Countess Mariae Gloria Ferdinanda Joachima Josephine Wilhelmine Huberta of Schönburg-Glauchau was born at Stuttgart-Degerloch on 23 February 1960. She was the second child and second daughter of Count Joachim of Schönburg-Glauchau (1929-1998) and his first wife Countess Beatrix (b.1930; née Széchényi de Sárvár et Felsövidék). Gloria joined an elder sister, Maya (1958-2019), and was followed by two brothers, Carl-Alban (b.1966) and Alexander (b.1969).

In 1979 Gloria met the then Hereditary Prince Johannes of Thurn and Taxis at a luncheon he was hosting at Nürnberger Bratwurst Glöckl in Munich. He was thirty-three years older than the countess, who was his fourth cousin once removed. The couple were married in a religious ceremony on 31 May 1980 at Regensburg. Gloria wore a Valentino dress and a diamond diadem that had belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette of France at the wedding. At the time of their union, Johannes was estimated to be worth between US$2 and US$3 billion. Johannes was the son of Karl August, 10th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, and Infanta Maria Anna de Bragança; he had two older sisters and one younger brother. Karl August died on 26 April 1982 and Johannes succeeded him as the 11th Prince of Thurn and Taxis. 

Prince Johannes and Princess Gloria of Thurn and Taxis in 1981
Needless to say, Prince Johannes and Princess Gloria enjoyed a most unconventional lifestyle for some years.

The alliance of Prince Johannes and Princess Gloria produced three children: Princess Maria Theresia (b.1980), Princess Elisabeth (b.1982), and Prince Albert (b.1983), the long awaited male heir to the Thurn and Taxis fortune. Prince Johannes died on 14 December 1990 after two unsuccessful heart transplants within the space of two days. At this time, their only son Albert succeeded as the 12th Prince of Thurn and Taxis. 

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