After yesterday’s little interruption (we’re facing another one of that at a later point), we’re continuing with the guests of Princess Victoria’s wedding.

They may not but young and hot, but they shelter they young and royal children too much for me to actually make a proper post about them. So their parents will have to do.

Princess Astrid of Belgium and her husband Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este (who also is a prince of Belgium but let’s stick with the Austrian title). Astrid is the little sister of Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium, Lorenz is the grandson of the last Emperor of Austria and the head of the Austria-Este cadet branch of the Habsburgs, making him the current Duke of Modena (keep in mine: Austria = a buttload of empty titles; they are part of the reason why, at royal gatherings, there is still and address for Imperial Highnesses, Lorenz (and Astrid by marriage) is His Imperial and Royal Highness, meep).

Walking into them on the streets I’d never recognise them for being royalty. Would you? They’re just looking so normal.

Up until Philippe managed to snag himself a wife and have a couple of children, Astrid’s children, or to be more precise her oldest son, was heir to the throne of Belgium. All things considered, that must have been scary enough, especially as passing the throne to siblings and nephews has happened in Belgium before, so that wasn’t far off the mark. They put Amedeo (who must be 24 I think this year) into boarding schools and shipped him off to military academy, which is basically the royal heir-training. Poor boy fled as soon as he could after Philippe’s eldest daughter Elizabeth was born and went into economics, he’s currently working for Deloitte in New York.

Astrid and Lorenz have five children total, Amedeo, Maria Laura, Joachim, Luisa Maria and Laetitia Maria, where’s I’m pretty sure that Laetitia was an accident, considering she’s ten years younger than her next oldest sister. There aren’t a lot of recent pictures of those five, most are at least five years old. It’s admirable that Astrid has managed to keep her children sheltered from most of the media storm that has to happen even (and maybe especially these days) in Belgium.

What warms my heart is that this is a marriage that seems to be intact still. Astrid is working royal while Lorenz, as far as his bio’s reading, can’t be bothered with that, so it’s all the better their relationship seems to work. I caught quite a few glimpses of them before and during the gala performance and they looked quite happy.

Naruhito of Japan was the pre-gala performance charge of these two. Astrid is a granddaughter of Astrid of the Belgians (who was a Swedish princess poriginally) and this closely related to the Swedes.

And that’s what’s so remarkable about this wedding, it was as much an act of state as it was a family celebration. Victoria is related to pretty much all monarchies of the continent (shesh, she’s related to the Monegasques even) and this was a family affair. It was important for Naruhito (Crown Prince of Japan) to come and show his country yes, a girl can be the heir apparent (Naruhito and his wife Masako, who was not present, only have a daughter but Japan still practices agnatic succession), but he didn’t really have a connection to anyone. Now, in the UK for example he would have wandered around alone until he found someone to talk with once in a while, the Swedes though could just draft some of their relations (and friends, Naruhito walked to the church with the Jordanians) to take care of him for a while and pass him to someone else later on. That way he got connections, he had people to talk to and he wasn’t excluded from the celebrations. That’s something that counts.

Lorenz (Astrid probably too but I can’t see her Grand Star) is wearing the Order of the Polar Star, the second highest royal order of Sweden, denoted by the blue sash with the yellow border and the and Grand Star of the order pinned to the left chest.

I like Astrid’s dress, hell, I like her whole appearance (even if the dress is a bit short), compared to how wacky she’s been during the last few royal weddings. Astrid is..let’s say…a bit different. Not everyone marries a Habsburg and just rolls with it, after all ;)