Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Albania delights in new Queen

April 27, 1938

King Zog of Albania and Countess Geraldine Apponyi were married this morning in a civil ceremony in Tirana, "amid great popular rejoicing."

Thanksgiving services were held in all of Albania's churches and mosques, and a "divine blessing was invoked for the royal couple," reported the New York Times.

The ceremony took place in the main hall of the royal palace.  There will be no religious services as the King is a Moslem and his 22-year-old bride is Roman Catholic.

The King's witnesses were Count Galeazzo Ciani, the Italian Foreign Minister, and Prince Abid, the son of Abdul Hamid, former Sultan of Turkey.  The bride's witnesses were Baron Frederick Vilany, Hungary's Minister to Italy and Albania, and her uncle, Count Charles Apponyi, her uncle and guardian.

Countess Geraldine "wore a white satin gown," and was escorted by four offices of the Royal Guard, and Prince Tati, the king's young nephew, who is the heir presumptive to the throne, "carried her train."

The white satin gown  was "embroidered with diamante, pearls and silver threads in flower designs, with an embroidered court train."  A "veil of white tulle trailed from a high diadem of orange blossoms."

Zog's weddings gifts to his new Queen included a diamond tiara and the promise to build a Catholic chapel in the palace. Geraldine will also be allowed to choose her ladies in waiting from her Hungarian friends.

The Hungarian government gave the couple four white horses, and a new Mercedes was the gift from Chancellor Adolf Hitler.

A reception followed the ceremony, and after receiving "felicitations from foreign guests," the Queen took her husband's arm, and "together they appeared before the cheering mass outside the palace."

In the afternoon, King Zog and Queen Geraldine departed for their honeymoon at Durazzo.

The new Queen of Albania is half-American. Her mother is the former Gladys Steward Girault, who now lives in Paris.

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