Marie-Helene van Zuylen van Nyevelt
Francois de Nicolay (m. 1950; div. 1956)Guy de Rothschild (m. 1957)
March 1, 1996 (aged 68) Touques, Calvados, France
Marie-Hélène Naila Stephanie Josina de Rothschild ([ma.ʁi e.lɛn də ʁɔt.ʃild]) (November 17, 1927 – March 1, 1996) was a French socialite who became a doyenne of Parisian high-society and was a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of France.
- marie h l ne de rothschild prod nishg
- Early life and education
- Ferrires Chteau
- Htel Lambert
- Illness and death
marie h l ne de rothschild prod nishg
Early life and education
Born Baroness Marie-Hélène Naila Stephanie Josina van Zuylen van Nyevelt van de Haar in New York City, she was the eldest of the three children of Marguerite Marie Namétalla (1901–1970) and Baron Egmont Van Zuylen van Nyevelt (1890–1960). Her mother was born in Egypt of Syrian-immigrant parents, and her father was a diplomat and businessman of Jewish and Dutch descent. Marie-Hélène's paternal grandmother was Baroness Hélène de Rothschild (1863–1947), the first woman to take part in an international motor race and the daughter of Baron Salomon James de Rothschild. Marie-Hélène's paternal grandfather was the Dutch Roman Catholic Baron Etienne van Zuylen van Nyevelt (1860–1934) of the House of Van Zuylen van Nievelt.
Marie-Hélène was married twice:
Her husband and his sisters, Jacqueline and Bethsabée, had been raised at the magnificent Château de Ferrières in the country outside of Paris. Seized by the Germans during the occupation of France in World War II, the château remained empty until 1959 when the newlywed Rothschilds decided to reopen it. Marie-Hélène took charge of refurbishing the huge château, making it a place where European nobility mingled with musicians, artists, fashion designers and Hollywood movie stars at grand soirées. Much talked about for the lavish and creative theme balls and charity fundraisers she organized both in Paris and New York, in 1973, she brought together five French couturiers and five American designers for a fashion show at the Théâtre Gabriel in the Château de Versailles.
She hosted regular parties at the Château, mainly inviting aristocracy, but which also included her friends from a wider society such as Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn (with whom she was a close friend).
In 1975, Château de Ferrières was gifted to the chancellery of the universities of Paris by Guy and Marie-Hélène de Rothschild but they retained the home they had built in the woods surrounding the château.
In 1975, the couple purchased Hôtel Lambert on the Île Saint-Louis, one of the most luxurious mansions in Paris, where they took up residence in the top floors. Marie-Hélène became friends with the socialite Baron Alexis de Redé who was a tenant on the first floor in Hôtel Lambert and who would later become a fixture at her gatherings. In recognition of her importance in promoting French culture and fashion on an international level, Marie-Hélène de Rothschild was awarded the Legion of Honor.
Illness and death
After battling cancer and crippling rheumatoid arthritis for more than ten years, Marie-Hélène de Rothschild died in 1996 at her Ferrières country home, aged 68. She was buried in Touques, Calvados where for more than a century her husband's branch of the French Rothschild family has owned Haras de Meautry, a noted horse farm.