Sunday, 7 January 2018

January's Royal Brides


January. Not really the month you think of when someone says ''wedding''. But there are plenty who choose to say 'I do' as the new year gets under way and three modern royal brides are among them. And they're all sisters of sovereigns. As the wind bites and the chill sets in, get warmed up and loved up with these three January royal brides....


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Royal Wedding January 10th 1967 at St. James' Church, The Hague

Bride Princess Margriet Francisca of the Netherlands
daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands

Groom Pieter van Vollenhoven
son of Pieter van Vollenhoven and Jacoba Gijsbertha Stuylingh de Lange

Royal Engagement They announced their engagement on March 10th 1965 but had to wait until Margriet's big sister, Beatrix, was wed before their own ceremony.

Their royal links Margriet is the third daughter of Queen Juliana who had ruled the Netherlands for almost twenty years at the time of the marriage.

Sovereign sibling Margriet's big sister, Beatrix, became Queen of the Netherlands in 1980 and ruled until her abdication in 2013

Why it made headlines Margriet was the first of Juliana's daughters not to cause a huge stir with her choice of husband. After two contrversial marriages, one of which almost caused a constitutional crisis, just about everyone was thrilled at this love match that was missing all the drama of her sisters' celebrations.

Happy ever after? The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year surrounded by their four children and eleven grandchildren. Princess Margriet still carries out engagements and is currently eighth in line to the Dutch throne.



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Royal Wedding January12th 1961 at Asker Church, Asker

Bride Princess Astrid Maud Ingeborg of Norway
daughter of King Olav V of Norway and Crown Princess Martha of Norway

Groom Johan Martin Ferner
son of Ferner Jacobsen and Ragnhild Olsen

Royal engagement The engagement was announced in November 1960

Their royal links Astrid is the second daughter of Olav and Martha and counts Kings of Sweden, Denmark and Great Britain among her ancestors

Sovereign sibling Astrid's little brother, Harald, became King of Norway in 1991

Why it made headlines Johan Martin Ferner was a divorced commoner when he won the heart of Norway's then acting First Lady. After a minor row, their married in a rather low key ceremony. Astrid became Her Highness rather than Her Royal Highness after their marriage.

Happy ever after? Oh yes, this was a royal love match for the history books. They went on to have five children together. Johan Martin Ferner died in 2015.




Royal Wedding January 23rd 1999, the Prince's Palace, Monaco

Bride Princess Caroline Marguerite Louise of Monaco
daughter of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco

Groom Prince Ernst August Albert Paul Otto Rupprecht Oskar Berthold Friedrich-Ferdinand Christian-Ludwig of Hanover
son of Prince Ernst August of Hanover and Princess Ortrud of Shcleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg

Royal engagement Their engagement was never formally announced but the wedding became public knowledge as Ernst August, as a descendant of George II of the United Kingdom, needed permission from the Queen who duly issued a Declaration in Council on January 11th 1999.

Their royal links Where do we start? Caroline is the eldest child of Monaco's Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace while Ernst August is the Head of the House of Hanover which means he can count all those Georges who ruled the UK among his ancestors and thus link himself back to all the English monarchs since Willaim the Conqueror.

Sovereign sibling Caroline's little brother, Albert, succeeded to the throne of Monaco on the death of their father, Rainier, in 2005.

Why it made headlines Caroline had been friends with Ernst August's first wife. Chantal, before the couple divorced in 1997.

Happy ever after? Caroline and Ernst welcomed a daughter, Alexandra, later in 1999 but in recent years they have rarely been seen together.



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