09 January 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Three Brides of Austria

December ended with one last royal (imperial!) wedding for the year: that of Archduke Christoph of Austria and Adélaïde Drapé-Frisch. Christoph is the son of Archduke Carl Christian of Austria, of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg, who is the sister of the current Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Christoph is the second of the couple's five children to marry this year and the third overall, so I thought we'd have a three Habsburg-Lorraine bride day today.

Archduchess Marie-Christine of Austria and Count Rodolphe of Limburg-Stirum
December 6, 2008
Mechelen, Belgium
Marie-Christine is the eldest of Carl Christian and Marie Astrid's children, and was the first to marry. She wed in a coat-style gown from the Belgian designer Yves Dooms. The satin dress featured a 4 meter train and winter-appropriate fur cuffs.
Her veil was the ancient Habsburg veil, a family heirloom said to have been worn by Empress Eugénie for her wedding to Napoleon III in 1853. (Talk about a family tradition!) She topped the veil with a tiara borrowed from her Luxembourg grand ducal relatives, the smaller of the two diamond floral tiaras in their collection - it's usually seen these days on Princess Alexandra. The couple now have a son, Léopold.

Archduke Imre of Austria and Kathleen Walker
September 8, 2012
Washington, DC, USA
The next family wedding was a rare American royal event, as Imre married his American bride in Washington, DC. Imre and Kathleen's wedding was a smaller affair than our other weddings here, and not as many details were available. I don't think the designer of her wedding dress was publicized. (It looks to me like an off-the-rack strapless gown with lace added on the top for modesty for their very traditional service.) She did not wear a bejeweled tiara - only a pearl headband of sorts - but she did get to use that ancient Habsburg veil.

Archduke Christoph of Austria and Adélaïde Drapé-Frisch
December 28 & 29, 2012
Nancy, France
And finally, the latest imperial wedding: Christoph and Adélaïde. The bride wore a custom gown from French designer Diane Lelys made of heavy duchesse satin with a lengthy train and a fur-trimmed jacket. The bride seems adorable, doesn't she? So much so that I'll forgive the jacket, which is just terribly peplum-y, I think (you can get a glimpse of a lace topped dress in the photos from the reception, click here). She accessorized with the same tiara (from Luxembourg) as Marie-Christine, and the same Habsburg veil as all three of our brides today.

Left to right (click to enlarge): Archduchess Marie-Astrid (mother of the groom), the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess, Prince Félix and his fiancée Claire Lademacher, Prince Louis and Princess Tessy, Prince Sébastien and Princess Alexandra
The whole Luxembourg family turned out for the wedding. My favorites were the elegant Marie-Astrid (wearing the same or an identical suit to the one worn by her mother Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte for Grand Duke Henri's accession day) and the so very chic Maria Teresa, followed closely by Claire - she seems to like a little flair in her fashion, something we can always use more of. Tessy's attempt at a jaunty hat angle appears to have ended up in lopsided eye patch territory, sadly for her; meanwhile, Alexandra's hat seems to have shrunk in the wash. And Stéphanie was appropriate. And nice. (Which is about as much as I can think of to say about any of the things she's worn since her wedding, basically. Except to say this: girlfriend loves her some scarves.)

Which wedding gown is your favorite?

Photos: Getty Images/AFP