15 August 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Luxembourg’s Almost Double Wedding

 HRH Princess Marie Astrid of Luxembourg and HI&RH Archduke Carl Christian of Austria
February 6, 1982
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

HRH Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg and HSH Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein
March 20, 1982
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Luxembourg in the early 1980s was experiencing a full on royal wedding boom. In 1981, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte’s oldest son, Henri, married. Just a year later, both of their daughters were married – and only a few weeks apart!
The oldest child of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess' brood of five was Princess Marie Astrid. As an eligible princess, her name was tossed around as a possible match for the Prince of Wales in the press (rumors, rumors). Instead, she married Archduke Carl Christian of Austria, and she did so in a voluminous white gown with an asymmetrical ruffle wrap cinching her waist and additional detail on the skirt and sleeves.
Marie Astrid’s younger sister Margaretha married Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein, the third son of reigning Prince Franz Joseph II, the following month. Another white confection was in order, this time with ruffles clinging tightly to the bride’s neck and wrists.
Both gowns are clearly of their time, so to speak, with their use of ruffles and volume. But despite their early 1980s flair, they also manage to recall a bit of their mother’s wedding style from the 1950s. They also echo her in tiara choice, as they both wore the Congo Diamond Tiara just like Joséphine-Charlotte. (More on that tomorrow.)
Both couples are still married; Marie Astrid and Carl Christian have five children, Margaretha and Nikolaus have three (a fourth – their first child, a son – tragically died the same day he was born). And now the family finds itself once again in a royal wedding boom: two of Marie Astrid’s sons announced engagements on the same day last year and will both marry this year, while their cousin Guillaume will marry in October. While we await new Luxembourgish brides, tell me…

Which is your favorite: Marie Astrid’s or Margaretha’s gown?