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Royalty and statesmen

Guards in uniforms emblazoned with the coat of arms of the Austrian royal family greeted Archduchess Marie-Christine and Count Rodolphe as they emerged from Saint-Rombout Cathedral Mechelen, Belgium, after exchanging their vows
Photo: © PA
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The bride's father is Archduke Carl Christian of Austria, while her new husband hails from the Limburg-Stirum clan, a German line which dates back to the ninth century
Photo: © PA

Among those witnessing the union of two of Europe's most noble lineages was Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium and his aunt Queen Fabiola
Photo: © Getty Images

Austrian archduchess weds her count in fairytale ceremony

8 DECEMBER 2008
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. 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.


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