Around 1970 I was a part of a coffee klatch at the University of Texas Student Union Building ‘Chuckwagon’. The group came together spontaneously and it included a number of people with whom I remained friends for decades, or the remainder of my life until now.
But the only woman in our group was an absolutely breath-taking beauty named Mishi Magyar. When she sat down the conversation had to stop a few minutes while to allow our heartbeats to slow to normal.
But what distinguished Mishi from being just another pretty face was the weirdness of being the descendant of fairly recent royalty. Mish was a member of the family that ruled Hungary from around 1000 ad until 1918. And she believed she’d rule Hungary again in her lifetime.
You see, Mishi was convinced the reason things had gone so poorly for Hungary since 1918 was, first, the Hapsburgs inept rule until WWII, and the Communists later. None of which, Mishi believed,would have happened had the Magyars remained in their proper place on the throne.
So given this unfortunate state of affairs for Hungary existing in 1970, Mishi believed when the Communists inevitably collapsed, Hungarians would see where it all went wrong and bring the Magyar kings back to lead them into a brave new world.
Mishi did have a backup plan, however. She was engaged to the male heir, or one of the male heirs, to the Montgomery Ward fortune. So on the off chance the Hungarians took too long getting rid of the Communists, she’d be sure to live in the style of US royalty.
I’ve sometimes wondered what ever became of Mishi. Whether, when the USSR folded up its tents and went home, she waited anxiously for the Hungarians to demand her return to her rightful place in the world. I suppose ‘return’ is a poor choice of words, because when I knew her, Mishi had never visited Hungary.
Anyway, I’ve done some web searches and have never found anything to indicate she married into the Ward fortune, became the Queen of Hungary, or just rode her pretty face into some roller-coaster of celebrity status. She could have made a great mentor for, say, Paris Hilton.
I will say, however, that judging from a scan of the history of the end of Magyar rule in Hungary, Mishi didn’t show much evidence of having done much reading on the subject. Hindsight. Back when when her eyes were sparkling with enthusiasm across a table-full of guys I never thought to wonder enough to read up on it.
But it appears Americans do love royalty. Even when the only royal families are either British or Muslim. Mishi missed a great opportunity not trying to chase down Prince Charles of the day. She might have been just what the doctor ordered to bring us back into the British Empire.
Thanks for the visit.
Years ago I worked for one of the Karolyi’s from Hungary. He said he was related to the one time King of Hungary. He received money from our government for some kind of reparation. He was a very flamboyant character.
Can’t be letting a relative of a one-time king of Hungary go struggling through life the way regular people have to, I reckons. Thanks for the visit. Old Jules
I didn’t know “Magyar” was a last name/house name. I always thought it was the word for the Hungarian nobility in general. Maybe that’s what her family adopted after losing the throne/coming to America. Interesting post!
Could be. For all I know Mish might have been lying through her teeth. People often do and did even back then. Gracias, Old jules
I’ve started reading some of your older posts. Some amazing stories!
Thanks. Nobody much reads that older stuff anymore. Gracias, Old Jules
Once knew a young man named Obolinski (sp?)who bragged about being somewhere in line to the throne of Russia. Thought a lot about himself and wanted to be treated like royalty. Ended up overseeing backgammon tournaments. So much for royalty.
Backgammon tourneys? Sounds like a cushy job. Gracias, Old Jules