Celia Countess von Bismarck (1971 to 2010)

Celia Countess von Bismarck was born as Celia Demaurex in Geneva in 1971. She married and got divorced from Carl-Eduard Count von Bismarck, but kept the family name after the divorce. She died in Geneva of cancer at the age of 39.

Celia Countess von Bismarck

Celia Demaurex was born in Geneva in 1971. She studied in Boston, Paris, and Berlin with a major in International Relations. In 1990, she met Carl-Eduard Count von Bismarck at the Grand Prix of Monte Carlo; they got married in 1997 and moved into the ancestral home of the Bismarck family of Castle Friedrichsruh in Germany. In 2004, they divorced, and Celia decided to keep the family name Countess von Bismarck rather than revert to the prenuptial Demaurex. The title of Countess was accorded her out of courtesy when talking to her as it is actually part of her family name.

Carl-Eduard Count von Bismarck is the great-great-grandson of Prince Otto von Bismarck, the iron chancellor of German Emperor Willhelm I; Prince Otto von Bismarck had been given various noble titles including a duchy by the emperor to get him on par with the grandees of the Empire. With the dissolution of the German Empire in 1918, all noble titles were abolished and became part of the family name. German Dukes, Grand Dukes, Kings, and the Emperor were completely stripped of their latest ruling titles and reverted to titles held before 1806 or retained the 'Prince' as part of their Royal descent. The von Bismarck family thereby inserted Count or Countess into their family name.

From 2003 to 2005, Celia Countess von Bismarck was engaged at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). For this body, she took part in several international conferences on the Kosovo and Serbia. In 2005, she accepted the post as Chief of Protocol at the Hamburg Film Festival. Since 2006 she worked also for the non-profit organisation Dropping Knowledge in Berlin; the same year, she was appointed an ambassador for the Swiss Committee of the Red Cross. She took personal interest in projects in Rumania, Swaziland, Honduras, and Cambodia all of which she visited in person. In 2007, she was appointed Editor at Large for Park Avenue Magazine. Since 2009, she was engaged for the Prince Aga Khan Development Network.

Various other engagements included her being a member of the jury of German media prize Quadriga, and a nominal head of the organisation for the VISA Swap Shop in cooperation with Oxfam.

Celia Countess of Bismarck died of melanoma skin cancer which had sent metastases into internal organs only eight weeks after her having received the diagnosis. It seems, though, that she had suffered an earlier onset of melanoma in her childhood.

Celia Countess von Bismarck routinely published on her charity work and travels, but most of her writings are available in either German or French only and usually have not been translated. Instead of becoming a society hostess (which she could have done owing to her name and fortune), she decided early on to be a hands on charity lady. Her primary interests were politics and international relations, and the arts. In both areas she got engaged on a professional and charitable level and wasn’t too unhappy when arts and politics were piled on top of each other; a prime example is her work as a curator for Cinema For Peace.

Further reading
The Life of Irmingard, Princess of Bavaria
Count Welf and His Descendents
United Nations World Capital Geneva