O'BRIEN, BEATRICE
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The Hon. Beatrice O'Brien was born on 23 December 1882 in Ireland, the daughter of the fourteenth Baron Inchiquin and grew up at the family country home, Dromoland, County Clare. After the death of her father in 1900, Beatrice (Bea) went to London with her mother taking part in the London season. Bea met Marconi while he was based in Poole in 1904. On meeting Bea, Marconi released himself from his engagement to the American Miss Milholland and spent as much time as possible pursuing her. Daunted by his celebrity status, Bea declined Marconi's first proposal of marriage, leaving him distraught. Despite this and the initial disapproval by the Inchiquin's due to Marconi's nationality, Bea and Marconi married on 16 March 1905 at the fashionable St. George's Church in Hanover Square, London, in front of crowds on onlookers and press. In an echo of things to come, the honeymoon at Dromoland was cut short when Marconi returned to London on business. Bea followed Marconi on his trips when possible, dealing with his correspondence, but the marriage was plagued by separations due to Marconi's hectic schedule.

The Marconi's had four children, their first Luicia, a daughter born in February 1906 lived only a few weeks. Degna was born in 1908, Giulio, 1910 and Gioia in 1916. The family lived for a time at a rented house called Eaglehurst, near Southampton, though Marconi spent most of the time away. In 1913, they moved to Rome where Bea took up her position as lady-in-waiting to Queen Elena and revelled in Italian society functions. With the outbreak of war, they moved back to England, though returned to Italy in 1916.

The war provided time for the family to be together, however after the war, the relationship between Guglielmo and Bea deteriorated further. Marconi's life grew more separate from Bea and the children, and rumours of his affairs were rife. In 1923, Bea asked Marconi for a divorce, she had fallen in love with the Marchese Liborio Marignoli and married him shortly after the divorce took place. Bea had a daughter with her husband, Flaminia, born in 1926.Marconi continued to write to his ex-wife and consult her opinion, the children shared their time between parents and spent happy holidays onboard the Elettra.

When Marconi became engaged to Maria Cristina Bezzi-Scali, the Catholic Church would not accept his divorce and neither would her parents. Bea, happy with her new husband and daughter, graciously assisted Marconi in obtaining an annulment on the grounds of lack of consent. Bea never saw Marconi again after 1928, but she remained in contact with him, trying without success to secure financial arrangements for the children's future.

When Marconi died in 1937, Bea went to see him as he lay in state, unnoticed as she mingled with the crowd.Beatrice died in 1976 in Rome.






Key moments in the life and work of Marconi.

MARRIAGE TO BEATRICE O' BRIEN



Images of people, places and artefacts.

BEATRICE O'BRIEN

BEATRICE O'BRIEN AND CHILDREN

MARCONI WITH DEGNA

MARCONI, BEATRICE AND THEIR CHILDREN



Related to the life and work of Marconi.

THE VASTNESS OF MARCONI'S WORK



Contemporary articles about Marconi and his work.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES COVERING THE MARRIAGE OF MARCONI AND BEATRICE

NEWSPAPER PORTRAITS OF MARCONI AND BEATRICE

NOTICE OF THE WEDDING OF MARCONI & BEATRICE O'BRIEN

REPORT OF THE 'MARCONI WEDDING'

REPORT OF THE MARRIAGE OF MARCONI & BEATRICE O'BRIEN (1)

REPORT OF THE WEDDING OF MARCONI & BEATRICE O'BRIEN (2)

WEDDING OF MARCONI & BEATRICE O'BRIEN (1)

WEDDING OF MARCONI & BEATRICE O'BRIEN (2)



Documents of general interest.

ARTIST'S DRAWING OF WEDDING OF MARCONI AND BEATRICE

THE ACCIDENT TO MR MARCONI