Daisy, Princess of Pless

Daisy, Princess of Pless
Daisy, Princess of Pless

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.


Early life

Undated sketch of Daisy by John Singer Sargent

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, born William West, was a great-grandson of John West, 2nd Earl De La Warr. Her mother was a daughter of Reverend Frederick FitzPatrick and Lady Olivia Taylour, herself daughter of the 2nd Marquess of Headfort.


On 8 December 1891, in London, she married Hans Heinrich XV, Prince of Pless, Count of Hochberg, Baron of Fürstenstein (1861-1938), one of the wealthiest heirs in the German Empire, becoming hostess of Fürstenstein Castle and Pless Castle in Silesia.

They had three children:

  • Hans Heinrich XVII, 4th Prince of Pless (1900 - 1984)
  • Alexander, 5th Prince of Pless (1905 - 1984)
  • Count Bolko Konrad Friedrich of Hochberg (1910 - 1936)

Later life

Memorial to Daisy in Pszczyna, Poland

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, on Continental Europe.

The Prince of Pless 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 the third son of Daisy and the Prince, Bolko, and was the mother of their only grandchildren.

Daisy's brother George Frederick Myddelton Cornwallis-West 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 Edwina Cornwallis-West, married in 1901 Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster, and after their divorce she married in 1920 James FitzPatrick Lewes.


Daisy, Princess of Pless, died in 1943 in relative poverty at Waldenburg, today Wałbrzych, Poland.


  • Princess Daisy of Pless, Princess Daisy of Pless by Herself, London, John Murray, 1929.
  • Princess Daisy of Pless, Better Left Unsaid, New York: Dutton, 1931.
  • Princess Daisy of Pless, What I Left Unsaid, New York: Cassell, 1936.
  • Princess Daisy of Pless, The Private Diaries of Princess Daisy of Pless - 1813 - 1974, D. Chapman-Huston, editor, London: John Murray, 1950.
  • Koch, John, Daisy Princess of Pless 1873-1943: A Discovery, W. John Koch Publishing, 2003, ISBN 0-9731579-0-9

External links

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