With the wedding of Prince Félix and Claire Lademacher just days away, it is time to get ourselves in a bit of a wedding mood, shall we? We shall. As today marks the 42nd wedding anniversary of Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle, the couple, who married on September 11, 1971, are the obvious choice to do so.
|Photos: Point de Vue / Liechtensteiner Volksblatt|
About a year earlier, in June 1970, the cabinet office of the Principality announced the engagement between Prince Philipp, the second son of Prince Franz Josef II and Princess Gina, and Isabelle de l'Arbre de Malander, youngest child and daughter of Jean de l'Arbre de Malander and his wife née Guillemette Grassal. Even though the future princess' family wasn't technically part of the Belgian nobility, one can argue about just how common you are when your godmother is Queen Elisabeth of Belgium and you grow up in a castle though that's another story. To mark the occasion, Prince Philipp gave his future wife an engagement ring consisting of a sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
On 29 May, 1971 a ball celebrating the engagement with some 400 guests was held at the Stadtpalais in Vienna. About a month later on June 21, a reception took place at Schloss Vaduz to officially introduce the future princess to Liechtenstein's officials and dignitaries. The wedding itself took place in the bride's home country Belgium.
|Photos: Point de Vue|
Two years after firstly meeting through mutual friends in Brussels, the couple tied the knot at the Abbaye Notre Dame de la Cambre in the Ixelles municipality of the Belgian capital. The bride wore a gown made of white satin by Brussels based couture house Valens. The dress featured a slightly more than two metres long train extending from the shoulders cape-style with heavy embroidery. Princess Isabelle wore the same diamond fringe tiara that Princess Marie had worn at her wedding four years earlier and is owned by the Princely Family.
Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle were married by Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens, the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels. The bride was given away by her older brother Loïc de l'Arbre de Malander as her father had died in a car accident two years earlier. The bridal party was mainly composed of Princess Isabelle's nieces and nephews as well as Prince Wenzel, the groom's youngest brother. While Prince Philipp chose his other two brothers, then Hereditary Prince Hans-Adam and Prince Nikolaus, as his witnesses, Princess Isabelle opted for Count Tanguy de Villegas de Saint-Pierre Jette, husband of her older sister Birky, and Prince Friedrich of Schwarzenberg as her witnesses.
|Photos: Point de Vue|
After the religious ceremony was over, the couple and their guests made their way to the Château de Grand Bigard on the other side of the town centre of Brussels where the celebrations were held. Among the round about 200 guests were, of course, the couple's families, the Liechtenstein government, diplomats from France and Switzerland as well as an array of members of the Gotha, primarily from the German and French speaking countries. Later that night, the newly weds embarked on their honeymoon which led them to Mexico.