Thursday, October 18, 2012

Luxarazzi 101: Grand Ducal Weddings (Part 2)

Last time we had a look at the weddings of Grand Duchess Charlotte and her sisters, now it's time to have a look at the weddings of Charlotte's children. Luxembourg's second reigning Grand Duchess and her husband Prince Félix had six children, Prince Jean, Princess Elisabeth, Princess Marie-Adelaide, Princess Marie-Gabrielle, Prince Charles and Princess Alix.

The youngest of the six children, Princess Alix, was actually the first one to walk down the aisle. Just seven days before her 21st birthday, the young princess married Belgian Prince Antoine de Ligne, who would later become the 13th Prince of Ligne after his older brother Baudouin died childless. Princess Alix and her husband went on to have seven children, among the Michel, the 14th Prince of Ligne, Princess Christine, who married Prince Antônio of Orléans-Bragança, who is the second in the line of succession to the defunct Brazilian throne and Prince Antoine, who is married to Countess Minthia de Lannoy, a cousin of Countess Stéphanie. The 13th Prince of Ligne died in 2005, his widow, Princess Alix, seems to be in good health and still attends various events in Luxembourg and Belgium.

A year later on November 5th, 1951 Alix's older sister Princess Marie-Gabrielle married Danish Roman Catholic nobleman Knud Johan, Count Holstein til Ledreborg. The couple had seven daughters, the third youngest, Countess Camilla, died of cancer two years ago. The fourth daughter, Countess Silvia, was made a Kammerdame by Queen Margarethe II of Denmark earlier this year. Princess Marie-Gabrielle's husband died in 2001.

Next up was the wedding of the heir to the throne. On April 9th 1953, the then Hereditary Grand Duke Jean married the daughter of Léopold III, King of the Belgians, Princess Joséphine-Charlotte. The couple had five children, Princess Marie-Astrid, Grand Duke Henri, Prince Jean, Princess Margaretha and Prince Guillaume, who are the regular features of our blog. Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte died of cancer in 2005, while Grand Duke Jean still makes appearances every once in a while at events close to his heart.

Three years later on May 9th, 1956, the oldest daughter of Grand Duchess Charlotte, Princess Elisabeth, tied the knot when she married Franz, Duke of Hohenberg, who would later become the head of the House of Hohenberg. He is a grandson of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Hungary and his morganatic wife née Countess Sophie Chotek von Chotkow und Wognin. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his assassination sparked the beginning of World War I. The couple had two daughters. Duke Franz died in 1977, Princess Elisabeth in November last year.

On April 10th, 1958, the last unwed daughter of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Félix, Princess Marie-Adelaide, married German Karl Josef Count Henckel von Donnersmarck. They had three sons and one daughter. The Count remarried only a couple of months after Princess Marie-Adelaide's death in 2007.

It took ten years and a pregnant bride to make this Grand Ducal Wedding happen. On March 1st, 1967 Prince Charles married American heiress and divorcée Joan Douglas Dillon at at St. Edward's, in Sutton Park, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom. Prince Charles' bride already had a daughter from her first marriage to James Brady Moseley, that was later annulled by the Pope. In September 1967 the couple had their daughter Princess Charlotte, a year later their son Prince Robert, who is a regular feature on this blog, was born. Sadly, the prince died in 1977 of heart failure while on holiday in Italy. Princess Joan later married the 7th Duke of Mouchy.

While Grand Duchess Joséphine Charlotte wore the Congo Diamond Necklace Tiara, all of the sisters of Grand Duke Jean opted for the bigger one of the Diamond Floral tiaras. While the first one is one of the red hot favourites as it was also worn by Grand Duchess Maria-Teresa as well as princesses Marie-Astrid and Margaretha on their wedding days, the latter one is my personal favourite in the Luxembourgish tiara collection.

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