In early 1890, it was announced that Prince Joseph de Caraman-Chimay, a member of the Belgian Parliament who was traveling through the United States, had married Clara Ward, the young and beautiful daughter of a very wealthy Detroit family.
Apart from the noble title, Joseph did not have much wealth, nor did beauty drive him out of the house.
However, Clara was delighted to become a princess, so they were married on May 20, 1890, in Paris.
The bride was 16 years old, and the son-in-law, 31 years old and soon two children were born to them, Marie Elisabeth Catharine Anatole and Marie Joseph Anatole Pierre Alphonse.
As Clara could no longer complain about the lack of money, the two spouses frequented the good world of Paris and the most expensive restaurants.
The famous chef Escoffier named two dishes, Oeufs à la Chimay and Poulare Chimay, inspired by Princess Clara.
After the birth of their second child, in early November 1896, Prince and Princess Chimay celebrated in an elegant restaurant in Paris, where the Hungarian fiddler, Rigo Jancsi, played the violin.
Clara immediately fell in love with the gypsy virtuoso.
Rigo’s heels for the princess also lit up, so after several secret meetings, in December they ran away together in the wide world.
When the Ludington Record of December 24 published, under the headline “Gone with a Gypsy,” the news of Clara’s escape, her family could not believe it, especially since it was said that Prince Joseph had initiated the divorce proceedings.
In subsequent editions, the newspaper wrote that the two lovers took refuge in Budapest.
In Hungary, a cake with cocoa top, chocolate icing and cream and chocolate cream called Rigo was created, inspired by the unheard of love story.
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