Monday, October 12, 2015
Infante Juan marries Princess Mercedes
Infante Juan of Spain, the third son of former King Alfonso XIII of Spain, and Princess Maria de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies were married today at the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, reports the Associated Press.
Juan is Alfonso's heir as his two older brothers have renounced their rights to the throne.
The Roman Catholic ceremony was performed by Cardinal Elias Dalla Costa, Archbishop of Florence. In the wedding procession, the 21-year-old bride, the daughter of Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Infante of Spain, and his wife, Princess Luisa, "was followed by forty-nine couples dress in costume of the Spanish Provinces."
The Vatican's Sistine Choir sang the wedding music.
Pope Pius received the couple twice today, first before the ceremony, and then, again, after the wedding in a private meeting where he blessed the newlyweds and gave the bride a rosary and the bridegroom a gold commemorative medal.
Attended by members of the Papal Court, Infante Juan, 22, and Princess Mercedes prayed at the St. Peter's Basilica before joining their guests at a "small wedding luncheon" at Rome's Grand Hotel.
The newlyweds live Rome by automobile, and are en route to London where they hope to "obtain the blessing" of Juan's mother, Queen Victoria Eugenia, who is estranged from King Alfonso XIII, and did not attend the wedding.