Thursday, June 9, 2011

War Buddies attend Prince Michel's wedding

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection
June 9, 1951

Prince Michel de Bourbon-Parma, 25, was married today to Princess Yolande de Broglie in the presence of family, friends and "American, British and French paratroopers," who crowded into a Paris church.

The allied paratroopers came to Paris "from army bases in half a dozen countries," according to the Reuters dispatch.

Each of the men "had a personal invitation and each could recall sharing the fortunes of war" with Prince Michel  - when he "dropped into France, 48 hours before the D-Day landings or when he parachuted into the wild jungles of Indo-China" during France's post-war battle against the Vietnamese communist rebels.

The Roman Catholic service, which was broadcast, took place in the "the fashionable church of St. Pierre De Chaillot."  The church was filled with color and splendor, as "gold and red hangings blended with the white of 1,000 lilies and the soft pink of 500 gladioli."

Prince Michel received the British military cross for his exploits "behind the lines in France, when he organized resistance over a wide area.".  The cross glittered on his breast as he "stood, erect and soldierly, at the altar."  He wore a French army lieutenant's uniform, but in his hand he "clutched the red beret of the British paratrooper."

Princess Yolande de Broglie, 23, is a "lovely brunette."  She once worked as a nurse at St. Christopher's Hospital, in one of "the poorest quarters in Paris.

Prince Michel is the son of Prince Rene of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Margrethe of Denmark.  His sister, Anne, is married to the exiled King Michael of Roumania.

The engagement was announced in Copenhagen on January 30, 1951.

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