Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Marie José has arrived in Italy

January 5, 1930

The sun shone brightly in Rome today as the blonde Princess Marie-José of Belgian arrived today in her "artistic and operatic royal train," reports the Chicago Tribune. Her "prince charming," the handsome Crown Prince Umberto was waiting on the platform to welcome the princess to Italy. As the train came to a stop, musicians began to play Belgian's national anthem. Umberto then entered his private rail coach, which Marie-José had traveled in, for a "few seconds of reunion," without even the prying eyes of the couple's parents.
Crown Prince Umberto and Princess Marie-José emerged from the train. The princess' "dress made her a vision of the snow country of the north." She was a "symphony in white." She wore a "small close fitting white hat with a white nigrette and a low necked dull white satin afternoon dress, over which she wore a white coat with a white fox collar cuffs." The princess carried a bouquet of white lilies, which were a gift from Umberto.
King Albert, Queen Elisabeth, Crown Prince Leopold and Crown Princess Astrid and the Count of Flanders departed the train after the engaged couple, and were greeted by Umberto's parents, King Victor Emanuel and Queen Elena and other members of the Italian royal family.
The royal hosts and their guests rode in open carriages to the Quirinal, and thousands of Italians, on the streets and on rooftops, tried to get a glimpse of the bride-to-be.
Marie-José has already won the hearts of the Italians. "Her manners and superb composure seemed all that even the Italians, with their faith in exterior elegance, could desire." She charmed them into murmurs rather than noisy greetings." She offered a "faint smile, but appeared to be moved, pale and a trifle reticent."
Premier Mussolini also paid homage to the couple, and eventually, Umberto and Marie José and members of their families appeared on the balcony at the Quirinal. Queen Elena was the first to step out, and was followed by King Albert, Princess Marie-José, Crown Prince Umberto, Queen Elisabeth, and King Victor Emanuel.
The crowd below cheered in acclimation and called for the couple to come out again. Eventually Umberto and Marie José returned to the balcony for five minutes as Umberto saluted and Marie José blew kisses.
Afterward, the couple and their families attended a private mass, which was followed by a luncheon at the palace.
Crown Prince Umberto and Marie-José will be married on Wednesday.

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