28 March 2012

Wedding Wednesday: The Duchess of Anjou's Gown

 HRH The Duke of Anjou and Maria Margarita Vargas Santaella
November 6, 2004
La Romana, Dominican Republic

A reader request today, from a long time ago, for what you might call a would-be royal wedding, I suppose. Put it this way: if France still had a monarchy, and if the line of inheritance had run a specific way, this would have been the wedding of the King of France. (Is that enough ifs for you?) Louis Alphonse of Bourbon is the Legitimist claimant to the French throne - just one of a few claimants, whose differences depend on specific debates over the line of succession. He is the head of the House of Bourbon, and claims for himself the title of Duke of Anjou.
He married Venezulan heiress Maria Margarita Vargas Santaella in 2004, when he was 30 and she was just 21 years old. Their wedding ceremony took place amongst lavish settings in the Dominican Republic, with more than 1,500 guests joining in the celebrations.
The groom's uniform is from the Order of Malta, worn with the French Order of the Holy Spirit. The bride's imposing gown comes from Spanish designers Victorio & Lucchino. The satin dress features plenty of lace, including a gorgeous veil of Chantilly lace, and a lengthy train.
Occasionally in royal weddings you get a dress that is very clearly what the bride once dreamed a princess dress might be in her childhood, rather than what would truly suit her as an actual princess. I think this is what we have here. All that lace, the terribly unflattering top, the massive train - it's nearly swallowing Maria Margarita whole. I don't think it's doing the gorgeous bride many favors, I'm afraid.
The couple now have three children: daughter Eugenie and twin sons Louis and Alphonse. The prince works in finance, but we occasionally we see them pop up at large royal gatherings, like the Prince and Princess of Monaco's wedding.

What do you think of this bride's gown?

Photos: TheRoyal Forums/Hola/Profimedia