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Helene Freifrau von Heldburg

 

After being elevated to the peerage the successful pianist and actress, born as Ellen Franz, became the third wife of Duke Georg II of Sachsen-Meiningen.
The disapproval of the couple’s union by their princely peers did not harm their great love. To avoid their peers’ abuse, though, the couple retired to their country seats, such as Altenstein and Heldburg. These became places where artists and intellectuals, such as Johannes Brahms, Franz von Lenbach or Ernst Haeckel would meet.