Luxembourg Royal Wedding Look-Back: Jean and Joséphine-Charlotte
Following our first installment of ‘Luxembourg Royal Wedding Look-Backs’ – Charlotte and Felix – yesterday, the TRF Blog would like to present our second installment, looking at the wedding of His Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Her Royal Highness Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium.
The engagement between Hereditary Grand Duke Jean and Princess Joséphine-Charlotte was announced in late 1952, with their marriage taking place on April 9th, 1953 at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame in Luxembourg. The groom was the eldest son of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix of Luxembourg, while the bride was the only daughter of King Leopold III and Queen Astrid of the Belgians.
Princess Joséphine-Charlotte arrived to the Cathedral on the arm of her father, and the couple were married in a traditional Roman Catholic ceremony in front of hundreds of guests. The couple later appeared on the balcony of the Grand Ducal Palace to greet the well-wishers who gathered to celebrate. The new Hereditary Grand Duchess’s bridal attire consisted of a long-sleeved white wedding gown, which featured a ruffled neckline (three decades ahead of the era when ruffles were most popular – the 1980s) and a pearl-buttoned front. Her train contained a piece of Belgian Bruges lace, but was obscured by the veil.
A unique feature of her wedding attire separates Joséphine-Charlotte from most of today’s royal brides: she wore two tiaras on her wedding day, switching between official portraits. The first tiara worn for the actual wedding ceremony was the Congo Diamond Tiara, a wedding gift from the then-Belgian colony of Congo made by Van Cleef & Arpels. A second series of official portraits shows the bride wearing the Belgian Scroll Tiara, a wedding gift from the Belgian national bank, Sociéte Générale. The tiara was specifically made for Princess Joséphine-Charlotte and features just over 46 carats of diamonds.
Jean and Joséphine-Charlotte’s marriage was orchestrated by Grand Duchess Charlotte and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, mother and grandmother respectively. Grand Duchess Charlotte was also her daughter-in-law’s godmother. By all means, their union was not a love-match initially – it is said that Jean was in love with someone else at the time, and that Joséphine-Charlotte cried on the day. However, over time, the union proved to be very happy and the devastation was evident on Jean’s face when his wife passed away in January 2005.
The couple were married for almost fifty-two years, and had five children: Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Prince Jean, Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein and Prince Guillaume.Filed under Belgium, Luxembourg
Tagged Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium, Wedding.