Today in Brussels, the King’s niece was married in a glittering ceremony in the city’s cathedral, wearing heirloom royal diamonds.
Princess Maria Laura of Belgium, daughter of Prince Lorenz and Prince Astrid, wed her fiancé, William Isvy, in a pair of ceremonies on Saturday. First up: a civil wedding ceremony at the town hall in Brussels.
Maria Laura chose to wear a simpler wedding look for the civil ceremony. Her cream-colored mini dress was made by Gucci.
With the dress, Maria Laura wore a pair of modern diamond and pearl drop earrings.
You’ll recognize these from another royal wedding appearance. Maria Laura’s sister-in-law, Elisabetta, wore them for her wedding to Prince Amedeo in Rome in 2014.
Maria Laura and William were accompanied by her father, Prince Lorenz, as they arrived for the civil ceremony.
Her mother, Princess Astrid, arrived with the bride’s siblings. From left to right: Princess Luisa Maria, Princess Astrid, Prince Amedeo, Prince Joachim, Princess Elisabetta (Amedeo’s wife), and Princess Laetitia Maria. Most of the attendants at the civil wedding wore the same clothes and jewels for the religious ceremony later on, although hats and headpieces were added.
The bride’s grandparents, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, arrived together.
So did the bride’s uncle and aunt, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians. She wore a pair of gold leaf earrings for the civil ceremony.
The royals in attendance also included more aunts, uncles, and cousins. Here are Prince Laurent (Princess Astrid’s brother) and his family. From left to right: Prince Nicolas, Princess Claire, Prince Laurent, Princess Louise, and Prince Aymeric.
Princess Delphine, the bride’s aunt, attended with her partner, Jim O’Hare.
The groom kissed the bride on the cheek as they departed from the town hall after the ceremony.
Later in the afternoon, the couple gathered with their families at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. Princess Maria Laura’s grandparents, King Albert II and Queen Paola, were married in the cathedral, as were her great-grandparents, King Leopold III and Queen Astrid. The Roman Catholic ceremony incorporated Jewish traditions, a nod to the faith of the groom. The congregation also participated in a prayer for the late Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, who was a cousin of the Belgian royal family.
For the religious wedding, Princess Maria Laura wore a gown by Vivienne Westwood. An official statement shared that the dress was inspired by both traditional eighteenth-century European fashions and by the fabric draping echoed by ancient Greek statues.
The dress also features a stunning eight-meter train, designed to fit the grandeur of the cathedral. The dress was successfully wrangled in the windy weather by Maria Laura’s four bridesmaids: her sister, Princess Luisa Maria; her sister-in-law, Princess Elisabetta; and a pair of cousins, Olympia, Princess Napoléon and Princess Marie-Astrid of Liechtenstein.
Along with handling the gown’s train, the four bridesmaids were also responsible for Maria Laura’s veil. The lace veil was loaned to her by her grandmother, Queen Paola. It’s an heirloom from Paola’s Italian aristocratic mother, the late Donna Luisa Gazelli dei Conti di Rossana. It was worn by Paola for her wedding day and also loaned as a bridal day to Maria Laura’s mother, Princess Astrid, and her aunts, Queen Mathilde and Princess Claire.
Princess Maria Laura anchored the veil with an heirloom from her father’s side of the family: the Savoy-Aosta Tiara. The antique diamond floral tiara now belongs to Prince Lorenz, who inherited it from his mother, Archduchess Margherita of Austria-Este, who was born a Princess of Savoy-Aosta.
She also wore an elegant pair of diamond frame and floral drop earrings with her bridal attire.
Princess Astrid added a hat to her colorful mother-of-the-bride ensemble for the religious service. (Astrid is famous for her theatrical wedding guest attire.) She also wore a pair of diamond earrings from her jewelry collection. I think the crystal detail at her neckline is part of the dress’s embellishments, not a separate jewel.
King Phillipe and Queen Mathilde changed their attire for the religious ceremony. They were joined for this part of the celebrations by their four children. From left to right: the Duchess of Brabant, Prince Emmanuel, Queen Mathilde, King Philippe, Prince Gabriel, and Princess Eleonore.
With her floral dress and pink picture hat, Queen Mathilde wore earrings with pale pink gemstone drops, a diamond bracelet, and a ring with a diamond cluster featuring a central pink gemstone.
Princess Elisabeth wore classic diamond and pearl button-style earrings with her bright red ensemble. I believe these were borrowed from her mother’s jewelry box.
Queen Paola added a headpiece to her outfit, which was accessorized with diamond earrings, a pearl necklace, and a floral brooch set with diamonds and a central red gem, perhaps a ruby.
Here’s Princess Claire, Prince Laurent, and family at the cathedral for the religious wedding.
Princess Delphine and Jim O’Hare were joined by their children, Princess Joséphine and Prince Oscar, for the religious ceremony. Though the children have attended private family events before, this was their first public occasion as members of the Belgian royal family. Princess Joséphine showed that she shares her mother’s love for artistic jewelry, wearing a pair of mismatched earrings, with one spelling out the word FREE in capital letters.
There were also more members of the extended family in attendance. Princess Léa, the widow of Prince Alexandre of Belgium (younger half-brother of King Albert II) is pictured here with her sister-in-law, Princess Marie-Esméralda (King Albert II’s half-sister).
Representatives from the Luxembourgish branch of the family were there, too. (Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg was King Albert II’s sister.) Here are Prince Felix and Princess Claire arriving for the ceremony.
And here are Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg.
The couple emerged from the cathedral into a rainy afternoon—traditionally, a sign of good luck for their marriage.
Maria Laura and William shared a kiss on the cathedral stairs, shielded by a canopy of umbrellas.
And then the groom drove his princess bride away from the cathedral in a lovely vintage car—a classic final touch for the day.