Sunday, December 14, 2008

Austrian archduchess weds her count in fairytale ceremony

Archdukes, princesses and even a queen featured on the illustrious guest list when Archduchess Marie-Christine wed Count Rodolphe of Limburg-Stirum on December 6. The Belgian town of Mechelen came to a standstill as the bluebloods and aristocrats, including the heir to the country's throne, Prince Philippe, and his 80-year-old aunt, Queen Fabiola, arrived to see two of Europe's most noble families united. As the bride swept up the steps of 15th-century Saint-Rombout Cathedral on the arm of her father Archduke Carl Christian of Austria, liveried guards stood to attention on either side of her. Marie-Christine - whose mother Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg is the sister of ruling Grand Duke Henri - looked radiant in an ivory lace affair, featuring a satin overlay and fur-edged sleeves, with an antique lace veil. Completing her look was a jewel-encrusted tiara lent to her by the groom's family, and diamond drop earrings. 

Princess Maria Laura with her mother, Princess Astrid of Belgium

The attractive English boarding school-educated bride also carried a bouquet of pale yellow roses interspersed with white and blue blossoms. After the joyous Catholic ceremony, which was preceded by a civil service in the town hall, the handsome couple delighted by onlookers by sharing their first married kiss.