Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The marriage of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg

November 5, 1919

Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg married Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma today at the Cathedral in Luxembourg's capital, reports the Times.

Charlotte, "slender, fair and blue-eyed, looking very beautiful in her white bridal robe, heavily embroidered in silver," was escorted to the altar by her widowed mother, Grand Duchess Marie Anne.

Wearing morning dress, Prince Felix was accompanied by two of his brothers, Prince Sixtus and Prince Xavier, both of whom wore Belgian military uniforms.

Prince Sixtus and the bride's sister, Prince Hilda, were the witnesses. 

The guest listed was limited to members of the bride and groom's families, including  Princesses Elisabeth of Luxembourg, Princess Sophie of Luxembourg, Princess Henriette of Bourbon-Parma, Prince Gaetan of Bourbon-Parma, Prince Louis of Bourbon-Parma, Prince Rene of Bourbon-Parma, Princess Isabelle and Princess Maria Antonia of Bourbon-Parma.

Two of the bride's sisters were not present for the wedding. Former Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide is now living in a monastery in Italy.  Princess Antonia has been engaged to marry former Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria since August 1918.  This engagement has caused great controversy due to Luxembourg's position as an occupied nation during the war.

all three photos: Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

The wedding day was "marred by thick persistent rain and the foggy, cheerless atmosphere" outside the cathedral.

Prince Felix and Grand Duchess Charlotte became engaged on October 6, 1918, as the Great War was coming to an end.  Luxembourg, which had been occupied by Germany for most of the war, would once again be a free nation, where the citizens would vote to continue the monarchy, after Charlotte's older sister, Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide, abdicated on January 14, in her sister's favor.

Because Felix was an Austrian citizen, the Allied powers were concerned about the marriage.  The day before the wedding, a special bill was introduced in Parliament that would provide citizenship to Prince Felix. It passed later that day after a "stormy discussion."

Grand Duchess Charlotte is 23 and Prince Felix is 26.  He is the brother of former Empress Zita of Austria, the consort of Emperor Karl. 

The bride and groom are first cousins as their mothers,  Marie Anne (Maria Ana) and Maria Antonia of Portugal, two of seven children of King Miguel I of Portugal, who reigned from 1828 to 1834) and Princess Adelheid of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg.    Maria Ana married Grand Duke Guillaume IV of Luxembourg and Maria Antonia was the second wife of the late Grand Duke Roberto I of Bourbon-Parma.

The civil wedding took place earlier today at the Grand Ducal Palace.   Following the Roman Catholic ceremony, a gala dinner was held at 7 p.m., at the palace.

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