Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jolanda and her count meet the court

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April 8, 1923,

Princess Jolanda of Italy and her fiance, Count Calvi di Bergolo, were the guests of honor at court reception, which was held today, just one day before the couple are to marry.

The New York Times reports that "the doors of the Quirinal Palace were thrown open for the second and last reception" before the royal wedding takes place. Today's reception is considered to be "the first important court function to take place since the beginning of the war."

The reception was held in the "wonderful setting of the grand salons of the Quirinal Palace," where "beautiful women wearing wonderful jewels, distinguished-looking men and picturesque court costumes, officers in colorful uniforms, Fascisti wearing black shirts under gray green tunics and diplomats from all over the world in gala dress" were able to mingle with each other.
The bride-to-be and her future husband and her parents, the king and queen of Italy, were the center of all eyes. "Smiling and gracious, Princess Yolanda looked the picture of happiness." She was dressed completely in white, wearing a "simple dress of charmeuse with an embroidered tulle. A "delicate hand-made Venetian shawl" was worn over her shoulders, and the only color "was supplied by the flowers at her waist." The only jewelry she wore was her sapphire engagement ring, "set in platinum.

Count Calvi was dressed in his cavalry officer's uniform, on which he wore several medals that he had received for "conspicuous gallantry on the battlefield."

Queen Elena wore a "beautiful dress of pearl gray velvet, embroidered in silver, with a long train." She also wore her famous pearl necklace.

More than three thousand guests were present, and included the wearers of the Collar of Annunziata, "who rank as cousins of the king," Premier Mussolini and his cabinet, as well as members of the military, the Roman aristocracy, and all "who have been presented at Court since 1918."

The king and queen and Princess Jolanda and Count Calvi departed shortly after midnight, but many guests remained "long after their absence" and the palace began to "empty out only in the wee hours of the morning."

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