Thursday, October 22, 2009

Umberto's brief visit to Brussels

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October 23, 1929

Crown Prince Umberto of Italy is in Brussels arrives on Wednesday for the start of a three day visit, but, according to a Chicago Tribune reporter, he "won't have a quarter of an hour to kiss Princess Marie José in private."

During his three day visit, the heir to the Italian throne "will hurry through receptions and official ceremonies." Umberto will leave on Friday, and he will not see his fiancee again until January when the couple are married.

The Crown Prince will be met at the railroad station by his future brothers-in-law, Crown Prince Leopold and Prince Charles. He will pay homage to the tomb of Belgian's unknown soldier, and if the weather is nice, there will also be a parade. There are also plans for a gala dinner at the palace and a luncheon to honor Crown Prince Umberto and Princess Marie José, plus the princess' family at the Italian embassy. On Friday, the Princess will accompany Crown Prince Umberto to the railroad station, where they will say good bye until January.

A New York Times editorial notes that the forthcoming marriage between Umberto and Marie José is the most important royal alliance since the end of the war.

Umberto, the New York Times notes, was the second most eligible royal bachelor after the Prince of Wales. "Relations between States will continue to be shaped independently of family alliances. The internal effect will no doubt be in both countries a strong demonstration of popular loyalty to two reigning houses."

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