Friday, July 15, 2011

Royal Engagement news!!!

July 15, 1911

Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma is to marry Archduke Karl of Austria, second in line to the throne, reports the Los Angeles Times in an exclusive direct wire.

The Princess recently retained from Rome, where she received "the papal blessing."  She will now go to Linz, where she will make "her obeisance to Francis Joseph."  This will be followed by a "great court ball" at Schönbrunn, but it is understood that the aged emperor nor the Duchess of Hohenberg, the morganatic wife of the heir presumptive to the throne, will be present.

The young Princess Zita "has long been an intimate friend" of Princess Victoria Luise of Prussia, the only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II.  The young Prussian princess herself was the subject of several rumors about a proposed marriage with Archduke Karl.

Zita is the thirteen of twenty children of Duke Roberto of Parma.   The engagement took place at the theamily's villa in Pianore in Tuscany, and is the "last of the late duke's Italian possessions and greatly favored as a summer residence."

Her mother, the widowed Duchess, is the Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal, the "youngest and handsomest" of six Braganza sisters Their brother, Miguel, is the pretender to the Portuguese throne.

It is said that this engagement was arranged by Archduchess Maria Theresa, mother of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne.    Franz Joseph's youngest daughter, Archduchess Valerie, had "had spread a net to catch" Archduke Karl for her daughter, Archduchess Ella, but Archduchess Maria Theresa had the advantage.  Her sister is the Duchess of Parma,  and they conspired to bring Karl and Zita together.  Cupid "did the rest.

The marriage will take place in late October in the chapel of the imperial palace in Vienna.

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