Thursday, January 10, 2013
Marie of Edinburgh weds in splendor
Princess Marie of Edinburgh was married this afternoon to Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania, reports the New York Times and other news sources.
The couple were first married in a civil ceremony, which took place at 2 p.m, in the castle's Red Hall. The ceremony, required by law, was conducted by Dr. von Wedel, Kaiser Wilhelm II's household minister. Those who witnessed the ceremony included the bride's parents, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, King Carol of Romania, the groom's father, Leopold, Prince of Hohenzollern, members of the Roumanian parliament and "more immediate members" of the bride and groom's families.
As Schloss Sigmaringen is too small to host all of the guests, an "immense temporary house of iron and glass," a smaller version of London's Crystal Palace, was enacted on the castle's grounds. It was in this building that Princess Marie and Prince Ferdinand hosted a reception in honor of the guests and deputations that had come to Sigmaringen "to offer their congratulations."
It snowed throughout the entire day. The snow offered a backdrop to the "beauty and luxury displayed" in the castle's annex, which was a "veritable garden of flowers and palms.
The Prince of Wales had originally planned to represent Queen Victoria at the wedding, but as the wedding took place too close to the first anniversary of the death of the Prince's eldest son, the Duke of Clarence and Avondale, the Duke of Connaught was sent instead.
The Duke of Genoa represented King Umberto of Italy, and Grand Dukes Alexis and Vladimir, the bride's uncles, represented Alexander III.
The bridal party arrived at the Stadkirche at 4:30 p.m, for the first religious wedding, a Roman Catholic ceremony.
The "picturesque church" was overflowing with guests. Kaiser Wilhelm II, dressed as an imperial Field Marshal, entered first, escorting the bride's mother, the Duchess of Edinburgh. They were followed by the Duke of Connaught with the Princess of Hohenzollern, Grand Duke Alexis and the Duchess of Connaught, Prince and Princess Leopold of Hohenzollern, King Carol of Roumania, Crown Prince Ferdinand, and the bride and groom's brothers and sisters.
Princess Marie and her father, the Duke of Edinburgh, were the last to enter the church.
The marriage was conducted by the parish priest, and the nuptial address was given by the Abbot of the Benedictine Monastery at Beuron.
Crown Prince Ferdinand's "Ja" was "heard distinctly all over the church," but Princess Marie's answer was "quite inaudible to those placed at any distance from the chancel."
After they had "exchanged rings and clasped hands, Prince Ferdinand and Princess Marie, "rose as man and wife to the strain of the beautiful chorale "Laus tibi Domine."
The wedding ended with a blessing"pronounced over the couple." The newlywed began the procession to leave the church.
Outside a crowd waited to see the wedding party emerge from the church, as the organist played the "Hallelujah" from Handel's Judas Maccabeus.
The bridal party and their guests returned to the Schloss, where all gathered in the Ancestors' room, where the newly weds were congratulated. An adjoining room has been converted into a temporary chapel, where the Duke of Edinburgh's private chaplain conducted the Anglican marriage service. There was no music.
Prince Ferdinand's responses were again audible, but Marie spoke "in a very low tone."
Afterward, they went into another room, and signed the marriage register.
The evening culminated in a reception and banquet. The wedding couple and the "principal guests" were all toasted. Kaiser Wilhelm II conferred the Order of the Black Eagle on Crown Prince Ferdinand, who wore a Prussian uniform.
It was at 8:30 p.m., when Crown Prince Ferdinand and the new Crown Princess Marie emerged from the schloss in a closed carriage for the ride to Krauchenwies, a few miles from Sigmaringen, where they will spend a part of their honeymoon. Krauchenwies is the summer residence for the Prince and Princess of Hohenzollern.
Princess Marie is a member of the Church of England, and her husband is a Roman Catholic. Most Romanians are Orthodox, and many believe that the newly weds are leaning toward converting to Orthodoxy.
The couple did receive a Papal dispensation for the wedding.
In two weeks, the newlyweds are expected to travel to Romania, where "great preparations are underway."
As the Princess has married a Roman Catholic, she has lost her right to succeed to the British throne due to the 1701 Act of Settlement.