Tomorrow, Princess Marie-Astrid of Liechtenstein and Ralph “Rafe” Worthington V will marry in Italy. The bride is the daughter of Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein and Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg. The groom is the son of Ralph Worthington IV and Lucinda Earle Morrissey. However, this will not be the first time that a member of the Worthington family marries a European royal…or, more accurately, this is not the first time that a Worthington marries someone who eventually became a European royal.

Mrs George Ely Worthington.
Photo by Ryder of Cleveland, Ohio.
Image appeared in Munsey’s Magazine, 1898.

Mrs George Ely Worthington is one of those brunettes whom natures sketches in with a soft touch. She has none of the flash and the hard brightness that often keep us aloof from dark eyed beauties. Her face expresses tranquillity and sweetness, and her eyes have a touch of alluring mystery. Mrs Worthington has lived all her life in Ohio, going to school at Columbus, and, as Miss Mamie Stuart, taking a prominent share in all the gaiety that went on in the State capital. She has always been very loyal to her Western home, not caring to play a social part in other cities so long as Cleveland had such a ready welcome for her.” This was how Nonnie May Stewart, the first wife of George Ely Worthington, was described on page 414 of Munsey’s Magazine of New York in 1898. 

The marriage certificate of Ralph Worthington and Helen Ely.

Born on 7 May 1872 at Cleveland, Ohio, George Ely Worthington was the first child of Ralph Worthington (1841-1925) and Helen Harmon Ely (1852-1908), who married on 8 June 1871. George’s paternal grandparents were George Worthington and Maria Cushman Blackmar. His maternal grandparents were George Ely and Gertrude Sophia Harmon. 

The marriage licence of George Worthington and Nonnie Stewart.

On 1 October 1894, George Ely Worthington married Nonnie May Stewart, the daughter of William Charles Stewart and Mary Holden. The couple’s marriage was dissolved on 23 March 1899; George and Nonnie did not have children. 

The marriage license of William Leeds and Nonnie Stewart Worthington.

George’s former wife Nonnie May Stewart was remarried on 3 August 1900 to William Bateman Leeds, an industrialist who amassed a fortune through the tin industry. The Leeds couple had one son, William Bateman Leeds Jr. Nonie Stewart Worthington Leeds was widowed in 1908 upon the death of her husband, and she inherited a great deal of his wealth. On 1 February 1920, Nonie (or Nancy, as she was sometimes known) married Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark, the youngest child of King George I of the Hellenes and his wife Queen Olga (née Grand Duchess of Russia). Nonie converted to the Greek Orthodox faith. She used her largesse to assist the Greek royal family, which was much appreciated by her in-laws. As a result, she was accorded the title and style of HRH Princess Anastasia of Greece and Denmark by her brother-in-law, King Constantine I. In 1921, her son William “Billy” Leeds married Princess Xenia Georgievna of Russia, the niece of her husband Christopher. Princess Anastasia of Greece died in 1923.

The grave of George E Worthington.

Meanwhile, Princess Anastasia’s first husband had also remarried and had children. On 11 April 1899, George Ely Worthington married Lavinia Zenana Curtis (previously married to Harry Pinkley). The couple divorced in 1906 and did not have issue.

A report of the wedding of George Worthington and Ethel Coons.

On 15 June 1907, George married Ethel May Coons. The Worthingtons then moved to California, where George became a photographer. The couple had two sons, Ralph Worthington (1908-1996) and Eugene Worthington (1910-1993; married Rayola Weitzel). On 31 January 1915, George E Worthington married Virginia Bridges. The couple had one daughter, Virginia Marguerite Worthington (1921-1986; married William Jay Settle). 

The obituary of George Worthington.

George Ely Worthington died on 22 August 1950 at the age of seventy-seven. He was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale. 

In 1913, five years after the death of his mother Helen, George’s rather aged father Ralph married a much younger Ethel Burdette of Valdosta, Georgia. Ralph and Ethel had three children, including one son, Ralph Worthington III. Ralph Worthington III married Margaret Talmadge in 1943; the couple had one son, Ralph Worthington IV. In 1984, Ralph Worthington IV married Lucinda Earle Morrisey; the following year, the Worthingtons welcomed the arrival of their first son, Ralph Worthington V. In 2019, Ralph Worthington V became engaged to Princess Marie-Astrid of Liechtenstein.

Rafe Worthington and Princess Marie-Astrid of Liechtenstein at the 2019 wedding of Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon and Countess Olympia von Arco.
Photo (c) Schneider-Press/SIPA/Shutterstock.

Ralph Worthington V is the great-nephew of George Ely Worthington, who was the first husband of Nonie May Stewart, who went on to marry Prince Christopher of Greece and herself became Princess Anastasia of Greece.

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.

By admin

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