Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Princess Jolanda marries

April 9, 1923

Princess Jolanda of Italy, eldest child of King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elena, and Count Giorgio Calvi di Bergolo were married today in "two short ceremonies," which "in spite of their simplicity, and strictly private character," were, according to the New York Times, "wonderfully impressive for their sumptuous setting."

The civil ceremony was conducted by the President of the Senate, Tommaso Tittoni in the Ambassadors' Hall at the Quirinal Palace in Rome.  The religious wedding, a Roman Catholic Service, took place in the palace's Pauline chapel.

About an hour before the service, Princess Jolanda and her parents drove up "from the King's villa" outside Rome to the Quirinal Palace, where they entered by a side entrance.

This allowed the bride and her parents to avoid the growing crowds, which had gathered outside the palace, "despite the drizzling rain.  Queen Mother Margherita also arrived by car and entered the Palace by the same side door.

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The bridegroom, Count Calvi di Berglo and his family entered the palace through the main gate, "giving the waiting crowd the opportunity" to show enthusiasm for the wedding.

Only about 100 people were present for the civil ceremony, as the Ambassadors' Hall was too small to accommodate all the wedding guests.  As the couple was in the Hall, the majority of the guests were taking their seats in the Pauline chapel.

It was shortly after 10 a.m. when the doors of the Ambassadors' Hall were opened "by attendants in purple liveries." 

Princess Jolanda leaned on her father's arm as the entered the chapel.  The train of her wedding gown was made of a "shimmering white material," and held by four pages: her youngest sister, Princess Maria, the daughter of Admiral Bonaldi, the Crown Prince's tutor, and "two war orphans especially chosen by the Princess."

On her hair, the Princess wore the "traditional orange blossoms, surmounted by a small diadem of jewels."   The only other piece of jewelry that the Princess chose to wear was her engagement ring.

She appeared to be "radiantly happy," and she acknowledged "the bows of the guests by smiling and inclining her head."

At the civil ceremony,  Queen Mother Margherita was escorted by Prince Konrad of Bavaria.  She wore "a wonderful tiara and a string of pearls," said to be the "finest in the world."

Queen Elena was escorted by her only son, Crown Prince Umberto.

Premier Mussolini, as an ex-officio Notary of Crown, was also present for the ceremony.

The walls of the Pauline chapel are hung with "priceless medieval tapestries," representing scenes from the Old and New Testament.

At an ordinary wedding, the nuptial rite precedes the mass, but, according to an "ancient custom of the house of Savoy," the royal mass comes first.

The witnesses, General Diaz and Admiral Jhaon di Revel presented the gold rings to the bride and groom.  As the Princess and Count Calvi di Bergolo exchanged rings, the priest raised "his hand in benediction, " and pronounced the couple as man and wife.

At the "same instant" a bugle blared in the palace courtyard, "accompanied by the "rattle of muskets as the troops lined up there presented arms." 

One could hear the "faint sound" of the cheering crowds.

After the ceremony, Princess Jolanda and her husband appeared on the palace balcony to acknowledge the cheering crowds.  The King and Queen and other members of the Royal Family also appeared on the balcony for about ten minutes. 

Once the balcony doors were shut, the bridal party withdrew to attend a luncheon for about 100 guests.

One royal guest arrived too late for the ceremony.  The Duke of the Abruzzi, despite "his hurried return from Somaliland," arrived in Rome this afternoon, but was too late to attend to the wedding.  He was able to "wish the couple all happiness" before they departed on their honeymoon at San Rossore, near Pisa.

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