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Royal Wedding This Year. Belgian Royals Gathered For the Wedding of Princess Maria Laura

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding

As per Royals of Europe's calendar of activities this year, no other royal weddings are scheduled in Europe after the month of September. So the wedding of Princess Maria Laura of Belgium, Archduchess of Austria-Este, on Saturday, September 10, is the last (and first) royal wedding from a reigning royal house this year.

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
The royal bride got off the car accompanied by her father, Prince Lorenz

Princess Maria Laura is the second child and eldest daughter of Princess Astrid of Belgium and Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este.  Princess Astrid is the eldest daughter of King Albert II of Belgium, and the younger sister of the current Belgian king, Philippe. 

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
Prince Lorenz, Princess Maria Laura, and William Isvy

Prince Lorenz was made a Belgian prince by his father-in-law, King Albert II, in 1995 by Royal Decree. He is also Archduke of Austria-Este, the current head of the Austria-Este branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. He is the grandson of the last Austrian Emperor, Charles I.

Here's what unfolded during Princess Maria Laura's big day:

In the morning, Princess Maria Laura, who is currently 9th in the line of succession to the Belgian throne, wed her French-British beau, William Isvy, in a civil ceremony in Brussels. 

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
Civil wedding ceremony

Mr. William Isvy was born in Paris, France to a British mother and French-Moroccan father, but was raised in London. He works as a financier in London, where Princess Maria Laura is also currently based.

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
The bride wore a Gucci ivory dress and white pumps

During their civil wedding at the Town Hall in Brussels, Princess Maria Laura wore a Gucci pleated ivory mini-dress, which she paired with a pair of white pumps also from Gucci.

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
Queen Mathilde, King Philippe, Queen Paola attended the civil wedding ceremony

Members of the Belgian royal family attended the civil ceremony. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were there, as well as the princess's grandparents, King emeritus Albert II and Queen Paola.

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding

The religious wedding ceremony followed in the afternoon at Saint Michael and Saint Gudula Cathedral in Brussels. Senior members of the Belgian royal family were in complete attendance.

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
From left: Princess Luisa Maria, Princess Astrid, Prince Amedeo, Prince Joachim, Princess Elisabetta (Amedeo’s wife), and Princess Laetitia Maria

Foreign royals who attended the ceremony were Prince Felix of Luxembourg and his wife, Princess Claire. Prince Felix is a second cousin of Princess Maria Laura.

Religious Ceremony

Princess Maria Laura looked stunning in her custom Vivienne Westwood wedding dress with a 13-foot train. "A dress with great historical influence," according to Herve Verhoosel, the couple's spokesperson. 

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
The bride in the arm of her father as they arrived in the church steps
Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
inside the Cathedral during the religious rites
Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
The newlywed surrounded by the Belgian royals

“The corset and neckline are inspired by fashionable women of the 18th century and the fabric that drapes over the shoulders, drapes, and falls from the hip, is reminiscent of ancient Greek statues.”

Her four-meter-long lace veil was held in place by a diamond tiara, which added glamour and a touch of timeless fashion to her wedding day aesthetic. 

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
The newlywed couple emerged from the church under the pelting rain

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
from left: Prince Lorenz, Princess Astrid, the newlywed, and the groom's parents

A wedding tiara with rich royal history

The 34-year-old bride wore a family heirloom from her father's side, as her headpiece, the Aosta-Savoy TiaraThe is designed in an all-diamond piece set in platinum and features floral and scroll motifs.

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
The bride wore a family heirloom from the noble house of Savoy-Aosta

According to The Court Jeweller, the Savoy-Aosta Tiara originated from Italian royalty before it passed to the family of Prince Lorenz.

Its rich history can be traced back to Princess Anne of OrlĂ©ans who married Prince Amedeo of Savoy in 1927. Prince Amedeo became Duke of Aosta in 1931. 

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
The bride and her father, Prince Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding

He and Princess Anne had no sons and his title passed to his younger brother, Prince Aimone, who married Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark, the fifth child of King Constantine I of Greece.

However, Prince Amedeo and Princess Anne had two daughters, and their eldest, Princess Margherita, married one of the sons of Emperor Charles I of Austria, Archduke Robert of Austria-Este, the paternal grandfather of Princess Maria Laura. Princess Margherita would inherit the Aosta-Savoy Tiara from her mother.

The royal guests

It was a windy day! Members of the Belgian royal family braved the pelting rain and wind as they flocked to the church for the royal wedding. Guests were provided with large green umbrellas to keep them protected from rain.

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
King emeritus Albert II of Belgium and Queen Paola (center)

The royals who attended: King Albert II of Belgium and Queen Paola, King Philippe, Queen Mathilde, and their children: Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eleonore.

Prince Laurent, the younger brother of Princess Astrid, was also present with his family, wife Princess Claire, and their children, Princess Louise, Prince Nicolas, and Prince Aymeric.

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium and their four children
Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
Princess Elisabeth and Prince Emmanuel
Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
Queen Paola, King Albert II, Queen Mathilde, and King Philippe

The illegitimate daughter of King Albert, Princess Delphine, also attended with her children. Princess Delphine was recognized through a paternity test and passed through a long court battle before she was recognized.

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium wedding
Prince Laurent, Princess Claire, Prince Nicolas, Princess Louise, Prince Aymeric

The bride's siblings were in complete attendance: Prince Amedeo and his wife Princess Elisabetha, Prince Joachim, and Princesses Luisa Maria and Laetitia Maria.

The bride's second cousin, Prince Felix of Luxembourg, and his wife, Princess Claire (born Claire Lademacher).

Unlike in Sweden, the husband of a Belgian princess cannot take a royal title unless mandated by the king, so William Isvy remains untitled following the marriage. Princess Maria Laura, despite her position in the line of succession to the Belgian throne, is not a working royal.

Congratulations and Best Wishes to the newlywed!

Photo credit: Belgian Royal Palace, Pool/AFP, Getty Images

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