Point de Vue brought the scoop last December. Now it's official : Olga of Greece and Aimone di Savoia are engaged. Wedding in autumn.
The duke of Aosta, Aimone's father, announced it on the Savoia-Aosta family's website : Olga of Greece and Aimone of Savoia got engaged on May 7th, 2005 in Torino. The wedding will take place in autumn, a date isn't fixed yet. The same goes for the place : Maybe Torino or Bari, the capital of Puglia (Aimone's title is duke of Puglia), or maybe Firenze, the city where a large part of the family comes from.
But that's not the most important thing. The happy news causes a lot of joy for Italian and Greek monarchists, who congratulate each other. When two major royal houses celebrate a wedding between them, many hearts beat faster. Recently the gotha had to get used to marriages where a commoner played the role of Cinderella. The union of Olga of Greece, 33 years old, and Aimone di Savoia, 38 years old, marks the comeback of high level dynastic marriages.
Olga and Aimone have known each other since they were children. Olga's father, prince Michel of Greece, is a first cousin to Aimone's mother, princess Claude of France. And Michel of Greece is also a first cousin to princess Irene of Greece, Aimone's paternal grandmother.
"I'm overjoyed", prince Aimone keeps on repeating - with a smile in his voice- "I adore Olga. She's an intelligent woman who speaks five languages, she studied architecture and on top of that she's gorgeous." And he adds : "She also happens to be the daughter of Michel of Greece, whom I admire a lot."
Their romance started last year. Amedeo di Aosta (Aimone's father) remembers : " At the wedding of Felipe and Letizia, I was sitting next to Marina of Greece, Olga's mother, and we saw our children walking by together. I said to myself "Why not ?" and a joked about it with Marina, but I never thought it would become reality."
The families of the two young people are over the moon. Just as the close friends they've always been, the two fathers invited the close family, about 15 people, to a fashionable club in Torino, "the Whistt" to celebrate their children's engagement. The duke tells : "I had ordered two big bouquets of flowers : one with blue and white flowers, the colours of Greece, and the other with with red and white ones, the colours of the Savoia-Aosta family."
Wearing a white Prada dress, the beautiful fiancée showed her engagement ring, that once belonged to Aimone's grandmother, princess Irene of Greece : a combination of emeralds and diamonds.
Despite their family ties, Aimone and Olga never seemed destined for each other. Both in their own way atypical - big discretion for Aimone, volcanic temperament for Olga - they both have always made it clear they lived by their own standards. They've never been interested in being like everybody else. Above all, they've got their taste for liberty and independence in common.
With his blond goatee and his hair combed back like a XIXth century dandy, Aimone is "the most Orléans of my three children" states his mother, Claude de France. Physically he's an exact copy the duke of Aumale, but his blue-green eyes and his tall, slim profile give him a Slavic air. Being a descendant of the Romanovs through his great-grandmother, queen Olga of Greece, Aimone cultivates the resemblance to his forefathers Paul I and Nicholas I.
For over 10 years he's been living in Moscow (he's got a beautiful apartment in Moscow and a datcha in the country), where he opened and directs the Russian branch of Pirelli (energy cables, telecommunication, and tyres) "I'm very proud of him", his mother says, "he managed to build up a career in Russia without any help from his name, title or relationships". An achievement that's also praised by his father: "He talks perfect Russian. Sometimes I'm even worried he'll stay there forever" he jokes. "I hope that one day they'll come back to live in Italy". A wish that will certainly please Olga. When she was 19 she told in an interview to Point de Vue that she was studying Italian and loved Italy : "It's a sublime country, I would love to work there."
As a graduate from Princeton and Columbia, the princess of Greece first worked as an interior designer before yielding to a passion for butterflies. She left for the jungles of Panama to photograph and study phalenas. She works closely together with researchers of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to set up a "liquid laboratory of the jungle" on a large island before the coast of Panama.
From Moscow to New York, from Torino to Paris, stopping in Athens and the isle of Patmos now and then, these two great travellers finally found each other. Up to now they both considered liberty to be their greatest treasure. Today they decide to sacrifice it...on the altar of love.
Hannelore it is very kind of you to take the time to translate theese articles, thank you very much:) A great match. Princess Olga is a very beautiful woman, I wonder what kind of wedding dress she will choose, I cant quite see her going for the traditional "princess dress"
i really can't wait to this wedding! i think we need one of these marriages of royalty and royalty after so many commoner-royal weddings...
any ideas about the guests? all the european gotha will probably be there :) can't wait!
do you think valentino will design her wedding dress? she said he was one of her favourite designers as some poster said before and he has made many dresses for royals, including maxima's lovely wedding dress... (and also her far in law marie chantal seems to be a very good friend of him and wears lots of his dresses)
Great, I was already worrying that they did not give a date. His cousin Jean of France & Dss Tatiana of Oldenburg took there time for this as well, and we all know how that ended. But now there is no Countess of Paris (sadly enough because I liked her) anymore to veto these things.
A pity that the heir to the italian throne is having such a scaled down wedding, but it must be very romantic for the couple. I expect the bride to wear something natural an extremely simple.
Great, I was already worrying that they did not give a date. His cousin Jean of France & Duchess Tatiana of Oldenburg took their time for this as well, and we all know how that ended. But now there is no Countess of Paris (sadly enough because I liked her) anymore to veto these things.
I thought it was Prince Jean's father, the current Comte de Paris, who put a stop to the engagement with Duchess Tatiania in June 2001. He would not allow his son to marry a Protestant Princess.
Interestingly enough Duchess Eilika (Tatiana's sister) married Archduke Georg of Austria (Archduke Otto's second son) with no problems whatsoever. The Habsburgs more liberal than the Orléans? Who would have thought it!
If it's true, that's just ridiculous! Henry married a commoner and he is a divorcee. How can he be so snobby?
Ah, but the difference is that his first wife, and mother of his children, was a Duchess of Württemberg, a Royal Highness and a Roman Catholic. Obviously the current Comte has a different set of rules for second marriages, and a liberal interpretation at that when they apply to himself!
It was nobody from the family, prince Jean realized himself that he didn't want to go through with it.
In an interview he said that the more the wedding day approached the more hesitant he felt, he realized that it was more a very strong friendship than love.
His grandmother, the countess of Paris, was not against it, she posed for photos with the engaged couple in a very sweet way. She did tell he grandson that if he had doubts he had to think it over again.
The wedding of Olga of Greece and Aimone di Savoia-Aosta, which was planned to take place on October 8 - as we anounced to you in last week's edition - has been postponed to next spring. Nothing to worry about, the engaged couple and their families have decided they need some extra months to be able to perfectly organize their royal ceremony.
I love this this story of the two of them. We have not seen a truly old fashioned, hard core, royal courtship and marriage in a long time.
I cannot wait for the wedding pictures..
So...any word on which royals will be there??????
I would assume the Aosta family, the Savoys, the Orleans, the Greek Royal Family, maybe some of the junior members of other famililes...Spain perhaps??
married...but I am sure it will be the height of elegance and class.
i agree, lady marmalade. this is definetely one of the nicest royal stories these days :)
at first i thought many representants of the european gotha would be there, but apparently they plan to do a very intimate wedding. however, intimate doesn't mean less glittering (actually the opposite!) but it's a pity there won't be many royals there...
I heard they were planning a very intimate wedding (for about 40 persons) on the isle of Patmos, and a grand glittering reception and party a few weeks later, for their royal (and other :)) friends and relatives.
But perhaps with this little delay, they'll come up with a change of plans ???