These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene

Trista - January 24, 2020

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Cecil Chao with his daughter, Gigi.

18. Chinese Billionaire Offered A Handsome Dowry And Then Took It Away

Not all dowries in history have stayed with the married couple. Recently, Chinese billionaire Cecil Chao offered many that would marry his daughter up to $40 million. The catch was his daughter, a lesbian, had to agree to marry the potential suitor and state she was no longer a lesbian.

While Cecil and his daughter received many offers, she refused them all and pleaded with her father to accept her partner, whom she loves very much. Even though it embarrassed him, Cecil agreed and told people the offer was off the table and kept the money.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Chinese Magnate Wu Duanbiao’s daughter. Daily Mail.

17. Chinese Magnate Wu Duanbiao Gave Away His Daughter And $150 Million

Wu Duanbiao is one of the richest men in China, and he had no problem showing off his wealth when it comes to the marriage of his daughter, Xu. Along with a wedding that totaled eight days, he also gave his daughter and her new husband a large number of gifts throughout this time.

While Wu Duanbiao barely made any income the year before his daughter’s wedding, he couldn’t help but reach into his savings to make sure she is taken care of. This meant that he gave his daughter a gift of $150 million to receive as her dowry.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Some of the dowry items. South China Morning Post.

16. Wu Duanbiao Didn’t Stop With An 8-Day Wedding And $150 Million

The friends of the groom told him it’s like he robbed a bank, but came out with more than what a bank would have for him. Not only did Wu Duanbiao make sure that his daughter had a wedding that lasted over a week and sent her off with $150 million, but he also gave her two vehicles.

Wu Duanbiao’s daughter received the gifts of a Porsche and a Mercedes. Along with the cars, the couple received four boxes of gold. Still, Wu didn’t stop there. He also decided to give $1.5 million to two different charities in celebration.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Catherine of Aragon. Wikimedia.

15. Catherine Of Aragon Brought A Large Dowry To Her First Marriage

Catherine of Aragon is best known as the Queen of England and King Henry VIII’s first wife. However, before she married King Henry, she married his brother, Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales. The couple married in a lavish wedding in 1501.

One of the most luxurious weddings wasn’t the only part of Catherine’s dowry. Catherine came from a wealthy family who wanted to make sure she always lived a lavish lifestyle. Along with several pieces of jewelry, Catherine brought with her 200,000 escudos. At the time, this was more than the English government made in one year.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Portrait of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. History.

14. Catherine’s Dowry Lasted Through Her Second Marriage As Well

Unfortunately, Catherine’s first marriage to the Prince of Wales didn’t last long. The prince died the following year. The problem with Catherine’s dowry is that the king only saw half of it by the time his brother died. Because the prince passed, England might never see the rest of Catherine’s dowry.

This is when King Henry VIII stepped in and did something that kings weren’t supposed to do during this time. He decided to make Catherine his first wife, ensuring that he continued to see her lavish dowry. While we can’t be sure how much money this is today, it’s enough to live very well.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza. History of Royal Women.

13. Catherine Of Braganza Came With International Trading Rights

It always seems to surprise people what traditional dowries included. For Catherine of Braganza, one of the surprising requirements of her dowry included trading rights. When the Portuguese Princess Catherine married King Charles II of England and Scotland, she allowed England to trade with Portuguese colonies all over the world.

This trading allowed England to receive items that they rarely had before and helped raise the economy of the country. Some of the things Catherine introduced to England included oranges and forks.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Queen Catherine and her husband, King Charles II. WordPress.

12. The Forgotten Queen, Catherine of Braganza Gave More Than Trading Rights

Incredibly, Catherine of Braganza is known as the “forgotten queen” because she gave so much when she married King Charles II of England and Scotland. Not only did she provide trading rights and introduce various new items to the country, but she also brought with her over $500,000 worth of trading goods.

Another part of Catherine’s dowry included some major ports, such as Tangier, Mumbai, and Morocco. Unfortunately, Catherine did not have any children, but this doesn’t mean that England didn’t prosper with her help.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Statue of Cicero. Wikimedia.

11. Cicero Married His First Wife For Her Lavish Dowry

Marcus Tullius Cicero is known for many things, such as being an ancient Roman politician and lawyer. He is also known for having more than one wife during his lifetime, and while this is not unusual, the reason why he married his first wife is well, not as odd as well.

Cicero became the first person in his family to enter the Senate, and this meant he had a lot of social obstacles to overcome. This became challenging, especially when his funds ran low. Therefore, he found a woman to marry him that brought with her a farm, mountain estate, and landlords of Roman apartment blocks.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Statue of Cicero. Foundation for Economic Education.

10. Also, Cicero Married His Second Wife For Her Lavish Dowry

Cicero leaped into politics when he married his first rich wife, Terentia. However, she refused to simply hand over everything he wanted and continued to manage his finances. When this didn’t become enough for his status, Cicero divorced Terentia and married a much younger woman named Publilia.

Publilia couldn’t manage Cicero’s finances because he was her guardian. Their marriage would end in a divorce as well. Cicero got what he needed from Publilia and then sent her on her way. From that point on, Cicero lived a pretty good lifestyle.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Cleanliness is next to Godliness for an early 20th-century father. European soaps.

9. The Father Promised The Gift Of Cleanliness

Most dowries came in the form of money, gold, or land, but there are also many unique dowries. One dowry comes from a well-to-do hairdresser from the early 20th century. Happy with his daughter’s choice for a husband, he wanted to take care of the couple for as long as possible, but not just financially.

While he sent his daughter with a lump sum of money, he also wanted to make sure the couple remained clean for the rest of their lives. Therefore, he weighed his daughter and gave her 140 pounds of soap.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Princess Marie-Chantal Miller. Wikimedia.

8. Princess Marie-Chantal Miller’s Dad Gave $2 Million For Her Wedding

Robert Miller, Marie-Chantal’s father, is a luxurious good billionaire. Therefore, Marie came into this world rich, but this still didn’t stop her from becoming richer when she married Prince Pavlos, the Crown Prince of Greece.

While Marie wasn’t a royal, the royal family didn’t mind because she is a member of the world’s highest society. Because of this, Marie-Chantel received a $2 million dowry on her wedding day. On top of this, her family also hosted a pre-wedding reception that fed over 1,300 guests. But that’s not all. The bride’s wedding dress cost more than $200,000.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Alexandra Von Furstenberg. Haute Living.

7. Marie-Chantel Wasn’t The Only Member Of Her Family To Receive Such A High Dowry.

Princess Marie-Chantel is one of three women to have married from her family. For all three of his daughters, Robert Miller only gave the best. Not only did Marie receive a $200 million dowry from her father, but her two sisters, Alexandra and Pia, did as well.

Alexandra married a German Prince and received the same treatment as her sister, Marie-Chantel. Pai, who married a Getty heir, also had an expensive and large wedding along with receiving a $2 million dowry.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Joan Beaufort. Pinterest.

6. Joan Beaufort Fell In Love With A Captive Whose Family Refused To Pay Ransom

Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland, the daughter of the first Earl of Somerset, John Beaufort, and Margaret Holland. England officials kidnapped her future husband, James I of Scotland as a young child. He lived with the English for 18 years because his uncle refused to pay James’ ransom.

While in bondage, Joan and James met and instantly fell in love. In the hopes of winning Joan’s heart, James wrote her a love poem. Whether the poem did the trick or Joan loved James before, she fell madly in love with him. The only problem – he still lived in bondage.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
James I of Scotland. Wikimedia.

5. James I Received Freedom And Used Joan’s Dowry As A Ransom Payment

Once the English royal family realized that Joan marrying James would give them good alliance with Scotland, a deal to release James came into play. Around the same time, James’ uncle died, and his cousin, who wanted James home, became king.

The deal for James’ ransom stated that he would pay his debt in installments. For each payment, he would send a Scottish hostage from a noble family in his place. England agreed and they also forgave one installment due to his marriage to Joan. They considered this installment as Joan’s dowry payment.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
King David and his wife, Mical. Learn Religions.

4. David Brought 200 Foreskins To His Bride-To-Be’s Father

While most people know David as the man who became King of Israel and killed Goliath, he is also known for one of the strangest dowries in history. Historically, the bride’s family sent the dowry with their daughter on her wedding day, but David needed to prove his strength to his future father-in-law, King Saul and needed to bring the dowry himself.

Sent to die in battle, David’s father-in-law told him to bring back 100 foreskins if he wanted to marry his daughter. The show-off David always proved to be, he brought back 200 foreskins and the couple married.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Princess Margaret of Austria. Wikimedia.

3. Princess Margaret Of Austria Nearly Lost Parts Of France

Princess Margaret lived during a time when parents arranged marriages when their children were young. Princess Margaret’s parents arranged her wedding at the age of three to King Charles VIII of France. Part of Margaret’s dowry decided during the arrangement, included several territories, such as Artois, Burgundy, Auxerre.

However, when Princess Margaret became marrying age, things started to change. While Margaret lived with her future husband as a child, she would not marry the man. Because the plans for marriage ended, Charles needed to give back the lands.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Consort Jin. Wikimedia.

2. Qing Dynasty Consort Jin Received An Interesting Object As Part Of Her Dowry

Not everyone receives money, a home, or land when they get married. Some people receive objects that many people might find interesting or useless today. One of the most significant examples of a dowry that wasn’t spendy for its time is the Jadeite Cabbage that Consort Jin brought as her dowry.

During her time, the Jadeite Cabbage wasn’t expensive, but the meaning behind the Jadeite Cabbage meant more. The insects that are hidden among the bok-choy’s leaves represent fertility. The bok-choy leaves is seen as a symbol of purity. For Consort Jin’s time, the meaning is far greater than monetary value.

These Lavish Dowries In History are Obscene
Jadeite cabbage Consort Jin received for her dowry settlement. Wikimedia.

1. The Jadeite Cabbage Means More Now Than Ever Before

Even though the Jadeite Cabbage Consort Jin received had unknown value during her time, the object is seen as a national treasure today. In fact, the value and esteem have only increased over the years. The item is carved from a single piece of green and milky white jade. Many people compare it to a type of food.

It is possible to see the Jadeite Cabbage today as it sits in the National Palace Museum in Taiwan. People from all over the world take a look at the object and see it as a rare and national treasure that is irreplaceable.


Where did we find this information? Here are our sources:

“Royal weddings in history: The forgotten prince and his Milanese bride.” Benjamin Trowbridge, National Archives Blog, UK. March 2018

“The Most Lavish Dowries In History.” Carly Silver, Ranker.

“10 Most Outrageous Dowries Or Bride Prices.” Michael Van Duisen, Listverse. August 2018.

“Putting a Price on Marriage: The Long-standing Custom of Dowries.” Theodoros Karasavvas, Ancient Origins. October 2019.

“The £100MILLION bride: Chinese daughter of kitchen tile tycoon is married off with four boxes of gold, a Porsche AND a Mercedes (and locals say groom may as well have ‘robbed a bank’).” Emma Reynolds, Daily Mail. January 2013.