Austrian Royal Wedding in Washington

It’s been nearly seven months since a royal wedding was held in Washington, DC – the wedding of Archduke Imre of Austria and Kathleen Walker. Since this week has been very quiet on the royal front, I thought we’d look back at the hats from this Austrian-American royal wedding. Special thanks to Spiering Photography and Marlene A. Koenig, author of The Royal Musings Blog, who attended this event and have graciously shared photographs with us.

Archduke Imre is the son of Archduke Carl Christian of Austria and Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria (née Princess of Luxembourg) – this makes him the grandson of Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg and the nephew of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.The bride, Kathleen Walker, is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and completed a degree in journalism from Northern Kentucky University. She met Imre while working as Communications Director of the Arlington (Virgina) Diocean Catholic Charities and they both attended a Missa Cantata in honour of Blessed Karl of Austria, Imre’s great-grandfather. The couple married on September 8, 2012 at St. Mary Mother of God Church in Washington, DC, the same church where they met.

Kathleen wore a white satin dress with pleated bodice, lace neckline and sleeves. She topped this with an antique lace Habsburg veil from her groom’s family- a veil rumored to have been worn by Empress Eugénie for her wedding to Napoleon III in 1853 (also worn by Imre’s sister Marie-Christine at her wedding in 2008 and his sister-in-law Adelaide in December 2012). The veil was anchored by a triple string of pearls- a very pretty and unique touch, don’t you think?

The bride’s mother, Margaret Walker, wore an ice blue suit and a cream straw hat with mushroom shaped brim. There looks to be a straw rose and some delicate feathers on the side.

Kathleen’s bridesmaids, one of whom was Imre’s younger sister Archduchess Gabriella of Austria, wore peacock blue silk dresses with fresh blush pink and cream roses in their hair. Imre’s attendants included his brother Cristophe (who was married in December) and his cousin, Prince Felix of Luxembourg (centre).

Imre’s mother, Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria (née Princess of Luxembourg) wore a ruched tan straw hat with large picture brim. The brim was a little unstructured for my taste but I suppose, fit well with this less formal royal wedding.

Imre’s aunts, Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein (née Princess of Luxembourg) and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg were a contrast of styles. Margaretha wore a delightfully quirky small hat in sherbet orange and fuchsia pink with flat brim and side bow. Sibilla was characteristically elegant in a large natural straw picture hat. 


Princess Margaretha’s daughter, also named Marie-Astrid, wore a percher hat covered yellow flowers and green leaves. While I’ll give her points for the stylish grey and yellow colour scheme, I’ll pass on the messy hat.


Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg chose a blush pink giant rosette fascinator, a potentially pretty statement piece that fell victim to awkward head placement. Alexandra’s sister-in-law-to-be, Claire Lademacher, also chose pink millinery, a straw beret placed on the back of her head. It’s a simple hat that made an unexpected pairing with her yellow dress. Alexandra’s cousin, Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Nassau, wore a navy veiled straw beret. Paired with a printed vintage-inspired dress, this hat was striking and fun while still appropriate for the church wedding.

Adelaide Drapé-Frisch, who married Imre’s brother Christophe in December, wore a navy hat with flat crown, rolled brim and polka-dotted feather trim. For her first royal hat outing, I thought this was a solid start.

Archduchess Marie Helene and her daughter, Archduchess Priscilla of Austria (paternal relatives of the groom through Archduke Carl Ludwig of Austria), wore a grey fascinator and a white straw hat.

The Duke and Duchess of Braganza also attended this wedding. It’s tough to see but Isabel wore a chocolate brown rose and leaf fascinator on the side of her head.

And finally, the best for last (or most memorable, at least!) Anastasia, Princess of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (née Princess Anastasia of Prussia) wore a hat entirely covered in bright pink feathers. I suppose if you can’t wear a hat that looks like a giant peony bloom to a royal wedding, you probably can’t wear it anywhere. I’m not a fan of the hat  but I’m a fan of any woman gutsy enough to wear it in public.

All in all, this was a much less formal wedding than we would see a month later in Luxembourg (not surprising, for the heir’s wedding) and three months later for Imre’s brother Christophe. While I’m a fan of royal weddings, I found the relative informality of this one gave it great charm- it was not about pomp and pageantry, but about a happy family getting together for the fun celebration of a couple filled with love and joy.

I’m curious, dear readers, which hat at this American-Austrian was your favourite?

Photos from Spiering Photography and Marlene A. Koenig via The Royal Musings Blog

47 thoughts on “Austrian Royal Wedding in Washington

    • Thank you so much for sharing this video! I love that Kathleen chose Jeremiah Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary” for her entrance. The remarks made by Archduke Carl-Christian were heart-felt and very sweet.

    • Thanks for sharing the video. It was so nice to see Kathleen walking into the church. She and Imre looked so happy.

    • Agreed. The dress has a lot of detail but it works with the intricate veil. The dress is quite a traditional shape and maybe that’s why it works with the traditional lace veil.

    • I think it’s heavy and dated. Same with her dress. But that’s OK- we don’t all have to like it! I just prefer dresses and veils that are lighter and flowy. Kate Middleton’s dress was still very royal but had a lot lighter feel to it.

  1. There is nothing remotely interesting or memorable about any of these hats or clothes. Except the orange and pink ones. Those ones rock! Everything else is B O R I N G.

      • So this couple’s beliefs influence the fashion choices of their family and friends? That makes no sense.

        And it is not true, since many of the hats are interesting, bright, and fashionable.

    • You need your eyes checked. The royal blue hat with the net (and matching sunglasses) is boring? The beatiful straw hat Princess Sibilla is wearing is boring? Not on your life. I’d hate to see what you consider “exciting”. True Royals are elegant. They don’t need fireworks shooting off the side of their hat to be noticed.

    • THANK YOU. I was starting to wonder if I was reading the same page as everyone else.That hat (and hideous matching oufit) should be labeled a federal offense.

      • You can’t be serious? That pink feathered hat is almost as terrible as the dress worn with it. No woman should wear Pepto-Bismal pink ANYTHING after the age of 32.

      • Hush now. Us older gals can wear pretty pink whenever we like! I am fixin to wear pink like this to my grandnephew’s wedding this summer. That’s a load of hogwash saying older ladies can’t wear pink. Shame on you.

    • The gray and yellow flowered head thingy her daughter is wearing is also terrible. And that gray and yellow dress is a shapeless potatoe sack.

      • I was thinking paper-bag-princess for the gray and yellow sack. Its not even ironed. The mother of the groom (Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria) had the best hat in my estimation. It had a good American flair for an American wedding.

      • I agree with Gottfried. Archduchess Marie-Astrid looks so elegant. Not too dressy and not too formal. Just right.

    • I really like this orange and pink hat! It is so fresh and like spring time. And it makes this princess look young!

  2. That shore is the prettiest bride I did ever see in a long long time. Perfect dress for a southern wedding too! And I just love that hat with the peach suit that the Princess Archduchss (mother of the groom) wore. It is just so elegant and she looks right like a princess. Some of the hat’s the young gals wore were so nice too. I didn’t much like that blue one but the pink ones are so pretty. And that has got to be the prettiest bridesmaids dress I’ve seen in a long time. Goes to show you can have a beautiful wedding without tacky strapless dresses. This is how American weddings shood be these days.

  3. I really like the pink rosette hat/hair clip that Princess Alexandra wore. I think it is easy to make and be cute for a wedding I will go to this summer.

  4. I just had no idea that there was a royal wedding in the US! And that there is another Duchess Kate! Her dress is the perfect dress for a royal wedding. I just love it but I would like it better with a tiara. It would have been perfect with a small tiara. And I really like the pink hat that Clare wore. When is her royal wedding going to be? Please post photo’s here!

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