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

Luxembourg Wedding: Extended Family

Royal Hats The Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg were all in attendance for their nephew/cousin’s wedding. Guillaume’s aunt, Archduchess Marie Astrid of Austria (Grand Duke Henri’s older sister), looked jaw-droppingly elegant in this grey and beige ensemble complete with wide brimmed beige hat. I loved the size and angle of the hat with her short hair so much that I didn’t even notice the too-pointy centre (hidden by an oddly shaped bow).

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Marie Astrid’s daughter, Countess Marie-Christine de Limburg-Stirum, wore what looks to be a royal blue transparent fascinator with feather trim. From this distance, I’m not a fan… or maybe I’m just distracted by what seems to be a dress too skimpy for a major royal wedding.

Marie Astrid’s new daughter-in-law, Archduchess Kathleen of Austria, wore a cute purple pillbox with coordinated bow and feather trim. I usually prefer pillbox hats on hair that is neatly tied back into some sort of chignon, but I’ll give Kathleen a pass for her first major royal event as a member of the family. The next person to enter into the Luxembourg Royal Family will be Adelaide Drapé-Frisch, who is marrying Marie-Astrid’s son Christophe this December. Adelaide looked very royal in a salmon pink hat with net bow and wide brim. I loved how the colour of the hat coordinated with her patterned dress and wrap.

Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein, Grand Duke Henri’s younger sister, looked beautiful in pale pink. while I didn’t really understand the different shades of pink in her outfit (mauve pink dress, blush pink wrap, dusty rose hat) I loved the hat on its own. Like her older sister, the size and brim shape looked fantastic on her, especially in contrast with her dark hair.

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Princess Margaretha’s daughter Princess Marie-Astrid of Liechtenstein (named after her sister, the Marie-Astrid mentioned above in case you’re getting confused!) sported a chocolate pillbox with veil. I loved her hair (see what I mean about pillboxes and hair tied back?!) but found it difficult in the full shot to see where her hair ended and the hat began. I loved her choice of bold earrings- such a modern twist with a retro pillbox!- although the patterned dress, big earrings and hat veil all add up to a lot going on.

Countess Diane of Nassau, wife of Grand Duke Henri’s brother Jean, showed her allegiance to the Red Hat Society with this red and purple feathered cocktail hat. I think this is a case of too much… in all the wrong places.

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Countess Diane’s stepdaughter Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Nassau (daughter of Prince Jean of Luxembourg and his first wife Helene, shown here with her youngest brother, Prince Carl ) wore a large brimmed latte coloured straw hat to match her brocade coat. I’m afraid I find the whole look rather bland – it’s all a little too beige, especially with her dark blonde hair.

Now THIS is how to do a red hat! Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg, wife of Grand Duke Henri’s younger brother Prince Guillaume (after whom the groom was named) wore a lovely curved red hat with lattice detail on the brim designed by British milliner Dillon Wallwork. Pairing a red hat with a red coat and dress is too much red for my taste, but the hat looked great on her.

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Special thanks to The Luxarazzi Blog for assistance on this post. 

Photos from Getty as indicated; Stella Pictures and Rex Features