Also smaller than in other similar royal occasions in Europe was the number of foreign heads of state who attended the ceremony: HM King Baudouin I, from neighbouring Belgium, attended accompanied by his wife HM Queen Fabiola; HM King Constantine of the Hellenes, King of Greece since 1964 attended with his wife HM Queen Anne-Marie, born Princess of Denmark; finally, the Grand-Duke Jean of Luxembourg attended the ceremony with his wife, Grand-Duchess Josephine Charlotte, born Princess of Belgium. Notable for their absences were the Scandinavian sovereigns, King Olav V of Norway, King Gustaf VI Adolph of Sweden and King Frederick IX of Denmark, having all sent young representatives.
One of the most expected presences was the one of TRH the Prince and Princess of the Asturias. In the days before the wedding, rumours ran saying that D. Juan Carlos had fell ill and wouldn’t attend the wedding, while it was clear this would be regarded as a refusal to meet HRH Prince Charles-Hughes of Bourbon-Parma, the Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne and son-in-law of Queen Juliana. The Spanish prince did, after all, attend, accompanied by Princess Sofia.
Second row, from left to right: HRH Prince Charles-Hughes of Bourbon-Parma, husband of HRH Princess Irene of the Netherlands and Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne, whose wedding to the Dutch princess was boycotted by the whole Dutch Royal Family since no consent had been given to the marriage, either by the Queen or the Parliament; HRH the Crown Prince of Norway, Harald, wears the ribbon of the Norwegian Order of Saint Olav; HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, born Princess of Greece, always one of the most elegant women of the British Royal Family.
Third row, from left to right: HRH Princess Irene of the Netherlands, Princess of Bourbon-Parma, one of the most beautiful princesses of her generation and certainly one of the most elegant women at the wedding, with a long red dress with some golden embroidery; HH Prince Karim Aga Khan; HRH Princess Irene of Greece, youngest sister of the King of the Hellenes and the Princess of the Asturias and tipped as one of the best “pricesses à marier” of the European royal families, was tipped by the international press as the saddest face of the wedding; HRH Prince Charles of Luxembourg.
Second row, from left to right: HSH Princess Armgard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, the mother of HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, partially covered by the King of the Belgians; Mrs. Gösta von Amsberg, mother of HRH Prince Claus of the Netherlands, who was born Gosta Freiin von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen; HRH Princess Christina of the Netherlands, youngest daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard and one of the bridesmaids to carry Princess Beatrix’s long train; HRH the Grand-Duchess of Luxembourg, Josephine Charlotte, born Princess of Belgium and sister of the King of the Belgians; HRH the Grand-Duke of Luxembourg, Jean, also wearing the ribbon of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands.
Third row, from left to right: HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark, representing her parents King Frederick IX and Queen Ingrid (heiress presumptive Princess Margrethe did not attend either); HRH Princess Christina of Sweden, also one of the bridesmaids; Lady Christina von Amsberg, sister of Prince Claus, another of the bridesmaids; HRH the Princess of Liège, la dolce Paola, certainly of the most beautiful princesses at that time; HRH the Prince of Liège, heir presumptive to the Belgian throne, wearing the ribbon of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands.
Second row, from left to right: HRH the Infanta María del Pilar of Spain, eldest daughter of HRH the Count of Barcelona, the rightful heir of the Spanish throne after his father King Alfonso XIII; HRH Princess Margaretha of Sweden, Mrs. Ambler, in green; HRH Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, third daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard and by this time the second in line to the Dutch throne, since Princess Irene lost her rights by marrying without the consent of her mother and the Parliament; Mr. Pieter van Vollenhoven, Princess Margriet’s fiancé.
Third row, from left to right: HRH the Princess of the Asturias, Sofia, born Princess of Greece, wearing a stylish embroidered dress in blue and silver and a fur hat; HRH the Prince of the Asturias, D. Juan Carlos, wearing the ribbon of the Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange (among his Spanish orders). HSH Princess Simone of Lippe-Biesterfeld; HSH Prince Aschwin of Lippe-Biesterfeld.