TRH The Duke and Duchess of Savoy and HRH The Prince of Venice and Piemonte, arrive at Villamanrique de la Condesa, near Seville, for a gala held in the residence of TIRH Prince Pedro and Princess Esperanza of Orleans-Braganza (D. Esperanza being the sister of the Countess of Barcelona and Infanta of Spain by Royal Decree), from the Imperial Family of Brazil, on the eve of the wedding of HRH Infanta Elena of Spain, Duchess of Lugo, and D. Jaime de Marichalar y Saénz de Tejada. The wedding, one of the most impressive of the past decade, took place on the 18th March 1995 in the most Spanish city of Seville.
Only a few months after the Seville wedding, another royal gathering took place in Portugal, for the wedding of HRH The Duke of Braganza, Head of the Portuguese Royal Family, to D. Isabel Curvello de Herédia. The wedding took place in the midst of several popular and royal celebrations, one of which a gala bullfight in the ancient Portuguese tradition, presided by the Duke of Braganza and his bride and by TRH The Duke and Duchess of Savoy. After arriving together at the Royal Box of the Praça of the Campo Pequeno, in Lisbon, the two couples came down to the barriers to witness the rest of the display (photo above). Below, at the end of the spectacle, HRH The Duchess of Savoy is seen, brilliantly smiling, next to her sister-in-law, HRH Princess Maria Gabriella of Italy.
Gala banquet held in the Palace of Queluz on the eve of the wedding of HRH The Duke of Braganza and D. Isabel de Herédia. Above, the royal guests watch a stunning display of horsemanship. The Duke and Duchess of Savoy are seen on the extreme left of the second row, Prince Vittorio Emanuele sitting next to Madame La Comtesse of Paris, who herself sits next to her nephew, HRH The Duke of Braganza and D. Isabel de Herédia, who wore splendid diamond earrings. Sitting next to the future Duchess of Braganza are TRH The Hereditary Grand-Duke and Grand-Duchess of Luxembourg. Just behind the Duke and Duchess of Savoy are TIRH Archduke and Archduchess Robert of Austria-Este. Below, inside the Palace of Queluz, HRH The Duchess of Savoy is seen talking to the Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIRH Grand-Duchess Maria of Russia.
Left, the Italian Royal Family during the latter years of Queen Maria José life. On the right, HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Savoy and Princess of Naples, poses wearing one of the splendid emeralds that used to compose the diamond and emerald necklace of Queen Margherita.
HRH The Duke of Savoy and HRH The Prince of Venice and Piemonte were finally allowed to set foot on Italian soil in late 2002, after the change of the Italian Constitution. On a first brief visit, the Royal Family was received in a special audience by His Holiness The Pope, at the Vatican. Later, the Duke and Duchess of Savoy and the Prince of Venice travelled through the country and were present, at the picture shows, during the mass celebrating the birthday of His Holiness, at St. Peter’s Square, in May 2003. Unlike she did for the private audience, HRH The Duchess of Savoy used the “privilege du blanc” and wore white for the ceremony. It should be noted that apart of the Queens of Spain and Belgium and the Grand-Duchess of Luxembourg, only the Princesses of Italy can wear white at the Vatican, according to tradition. It was already so when the then Prince of Piemonte, future Umberto II, visited the Vatican with his younger sisters, Princesses Giovanna and Maria.