An imperial wedding in the city of love

In the Cathédrale Saint-Louis des Invalides in Paris on Saturday 19 October 2019 at 11am two imperial families joined in matrimony. His Royal Highness Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon Bonaparte, Prince Napoléon, heir to the imperial family of France, married Countess Olympia von und zu Arco-Zinneberg already civilly at the townhall of Neuilly-sur-Seine on 17 October. The evening of 18 October the Polterabend, as they call it in German, took place in Paris, where the women wore dirndl dresses. The wedding dinner and ball on the 19th took place at Fontainebleau.

For the first time since Emperor Napoléon I married Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria in 1810 these two imperial families were connected by marriage. Jean-Christophe was born in 1986 as son of Prince Charles Napoléon and his first wife Princess Béatrice of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. The bride was born in 1988 as third of the six daughters of Count Riprand von und zu Arco-Zinneberg and his wife Archduchess Maria-Beatrix “Beatrice” of Austria-Este. Her father’s mother was a daughter of Princess Gundelinde of Bavaria, while her mother was the granddaughter of the last emperor of Austria, Karl. Olympia met Jean-Christophe in 2002 at the 18th birthday of Prince Félix of Luxembourg. In the following years they studied, lived and worked all around the world.

The bridal dress and veil  were designed by Oscar de la Renta and contained hundreds of leafs. Also the fitting bolero was by Oscar de la Renta. The shoes of the bride were from Manolo Blahnik. According to royal jewelry expert Vincent Meylan the earrings with sapphires and diamonds are the property of her mother, who received them as a wedding gift from her parents. The diamond bandeau tiara is the property of the bride’s grandmother Archduchess Margarita of Austria-Este The hair of the bride was inspired by the napoleontic empire style and the hair was done by Gerhard Meir and Christian Bräuer. Her visagist was Jean-Luc Minetti from Alexandre de Paris.

The guestlist

The wedding turned into a huge gathering of royals and nobles from France, Germany and other countries. About 600 guests came from all over Europe.

Joseph Achkar
Count Riprand and Countess Marie-Beatrice von und zu Arco-Zinneberg
Countess Anna Theresa von und zu Arco-Zinneberg (maid of honour) and Colin McKenzie (usher)
Countess Margherita von und zu Arco-Zinneberg (maid of honour)
Countess Maximiliana von und zu Arco-Zinneberg (maid of honour)
Countess Marie-Gabrielle von und zu Arco-Zinneberg (maid of honour)
Countess Giorgiana von und zu Arco-Zinneberg (maid of honour)
Count Andreas and Countess Daria-Maria von und zu Arco-Zinneberg
Count Clemens von und zu Arco-Zinneberg
Countess Elena von und zu Arco-Zinneberg
Count Ulrich and Countess Teresa von und zu Arco-Zinneberg
Countess Lidwine von und zu Arco-Zinneberg
Countess Caecilia von und zu Arco-Zinneberg
Archduchess Gabriela of Austria
Archduchess Anna Gabriele of Austria
Archduke Carl Christian and Archduchess Marie-Astrid of Austria
Archduke Simeon and Archduchess Maria of Austria
Archduke Rudolf and Archduchess Marie Hélène of Austria
Archduke Michael of Austria
Archduke Carl Peter and Archduchess Alexandra of Austria
Archduke Martin and Archduchess Katharina of Austria-Este
Archduchess Anna-Astrid of Austria-Este (bridal child)
Prince Leopold of Baden
The Duke and Duchess in Bavaria
Prince Manuel and Princess Anna of Bavaria
Prince Konstantin and Princess Deniz of Bavaria
Prince Lorenz and Princess Astrid of Belgium
Prince Amedeo (usher) and Princess Elisabetta of Belgium
Princess Maria Laura of Belgium (witness)
Prince Joachim of Belgium and Victoria Ortiz Martínez-Sagrera
Princess Luisa Maria of Belgium
Princess Laetitia Maria of Belgium
Prince Laurent of Belgium
Stéphane Bern
Count Nikolai von Bismarck (usher)
Mr Henrik Boe (usher)
Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon Parma
Princess Beatrice of Bourbon-Two Sicilies & Alexandre Ursulet
Princess Anne of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
The Duke and Duchess of Castro
Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (witness)
Princess Maria Chiara of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (maid of honour)
Prince Alessandro of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Princess Elena of Bourbon-Two Sicilies
Mr Luc Bousquet (best man)
The Duke and Duchess of Bragança
Pieter Vincenz van der Byl
Mr Arnaud Cabri-Wiltzer (usher)
Michel Carriere
Mr Francesco Ciardi (usher)
Dorothée Cochin
Nicolas Cochin
Count Nicolas Colonna-Walewski
Countess Olympia von Coudenhove-Kalergi (bridal child)
Countess Tatiana von Coudenhove-Kalergi (bridal child)
Countess Xenia von Coudenhove-Kalergi (bridal child)
Edoarda Crociani
The Duke of Croÿ
Prince Hadrien and Princess Jacqueline of Croÿ-Roeulx
Princess Gaia de Croÿ-Roeulx (bridal child)
Count Andrea and Countess Isabelle Czarnocki-Lucheschi
Countess Maria Anna Czarnocki-Lucheschi
Count Guillaume de Dampierre
Mr Adam Demuyakor (usher)
Jean and Tatiana Fruchaud
Count Alexander Fugger von Babenhausen
The Countess of Paris
Princess Antoinette of France
Princess Louise-Marguerite of France
Princess Alexandra Galitzine
Anna Gamazo de Abelló
Joseph and Sabine Getty
Mr Carlos Gome Gomez (usher)
Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece
Princess Olympia of Greece
Prince Philippos of Greece and Nina Flohr
Prince Michel and Princess Marina of Greece
Prince Christian and Princess Alessandra of Hannover
Baron August von Haxthausen (usher)
Count Andreas and Countess Johanna Henckel von Donnersmarck
Mr Olivier Hervet (usher)
Mr David Hess (usher)
Princess Mafalda of Hessen and Rolf Sachs
Princess Sarvath bint El Hassan of Jordan
Mr Christos Lavidas (usher)
Clément Lecomte
Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle von und zu Liechtenstein
Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha von und zu Liechtenstein
Princess Maria-Anunciata von und zu Liechtenstein and Emanuele Musini
Princess Marie-Astrid von und zu Liechtenstein and Rafe Worthington
Prince Josef von und zu Liechtenstein (usher)
Princess Nora von und zu Liechtenstein
Princess Hildegard von und zu Liechtenstein
Princess Therese von und zu Liechtenstein
Princess Gisela von und zu Liechtenstein
Princess Françoise Lobkowicz
Prince Charles-Henri Lobkowicz
Prince Felix and Princess Isabella Lobkowicz
Princess Anna Lobkowicz
Princess Gail Lobkowicz
Princess Christina Lobkowicz
Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg
Prince Felix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg
Prince Louis of Luxembourg
Prince Jean of Luxembourg and Countess Diane de Nassau
Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg
Mr Charles MacBain (usher)
Jaime de Marichalar
Sol de Medina y Orleans-Bragança, Countess of Ampurias
Luna de Medina y Orleans-Bragança, Countess of Ricla.
Mr Julius Meinl (usher)
Mr Alexandre Mulliez (usher)
Prince Joachim Murat
Baron Patrick Muûls (usher)
Mr Julien Nakache (usher)
Princess Alix Napoléon
Prince Charles Napoléon
Princess Sophie Napoléon and Daniel Benito Garcia
Princess Anh Napoléon
Prince Jerome and Princess Licia Napoléon
Princess Marie-Gabrielle de Nassau and Antonius Willms
Prince Wenceslas de Nassau
Prince Constantin de Nassau
Mr Nicolas Niarchos (usher)
Count Louis-Jean and Countess Barbara de Nicolay
Mr Marc Noyer Maingard (witness)
Camille and Caroline Pascal
Annina von Pfuel
Ritter und Edler Vollrath-Joachim and Pilar von Poschinger
Benoit and Isabelle Puga
Monique Raimond
Mr Luis Rattenhuber (usher)
Annette de la Renta
Hedwige, Marquise de La Roche-Aymon
Antoine de La Roche-Aymon
Jean de La Roche-Aymon
Comtesse Céleste de la Rochefoucauld (witness)
Carolina Ruiseco
Philipp Sachs and Lizzie Edelman
Princess Paola Maria Sapieha-Rozanska and Prince Konstanty Swiatopolk-Czetwertynski
Prince Casimir and Princess Alana zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn
Prince Ferdinand and Princess Anjuta zu Schleswig-Holstein
Prince Constantin (usher) zu Schleswig-Holstein
Hereditary Prince Johannes and Hereditary Princess Francesca zu Schwarzenberg
The Duke and Duchess of Segorbe
Prince Philip and Princess Danica of Serbia
Count Hans Caspar and Countess Elisabeth zu Toerring-Jettenbach
Mr Alexis Veljkovic (witness)
Fürstin Mathilde zu Waldburg-Zeil und Trauchburg
Bernard de Monseignat and Countess Maria Gabriele zu Waldburg-Zeil und Trauchburg
Mr Thomas Oswald Woloshyn (usher)
Duchess Sophie of Württemberg
Princess Beatrice of York and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia

Media and Online

There are wedding reports in the magazines Point de Vue, Bunte and Gala.

Photos by Mardam

Thanks very much to Nellie van Ginkel, who let me use some of her photos for my report.

2 thoughts on “An imperial wedding in the city of love

  1. I thought that Heinrich and Priscilla (nee Incisa della Rochetta) were Hereditary Prince and Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. Casimir is a second son. Is Casimir named as Hereditary Prince on the official list?

    Who is Celeste de la Rochefoucauld? I found a Celeste who was natural daughter of Sylvie de la Rochefoucauld (sister of the Duke) but she is not a Comtesse.

    I find it interesting that the Napoleons or the Arco-Zinnebergs invited Duke Max-Emmanuel and his wife as the heir presumptive of Bavaria but didn’t invite Luitpold or any of his sons who represent the next branch to succeed. Instead, they invited both sons of Leopold, a cadet prince.

    I also never see Wolfgang or Christoph (younger sons of the late Rasso and his Hapsburg wife) at the high noble weddings. Is it that they are not invited, they are not close to other royals, or they lack the funds?


    1. Changed the S-W-S one. You’re absolutely right!

      Lots of the Germans invited might simply be friends of the couple. She is from Germany after all.

      The people visiting these weddings often recognise a lot of people – much more than most media does – but they can’t know everybody. Although Mardam was there, who is rather good at it. Probably not here, but at German weddings people sometimes go into church via an other entrance and thus remain unnoticed.

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