Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies weds Louise of Orléans

November 16, 1907

More than forty royals were present at the "picturesque ceremony" that united Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Princess Louise of Orléans.   The couple were married earlier today at Wood Norton, Worcestershire, the country seat of the bride's brother, the Duke of Orléans.

The New York Times reports that the the "ceremony could have been a little more impressive if the Duke had been the occupant instead of the Pretender to the throne of France."

Political considerations meant that some invited guests could not come, but nearly forty relatives of the bride and groom were present for the ceremony, along with four hundred other guests, including the American ambassadors to the Court of St. James and France.

The couple were first marriage in a civil ceremony,  which was performed by the Registrar at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Evesham at 8:30 in the morning.   About a half dozen members of of the bride and groom's families, including the Duke of Orléans and the King of Spain,  along with several witnesses, were present for the civil ceremony.

Although the family tried to keep this ceremony secret, "quite a crowd of people gathered near the little church and heartily cheered" Princess Louise, who is very popular among "the country people."

The religious wedding took place at noon in "an artistic temporary chapel" which was specially built for the ceremony.  The bride was escorted into the chapel on the arm of her brother, the Duke of Orléans.  The royal procession included, the King and Queen of Spain and the Queen of Portugal.

The grand ceremony concluded with the "celebration of mass," which was followed by the "time-old ceremony of kissing the hand of the bride."

Princess Louise wore a "superb lace veil of the finest point d'Angleterre designed by herself."  The bridal bouquets were reproductions of  pattern "worn by Marie Antoinette."   The bouquets offered a "very distinctive feature, and not only form a rich border around the veil, but are also repeated at balanced intervals on the lower end, which will spread out over the court train.  e

The veid is "five yards long by two yards wide," and was worn short in the front, "barely reaching the elbows," although the full length of the veil "will fall as a pendant ornament over the white satin folds of the dress."

A wedding breakfast followed the ceremony.  The bride and groom and members of the royal families were served in the banqueting room, while the rest of the guests "gathered in the far-fraed museum situated in the grounds of Wood Norton."

The bride and groom received wedding gifts worth between $2,500,000 and $5,000,000.  British and foreign detectives have been on duty night and day for the past few days to watch over the gifts.

Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies is the son of the late Count of Caserta, the son of the late King Ferdinando of Naples.  He was a widower, having married in 1901 to Infanta Mercedes of Spain, Princess of Asturias, the eldest sister of King Alfonso XIII.  Mercedes died in childbirth after giving birth to a daughter, Isabel Alfonsa.  They also had a son, Alfonso.

On October 17, 1901, Prince Carlos became an naturalized Spaniard.

Princess Louise is the youngest daughter of the late Count of Paris, who found on the Northern side during the civil war.  He was a grandson of King Louis Philippe.  The bride's oldest brother, the Duke of Orléans is the Pretender to the French throne.  She has three sisters, the Queen of Portugal, the Duchess of Aosta and the Duchess of Guise.  The Duke of Montpensier is the bride's youngest brother.

Prince Carlos is 37 years old, and his bride is 25.

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