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    Queen Marau

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    (Johanna Marau Ta'aroa a Tepau Salmon)
    April 24, 1860 – February 2, 1935

    Our search for Jewish royalty is well documented (see Kate Middleton). So when we found that a bunch of current European monarchs have an infinitesimal amount of Jewish blood (see Queen Beatrix), we were quite pleased.

    Yet, having one Jewish ancestor four centuries ago is not exactly something to rave about. So that got us thinking; perhaps Europe is not the place to look? But where could we find Jewish royalty? Africa, perhaps, with Ethiopia? Asia seems unlikely, America even less so... Oceania?

    Yes, Oceania. Specifically Tahiti. Now a French territory, Tahiti had been a monarchy until the late 19th century. And its last Queen, Jeanne Marau Ta'aroa, was... wait for it... HALF Jewish.

    How? Well, it has everything to do with an English Jewish merchant, Alexander Solomon, who changed his name to Salmon. (From a wise man to a fish? How is that an improvement?) He fell in love with a Tahitian princess, the queen allowed her daughter to marry a foreigner, and a modern fairy tale was born.

    Out of that union came Johanna Marau Ta'aroa, who married her uncle (so much for the fairy tale), the future King Pomare V. For three years, Johanna was the de facto ruler as Queen Marau, before abdicating to the French.

    So, there you go. (Half) Jewish royalty. Of a rather obscure country that hasn't existed for over a century.

    But it will definitely do.

    Verdict: Borderline Jew.

    November 25, 2009

    See Also

    Queen Beatrix

    Abe Markowitz

    Kate Middleton

    Alexander Salmon

    Elsa von Gutmann
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