Mary Elsie Moore

Mary Elsie Moore

Mary Elsie Moore (October 22, 1889-December 21, 1941) was an American heiress who married and divorced Italian prince Don Marino Torlonia, 4th prince of Civitella-Cesi.


Early life and education

Mary Elsie Moore was born October 22, 1889 in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest child of Charles Arthur Moore, a shipping broker and hardware manufacturer from Connecticut, who went on to become the president of Manning, Maxwell and Moore, a large industrial concern. Her mother was Mary L. Campbell. Her siblings were Charles Arthur Moore Jr., who married Elizabeth Hyde (actress Glenn Close's maternal grandfather), Eugene Maxwell Moore (who married Titanic survivor Margaret Graham) and Jessie Ann Moore, who married US Navy Admiral Colby Mitchell Chester. Mary Elsie was educated at Miss Dow's school in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

Marriage and children

Moore married then-Duke of Poli and Guadagnolo Don Marino Torlonia, 4th prince of Civitella-Cesi on August 15, 1907 at Old Orchard, her parents' estate in Belle Haven, Greenwich, Connecticut.[1]

The Duke and Duchess of Torlonia had four children:

  • Princess Donna Olimpia Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi
  • Don Alessandro Torlonia, 5th Prince di Civitella-Cesi, who married Infanta Beatriz of Spain
  • Princess Donna Cristina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi
  • Princess Donna Marina Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi, who married two Americans: Francis Xavier Shields (by whom she became a grandmother of the actress Brooke Shields) and Edward Slater

In 1925, the couple separated; the duchess filed for divorce in the United States in 1926.[2] Her American citizenship was brought into question,[3] but the Connecticut courts decided that her residence in the state was legal and granted her divorce in February 1928.[4][5]


Moore died on December 21, 1941 in New York.[6]


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