Imagine the pomp and ceremony when these three Royal brides, all named Marie, married! Mind you, not everything went to plan, despite the lavish preparations, and marriages were not quite the same in those days…
Marie Leszcynska (shown left) became Queen of France when she married Louis XV in 1725. She was 22, seven years older than her husband, and her dress, which was worn under a velvet robe lined with ermine, was said to be so heavily adorned with jewels that she nearly fainted. Louis was said fallen in love with her instantly and consummated his marriage to her seven times on their wedding night. Nine months later their first two children were born, the first of ten (8 girls and two boys). The only boy to survive was Louis.
Marie Antoinette married Louis-August, Dauphin of France and heir apparent to the French throne, in May 1770 at just 14 years of age. Her silver, white and diamond covered dress was considered scandalous – not because of its over-the-top splendour but because, apparently, it was too small, leaving the lacing and shift sticking out at the back. Louis ascended to the throne four years but it is claimed their marriage was not consummated for 7 years.
Marie Louise of Austria (shown right) was the second wife of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, marrying him by proxy in 1810 following his divorce from Joséphine de Beauharnais who had not produced an heir. She wore a silver, pearls and lamé dress under the imperial crimson and gold cloak. Her shoes, which were too tight and very uncomfortable, were made especially in white satin embroidered with silver. They had one child Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles, who reigned for just two weeks.
Firt published in the May-June 2022 issue of The Local Buzz