Sunday, January 8, 2012

+ Cobina Wright (1921-2011) – Royal Girlfriend

In 1938 Prince Philip of Greece visited his Aunt Aspasia and Cousin Alexandra at their home in Venice. While there he had a fleeting love-affair with an American youngster by the name of Cobina Wright.

She later on went to become a Hollywood actress, as was her mother.

She was born on August 14 1921 in New York City, where her father, William May Wright, was a successful stockbroker. Her mother, also Cobina Wright, was an opera singer and actress notorious for her social ambition: Hardy Amies quipped that she took her alpenstock with her to parties.

By the mid-1930s Cobina Snr’s hopes were firmly pinned on her beautiful young daughter, whom she frantically set about grooming for a film career capped by a spectacular marriage. When Mr Wright complained about what he saw as the “prostitution” of their daughter, his wife promptly divorced him.

By 1938 Cobina Jnr, pushed along by her mother, was already under contract with 20th Century Fox, while also modelling and singing in nightclubs. That summer her mother took her to Venice, and at Harry’s Bar she met Prince Philip of Greece. She later recalled that, on seeing the handsome young prince, her mother had “shoved” her into his arms.

The period before their meeting had been a particularly traumatic one for Prince Philip, who was still mourning his 26-year-old sister Cecile and her family, who had died in a plane crash the previous November, and also his much-loved uncle and guardian George Milford Haven (Louis Mountbatten’s less flashy elder brother), who had died that spring aged 44.

From left: Gloria Vanderbilt, George Montgomery and Cobina Wright.

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