancers corrupted German headquarters!" He assured all know that for his "military services" is about to receive from de Gaulle`s order. Subsequently, it really was awarded the Legion of Honor, although certainly not for this ...

If you remember how many people I had seen in my life, and what kind of people! My great friend was Jean chazeaux, great dancer, who replaced Lifar at the Paris scene. That`s really all anyone really knew, and whom everyone loved. Incredibly, he had time to make friends, even with Khrushchev, when he came to Paris. Chazeaux was a regular customer of our shop. Leaving a lot of money and always bought something for Francoise Sagan: silver ashtray or some fancy mouthpiece - it is a lot of smoke.

Francoise - a delightful woman. About her say that she is from those who live passionately, "he lights a candle at both ends." We sometimes met in a nightclub, "White Elephant" or the restaurant "Club S`Germaen", where she was always surrounded by very prominent people, and among them there were a lot of beautiful men. She belonged to the circle, which is in Paris called "Jet society", or more briefly - "Jet set". Its members on Monday could be seen at a reception at the Paris Rothschild, Tuesday - at the premiere in New York, on Thursday - at a dinner in Monaco. My husband and I, too, belonged to this circle in his youth: We sent invitations to all receptions, lunches, dinners, and sometimes even on the plane tickets, so that we can arrive on time ...

- Who then shone on the grand reception?

- Brigitte Bardot, it would all like to see. You know, since the time of Maupassant, much has changed - then in secular salons touted writers in our time - Actors. Picasso, however, also invited everywhere, but it went nowhere.

- Is it true that Christian Dior has not included Brigitte Bardot in the number of its clients?

- Most likely Brigitte herself did not want to have to dress him it has always been stingy. Toilets Dior cost a fortune. I, unfortunately, could not afford to treat him often - was too young at first, then Dior became too expensive ...

After the birth of Tatiana, my husband and moved away from social life.

- The eldest daughter you have given Russian name in honor of some of her friends?

- No, I just like the way it sounds. Tatiana de Bourbon - in my opinion, is very beautiful. Tanya was the thirteenth granddaughter of Queen Margaret of Denmark. Curiously, when she was born, my grandmother played in Monte Carlo casino, put on the number thirteen - and won! Now I became a grandmother, I have two grandchildren ...

- And what do your kids, the husband?

- Tanya wanted to become a milliner, worked for Lanvin, then married the son of Gilbert Beco and work left. Astrid lives in New York and works at the stock exchange, the son of Axel heads the company for the production of champagne.

Andre turned 72 years old, and he retired. We used to live in a wonderful place, it is called "Le Reve" - ??"a dream". I love to chop wood and cook compotes, grow flowers. Sometimes it seems to me that I could live my life like this, in the village. And recently, I made the most insane deed in his life - bought the ruins of the old mill and is now trying to restore it.

And I have one in Paris shop, very elegant. They sell everything that makes a person to dream. This may be French champagne, Indian silk and even a small helicopter - why not? I recently sold one, the smallest in the world. In general, I continue the work which we once started with her husband. Every morning, I spend half an hour in the garden, then get in the car, put the tape with English lessons and going to Paris.

The day flies by in the evening again I sit down behind the wheel and going to his village. The silence of our "Dream" violate Only shouts feral cats. Sometimes they come to us to spend the night ...

Source: Journal of "Caravan of stories", May 2000.