Germany celebrates its own 'royal' wedding - Times LIVE
   
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Fri Mar 24 04:01:26 SAST 2017

Germany celebrates its own 'royal' wedding

Sapa-dpa | 2011-08-26 07:37:54.0
Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia and Princess Sophie Johanna Maria of Isenburg  attend a dinner at Opera terraces after the religious wedding ceremony of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco in Monaco.
Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia and Princess Sophie Johanna Maria of Isenburg attend a dinner at Opera terraces after the religious wedding ceremony of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene of Monaco in Monaco.
Image by: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

It's set to be the German social event of the year - the wedding of Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia, the great grandchild of Kaiser Wilhelm II, to Sophie, Princess of Isenburg.

Had Germany kept its royal family after World War I ended in 1918, the 35-year-old prince would now be Kaiser - and with his good looks, possibly Germany's answer to Prince William.

In Germany the couple's titles are no longer recognised, they are officially just their surnames, but the "royal" wedding will still be broadcast live on television this Saturday and around 100 journalists have registered to report on the event.

Despite their high-profile nuptials, the couple are generally said to be down-to-earth. Both studied business at university and now work in companies in Berlin and Rostock, north-east Germany.

The pair have known each other since childhood but have kept their years-long relationship fairly private.

"The wedding is also still a private affair," says Blankart.

The prince's father, Louis Ferdinand, a reserve army officer died just after his first birthday in a military accident. He was crushed between two armoured vehicles during a training exercise and died later of his injuries.

Carl Friedrich became head of the house of Hohenzollern when his grandfather, also Louis Ferdinand, died while he was at school studying for his A-levels in Scotland in 1994.

The couple are to exchange their vows at Sanssouci palace, in Potsdam, just outside Berlin, built as a summer residence for Frederick the Great in the 18th century, and set in acres of parkland.

"The queen (of England) isn't coming, neither is Princess Kate or Letizia (of Spain)," says Michaela Blankart, the head of the agency which looks after the house of Hohenzollern, the former Prussian royal family.

But whilst Europe's most high-profile royals are not expected to attend, the aristocracy are still expected to feature strongly amongst the 700 guests invited to the afternoon reception and the 370 invited to dinner at the palace.

As is common in Germany, where church weddings are not legally recognised, the couple already married in a civil ceremony on Thursday.

Since the Hohenzollern dynasty is celebrating its 950th anniversary this year, commentators such as ARD television's Rolf Seelmann-Eggebert believe the couple are giving a nod to the dynasty by choosing to marry at Sanssouci, which dates from an era of the family's glory days.

"The prince is a self-confessed Potsdam fan, and so I'm really pleased that he's chosen the town to get married in," adds Potsdam Mayor Jann Jakobs, who is among the guests.

The 33-year-old bride is to be driven to the Friedenskirche (Church of Peace) in the palace grounds in a grey Rolls Royce.

"The car belongs to a friend of the prince and comes from Sweden," says Blankart.

Since Carl Friedrich is Protestant and Sophie is Catholic, there will be two parts to the ceremony, with the Catholic part conducted by retired abbot Gregor Henckel von Donnersmarck, the uncle of Oscar-prize-winning film director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

The church is to be decorated in blue and white, with lots of larkspur, the groom is to wear a cutaway and the bride a tiara with a veil - though the dress is of course top secret.

After the ceremony, the newly weds are to be driven in an open-top Landauer carriage past park's terraced vinyards and bubbling rococo fountains to the reception in Sanssouci's New Chambers, which were built to replace an orangery and serve as a guest house.

Celebrations are already set to begin on Friday evening however, when many of the wedding guests will attend a charity concert at Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt.

 

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