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CARNAP Marthe

Marthe Carnap (properly) Marthe Frezet von Carnap Bornheim, baroness. Also known as: Alix Marthe Louise Frezet and Alix Marthe Louise Frezet-Suares. Wife of Baron Constantine Philipp [Ottomar Gerhard] von Carnap Bornheim – the owner of a mansion nearby Gorzow Wielkopolski. Born on 7 January 1873 in Paris (France). Died on 24 June 1928 in Naples (Italy). Buried on 15 August of that year in Janczewo (at that time Jahnsfelde) near Gorzow Wielkopolski; also an Egyptian princess. Earlier wife of Prince Aly Fazil of Egypt. Her funeral was one of the most spectacular events in the pre- Second World War history of the town.

Mistakenly called an "Egyptian Queen". One of the most colorful and mysterious characters of the 19th century. She was born in Paris as a daughter of Jean Louis Némorin Frezet and Marie Rose Biot. The fate of her father remains unknown. Her mother remarried Raphael Suares, who around 1890 possibly adopted Martha. She was married three times: to a Catholic, a Muslim and Protestant. She also divorced three times. Her first husband was [Louise Francois] Paul Bounin, whom she married on 26 November 1891 in Paris. They had one daughter [Francoise] Anne Bounin (born on 14 December 1893 in Nice). Her second husband was a Turk – a prince of Egypt – Aly Fazil (properly Aly Haidar Fazil Pasha – born in Constantinople in 1875). He was the first cousin of the King Fuad I of Egypt – a member of the Turkish family that ruled Egypt. Their wedding took place on 24 April 1898[1] in Maazoun Kekhia Ezbekieh in Cairo. They had two sons: Said Fazil (born in 1898 in Naples) and Ibrahim Fazil (born in 1901 in Cairo). The marriage lasted until 1908[2]. After the divorce, Khedive Abbas Hilmi II pronounced her a princess in her own rank. On 19 June 1912 in the Westminster Registry Office in London, she married for the third time, with Constantine Philipp von Carnap (born on 20 December 1875[3] in Janczewo] – a baron and aristocrat, the owner of the property in Janczewo. Previously the press from Landsberg informed that the baroness von Carnap had been wife of the King Fuad's brother – which was not the truth because the king in the time of her death was only eight years old. Because of this mistake, Martha Frezet von Carnap Bornheim has been called until now the "Egyptian queen". According to recently discovered documents, Martha and Philipp got divorced on 7 November 1919 in Berlin. However, it was a technical divorce which helped her to give up her German citizenship and save her property. In fact the two lived together until Martha’s death. Martha and the baron had no children.

She died on 24 June 1928 in Naples in the family mansion Villa Carnap in 50 The Posillipo Naples. Her body was embalmed and brought in a special coffin (according to witnesses, the coffin had a transparent lid) to Landsberg. There, until 15 August 1928, the coffin was exposed to public view in a Catholic church at the current street "Warszawska" (parish dedicated to the Exaltation of the Holy Cross).

Her funeral turned out to be one of the greatest events in the history of the town that was widely reported by the European press. Into the pre-war Gorzow arrived aristocrats and noblemen from America, India, Italy and Egypt. There were over 200 distinguished guests (despite the fact that her family kept the date of her funeral secret). Apart from baron Constantine von Carnap Bornheim (who was a Protestant) in the Catholic funeral took part her both sons. According to a note produced by a local official, they were officers of the British Army, dressed in uniforms whose names he was unable to find. One was serving in India and the other living in Australia. Other close and distant members of the family arrived for the funeral as well as the representatives of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem whose member was baron von Carnap. They were dressed in ceremonial black capes with white crosses. According to many sources, the mass was very moving. Three Catholic choirs were singing, as well as fine Italian Opera singers (divas Mafalda Salvatini and Gigli). After the mass, the coffin was carried to a special hearse that together with 20 other cars formed a funeral procession. The procession arrived in Janczewo where the baroness was buried in the mausoleum built in 1880 and located in the Carnap family mansion.

Baron Constantin von Carnap left for Egypt in 1945 where died at the age of 94. He died on 13 May 1969 in an Italian hospital in the town of Abbasieh (near Cairo). He was buried in Cairo.

Mausoleum, just like the rest of the buildings in the mansion, was plundered and destroyed after the Second World War. It is unknown what happend with to the remains of the baroness and other family members. According to the most popular story, they were buried in a park surrounding the mausoleum, near the destroyed walls.

The father of Martha's second husband – prince Aly Fazil – was "Al-Amir" Mustafa Fazil, the heir apparent to his elder brother Khedive Ismail of Eygpt. From that marriage were two sons: Said Fazil (born in 1898) and Ibrahim Fazil (born in 1901). Both came to Landsberg in 1928 for their mother's funeral. Said had served as a 2/Lt in the British Army until wounded at Arras and left for Australia. He returned to Egypt where he was drowned three years after the death of his mother. He did not start a family nor had he any children. The other son, Ibrahim graduated from the Brighton College. He chose to be a confirmed member of the Church of England. He settled down in Great Britain and served in the army. He retired in the rank of major. His wife was an American, Kate Stevens. They had two children: son Philip Ali Fazil, who changed his names to Philip Anthony Foxwood on leaving the army (born in 1935) and daughter Marthe Alix Fazil (born in 1936). Also Martha's grandson Philip A. Foxwood served in the British Army. In 1964 he fought in Aden (present Yemen) and was wounded there. At present he is a retired captain. His wife is Welsh, (Rose) Mary Reece and their son and Martha's great grandson is Hugo Charles Amory Foxwood. He has a wife – Naomi Ana Louise Cheesman with whom he has a son, Isaac Harold da Silva and a daughter, Beatrice Rose da Silva.

Many mistakes concerning Martha can be found in various studies on the Fazil and Carnap families. For example, there is a the wrong date of her birth – 1877. Another mistake says that her first husband (and actually it was her second husband) was the brother of the Egyptian king (in fact he was his cousin). Various sources, together with Martha's family, says otherwise. In many sources she is called as Martha [Alix] Frazet "du Longpre". Also the tip of her name "du Longpre" should be understood as a mistake. Probably it was one of Landsberg officials who used it for the first time, while writing about her funeral. It was repeated by Christopher Buyers in his publication "The Royal Ark" (2000). However, "du Longpre" does not exist in Burke's Royal Families of the World. It is shown as a mistake by Philip Foxwood – Martha's grandson who has been researching on his families for many years. Another mistake is the information that in 1912 baron Constantine von Carnap married a widow, Martha Louise Fazil. In fact she was divorced. There are no proofs, that they had children. [ Data per day: 3.01.2013 ]

Author: Kazimierz Ligocki / photo: from Philip A. Foxwood collection
Cooperation: Renata Ochwat and Krzysztof Wasilewski
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Amendments and additions: encyklopedia.go@wimbp.gorzow.pl


[1] - This is the date given by Burke's Royal Families of the World and Martha's grandson, Philip Foxwood. However, in a copy of her birth certificate issued in 1979 in Paris it stands: 14 April 1898; [2] - Some sources says that in 1912 Constantine von Carnap married a widow, Martha Louise Fazil. In fact, prince Aly Fazil (her husband) died thirteen years later, in 1925. According to geneaological sources the Fazil marriage ended on 26 August 1908 in Paris; [3] - There are some inaccuracies concerning the date of birth of baron von Carnap. Jerzy Zysnarski in his „Encyklopedia Gorzowa” writes the year 1884. According to other sources, von Carnap was born on 20 December 1875 in Jahnsfelde (Janczewo)

Sources: [1] - Philip Anthony Foxwood; [2] - "Zwłoki szwagierki egipskiego króla spoczęły w grobowcu rycerskiego majątku w Janczewie" - Nadwarciański Rocznik Historyczno-Archiwalny 1/94 - [tam: Stanisława Janicka] - 1994; [3] - "Jeszcze w sprawie pogrzebu szwagierki egipskiego króla" - Nadwarciański Rocznik Historyczno-Archiwalny 3/96 - [tam: Stanisława Janicka] - 1996; [4] - "Encyklopedia Gorzowa" - Jerzy Zysnarski - 2007; [5] - portal: www.familysearch.org; [6] - portal: www.royalark.net/Egypt/egypt6.htm