Umberto and MJ made a handsome couple, yet somehow one senses the unease in their relationship, in these pictures. There are interesting stories of MJ, when still Princess of Piedmont, serving as a Red Cross nurse in North Africa. She was received (much to her dismay) with almost hysterical enthusiasm by the Italian troops stationed there, many of whom felt stranded and abandoned by the mother country. And she was such a good nurse that one of the doctors who worked with her thought she might have had a special healing gift. On one occasion, in particular, a patient with a terrible tropical fever was deliriously shouting things like: "Marie-Jose, only you can cure me!" She arrived, and placed her hand on his brow. The delirium suddenly stopped, and within 12 hours, the fever had subsided. Perhaps it was only a coincidence, but it reminds me of those stories of the "royal touch."
I don't think I noticed it before but you're right -they do seem a little disconnected, like they're looking at each other but not looking at eacher.I could believe Marie-Jose had a healing power of sorts. A little kindness, compassion and a pretty face can make a world of difference and her presence might have made some of the troops 'will' themselves better -sort of a mind over matter type thing. Most of our health is in the mind and it can kill you or heal you.