It’s the 19th century, and a strange phenomenon is sweeping through the United Kingdom. Scores of rich American women have started to flock to the country — and they’ve come with clear a motive in mind. We’ve now entered into the strange historical era of the so-called “Dollar Princesses.”
Jennie and Randolph
One of these Dollar Princesses was Jennie Jerome, who in 1874 became engaged to a British aristocrat by the name of Randolph Churchill. The pair had only met three days before their engagement, but they were apparently happy to move things along quickly. Not everyone was quite so pleased, though.
Randolph’s mom and dad were left seething when they found out about their son’s engagement. Thinking quite a lot of themselves, they were appalled that their British son would take an American as a wife. But they soon hopped off their high horse when they saw how the union would benefit them.
Jennie’s family were rich — very rich. And despite their fancy notions of themselves, the Churchills weren’t as wealthy as they wanted to be. So when they heard that Jennie’s dad was going to pay the Churchills a lot of money in the form of a dowry, they were certainly more willing to let the marriage take place. Even with the promise of hot cash, they still weren’t happy.
Ignorant of the true significance of their actions, the Churchill and Jerome families were kickstarting a series of events that would ultimately change the world. The union they’d agreed to let happen would produce a child of tremendous historic importance. And the marriage also set a template that many more American and British families would soon follow. The Dollar Princess era was now up and running.