Thursday, August 30, 2012

Princess Ileana's son is baptised

August 30, 1932

At least ten thousand people "crowded inside and outside" the St. Othmar church in Vienna for the christening of Archduke Stefan, the first born child of Archduke Anton of Austria and his wife, Princess Ileana of Romania.

The crowd gave the arrivals "such an enthusiastic welcome" which could almost be "construed as a monarchist demonstration."

But this was an "intimate family" occasion without  a trace of "that rigid Spanish etiquette" that "once governed such Habsburg occasions."

Former King Alfonso XIII of Spain was the godfather and he "showed himself sufficiently familiar with the requirements" of his role, and was able to stop the young archduke's "piercing screams" by allowing the infant to suck his finger, "satisfying the Archduke, and moving the congregation to laughter."  

Archduke Anton's sister, Archduchess Margareta, was the godmother.

Queen Mother Marie of Romania, Queen Elisabeth of Greece, Archduke Theodore and Prince Edward of Parma, representing former Empress Zita, were among the "distinguished guests.

Archduke Stefan was baptised with water from the River Jordan, sent by his uncle, King Carol II of Romania.

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