The Royal Wedding: Habsburg Style

April 15, 2012

I’m going to make this post a tad shorter than the others as I’m really very caught up with writing for my seemingly almost finished second novel (hurray!) and badly need to end it once and for all so I can relax before the school starts the week after the other…

The photo above presents the Habsburgs at the Royal Wedding of  Zita Bourbon-Parma with Charles Habsburg-Lorraine  (later Charles I of Austria) at the  Schwarzau castle (near the villa of Zita’s maternal aunt) on 21 October 1911. All around you can see the well dressed aristocrats flaunting family jewels and wearing the iconic coiffure of early 20th century I personally hate as it looks akin a veritable bird nest.

Nothing special at first sight: the average gathering of expensive gowns and military decorations habitually exhibited at such events, stiff faces, a picturesque location and a young, circumspect bride.

Then take a look at this particular image:

A melancholic Zita reminding us of Wallis Simpson at her own wedding, a fake smiling Charles making a goof out of himself, tons of nicely arranged flowers, a naughty girl presumably biting her tong despite a cautious Mama ordering her not to… quite the usual.

Wait, what?

On the right side we have a little mimic-surprise!

Most respectable 81-year-old great-uncle of Charles, none other than the haughty Emperor Franz Joseph (known better for his disastrous marriage with the beauteous and highly-popular Sissi), the august figure of all Austria, is making faces at the most peculiar lady (proving to be none other than Infanta Maria Therese of Portugal- thank you Russ for the info) who’s mugging in a tremendously funny way to the delight of future viewers. In between, another noblewoman ( her sister, Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal) seeming wildly disappointed and completely oblivious to the photographer that immortalizes her distorted features. Crikey! I didn’t ever expect to catch this sort of posture from lofty German royals! It kind of bring them to life, seeing how they weren’t always disdainful and majestic as portrayed in the official paintings available in the museums.

Now I try to guess what thoughts passed their minds at that time…. what do you believe?


11 Responses to “The Royal Wedding: Habsburg Style”

  1. Oh that dear, dear Franzl. Good to know he was such a clown long after my passing!

  2. Russ Says:

    Who is the noblewoman in between?

    • unfortunately i couldn’t find out during my research but i bet she was russian or something of this kind as she wears a fringe tiara similar to maria feodorovna’s…

      • Russ Says:

        Thank you for your response. Not sure why this particular person is so interesting. I first saw her in a history channel movie clip and she just stood out and for some strange reason grabbed my attention. Thx again. Russ

      • than i do hope you’ll come to find her identity at some point as it seems to really exert a certain fascination on you!

      • Russ Says:

        She also appears in this clip.


      • oh, yes, i remember watching it in a documentary on zita’s early life while in berlin! thank you for giving me the chance to see it again! indeed such a world…

  3. russ Says:

    fyi. The woman in the middle of this pic (see link) is Infanta Maria Therese of Portugal. The woman to the left is Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal. They are sister’s. Maria Therese is the Aunt to Zita making Maria Antonia, Zita’s mother. I am finding the history of these folks to be very interesting as well as i do this research.

    • why, russ, thank you so much! i have had some attempts to finding the identity of these charming folks but got caught up in something else so this cam most welcomed! now i know whom to search for funny poses! but do you happen to know who might be the poirot-like who sneaks between said infanta maria therese and jolly old franz joseph? he truly has a peculiar mimic…
      thank you again! 🙂

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