ITALY: Million-Dollar Nuptials

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Prince Henri, Count of Paris and Dauphin of France, married a Princess of Brazil in Italy last week—such at least was the way in which thousands of enthusiastic Royalists thought of the bright, expensive pageant which passed over a great carpet 200 yards long across Palermo's Cathedral Square.

The bride was beautiful, her name euphonious Isabelle, Princess of Orleans-Braganza, descendant of the Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brazil. For this tall, dark-eyed graceful girl the Royalist ladies of Lyons, France, had embroidered with silver palm leaves a gown of shimmering satin designed by Jean Charles Worth, most chipper of Parisian grands couturiers, who hops about and chirps:

"This exquisite new fabric, Madame— if I had shown it to you last year you would have said 'Why, Mr. Worth, you are perfectly a fool!"

Two gentlemen supported the trailing bridal veil of antique Brussels lace, priceless and some 20 feet long. Instead of a wreath, Princess Isabelle wore a bridal circlet of diamonds. Carrying a missal instead of a bouquet, and leaning on the arm of her father Prince Pierre, she led the royal procession in which walked 54 princes and princesses.

"Vive le Roil Vive la France!" cried a throng of French and Brazilian Royalists, some of them poor people who had come all the way to Palermo at great personal sacrifice. "Vive le Dauphin! Vive la Princesse!"

Le Roi (who paid for the pageant) is that very rich man, with estates in Belgium, Italy and Morocco, who is better known as Monseigneur le Due de Guise. As the father of the bridegroom, Le Roi fixed his thoughts last week on 1809. In that year, in this same Cathedral of Palermo, his ancestor Louis Philippe (then an exile like the Count of Paris today) married a Bourbon Princess and later became King of France (1830-48). Does history never repeat?

Fifty harps twanged Mendelssohn's "Wedding March." Imposing, the Cathedral of Palermo had been hung with rich tapestries, decked with carloads of flowers and on view was the Cathedral treasure: a sacred stole blazing with Byzantine gems which once studded the mantle of the Empress Constantia. But as he knelt at the altar beside Princess Isabelle last week the Count of Paris was garbed in a mere cutaway, his richest ornament a gardenia.

Up to the last minute, suspense had been terrific lest Achille Ambrogio Damiano Ratti, Pope Pius XI should forbid Luigi Cardinal Lavitriano, Archbishop of Palermo, to officiate. Well the Holy Father knew that at this wedding there would be present those two accursed agitators for the Royalist cause in France, Editor Leon Daudet of L'Action Française and his doughty fellow editor, Charles Maurras. If they were present as guests, declared the Supreme Pontiff in his final ultimatum to Monseigneur le Due de Guise, then no Cardinal could possibly officiate.

For this reason accursed Mm. Daudet & Maurras came not as guests but as reporters, slyly laughed up their Royalist sleeves at Luigi Cardinal Lavitriano who performed the ceremony, imparted a nuptial blessing and celebrated low mass while Princess Isabelle quietly wept.

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