Archduchess Maria Beatrix of Austria-Este and Count Riprand von und zu Arco-Zinneberg

The year 1980 saw the marriages of three Archduchesses of Austria: Monika (b.1954; daughter of Archduke Otto and Archduchess Regina), Maria Beatrix (b.1954; daughter of Archduke Robert and Archduchess Margherita), and Maria del Pilar (b.1953; daughter of Archduke Felix and Archduchess Anna-Eugénie). In 2020, all three archduchesses, who are also first cousins, celebrate their ruby wedding anniversaries with their respective husbands.

Archduchess Maria Beatrix arriving at her religious wedding on the arm of her father Archduke Robert

On 26 April 1980, Archduchess Maria Beatrix of Austria-Este married Count Riprand von und zu Arco-Zinneberg at Chartres. The couple held their civil wedding on 31 March 1980 at Sankt Martin im Innkreis, Austria. Fifth cousins, the bride and groom are both descendants of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria (1756-1825).

Archduchess Maria Beatrix

Her Imperial and Royal Highness Archduchess Maria Beatrix Anna Felicitas Zita Charlotte Adelheid Christina Elisabeth Gennara of Austria-Este was born on 11 December 1954 at Boulogne-sur-Seine. She was the eldest child of Archduke Robert of Austria (1915-1996) and Archduchess Margherita (b.1930; born Princess of Savoy). Maria Beatrix completed her early education with the Ursuline nuns at the Collége Blanche-de-Castille at Versailles; she went on to study economics and political science at the University of Innsbruck. The archduchess then decided to pursue a doctorate wherein she studied the economy of Peru.

Count Riprand

Count Riprand Maria Franz von und zu Arco-Zinneberg was born on 25 July 1955 at Munich. He was the second son and last child of Count Ulrich von und zu Arco-Zinneberg (1917-1980) and Countess Maria Theresia (1922-2003; born Countess von Preysing-Lichtenegg-Moos). Riprand studied architecture at the Technical University in Munich and holds an Engineering and Architectural Master’s Degree. His personal interests are history and politics. He wanted to become a doctor, but left these hopes behind in order to pursue an engineering career. The count has done very well in real estate.

Left to right: Archduke Otto and Archduchess Regina of Austria, Count Rupprecht of Arco-Zinneberg, Countess Maria Theresia and Count Ulrich of Arco-Zinneberg, the groom and bride, Archduke Robert and Archduchess Margherita of Austria-Este, Archduke Lorenz, Archduchess Isabella, Archduke Gerhard, and Archduke Martin.


The grandmothers of the bride: Princess Anne, Dowager Duchess of  Aosta, and Empress Zita of Austria-Hungary

Left to right: King Umberto II and Queen Marie-José of Italy, Prince Franz Josef of Liechtenstein, Madame the Countess of Paris, Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, and Princess Georgina of Liechtenstein

Archduchess Maria Beatrix and Count Riprand were joined in holy matrimony by the papal nuncio, Mgr. Felici. The archduchess wore a bridal gown designed for her by Pierre Balmain. The wedding was attending by a large gathering of the Gotha: Empress Zita of Austria-Hungary; King Umberto and Queen Marie-José of Italy; Princess Anne, Dowager Duchess of Aosta; Prince Henri and Princess Isabella, the Count and Countess of Paris; Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg; and Prince Franz Josef and Princess Georgina of Liechtenstein were all on hand to witness the union.

Princess Isabelle d’Orléans, Princess Murat, greets the bride
Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg (born Princess of Belgium) with Riprand and Maria Beatrix

An avid photographer, Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg was to be found capturing snapshots of the celebration with her camera. She was accompanied by her daughter Princess Marie-Astrid, who attended the Austria/Arco nuptials along with her eventual husband, Archduke Carl Christian, a first cousin of the bride, Maria Beatrix. Marie-Astrid and Carl Christian married two years later in 1982.

During their forty years together, Riprand and Maria Beatrix have lived in Europe and North America. The couple have six daughters: Countess Anna Theresa (b.1981; married since 2018 to Collin McKenzie), Countess Margherita (b.1983), Countess Olympia (b.1988; married since 2019 to Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon), Countess Maximiliana (b.1990), Countess Marie-Gabrielle (b.1992), and Countess Giorgiana (b.1997). Count Riprand von und zu Arco-Zinneberg is President and founder of the American Asset Corporation (AAC), a real estate investment and development company in the USA headquartered in New York City.

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