Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Bridal Gown of Marie-Louise

Madame Delors describes what Napoleon's Habsburg Archduchess, Marie-Antoinette's  grand niece, wore at her wedding. To quote:
Like her grand-aunt Marie-Antoinette, Marie-Louise had to strip off her Austrian clothes upon crossing the French border, and was presented with a new, splendid trousseau (complete set of clothing, shoes and undergarments for all occasions.) Caroline Bonaparte, Queen of Naples and Napoléon’s sister, had been put in charge of greeting the bride at the border. Carried away by the zeal of the neophytes, or out of sheer nastiness, Caroline even demanded that Marie-Louise, already terrified at the idea of marrying the man she had been brought up to loathe and call The Ogre, send back her pet spaniel to Vienna.

So Marie-Louise wore the wedding clothes that had been chosen for her in France: a magnificent dress of silver tulle, embroidered with pearls and gold thread, and hemmed with gold fringe. A diamond tiara held a veil of Alençon lace over her blonde hair.

Marie-Louise wore white satin slippers, embroidered in silver thread. There was a minor, or not so minor from her standpoint, problem. Maybe due to a miscommunication between Vienna and Paris, the dainty shoes had been ordered too small and caused the new Empress a great deal of pain.


lara77 said...

So it was necessary for Caroline Bonaparte to insist that Marie Louise leave her pet dog back in Vienna? THAT to me shows again the lack of class of the Corsican Bonapartes. What a step down for the Hapsburgs to marry the likes of the Bonapartes! I realize the political expediency of the marriage; yet chuckle at the nouveau riche attitude of the Bonapartes! All pretentiousness; no breeding or class!

elena maria vidal said...

Utterly pretentious! Poor Marie-Louise! Her life was ruined.....

Julygirl said...

Still a problem nowadays. Just surf the TV, especially the tacky reality ahows "Housewives of...(fill in the blank). Wearing Manualo Blanco shoes does not a classy lady make.