On This Day In History: 

The Marriage of Prince Louis of Bourbon-Parma 
& Princess Maria of Savoy

On 23 January 1939, Prince Louis (Luigi) of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Maria of Savoy were married at the Pauline Chapel at Quirinale Palace in Rome. The royal Court Chaplain Monsignore Giuseppe Beccaria celebrated the nuptial mass. After their marriage, Loius and Maria went to the Vatican where they were blessed by Pope Pius XII. School children throughout the Kingdom of Italy were given the date of Princess Maria’s wedding off from their studies as a holiday.

Prince Louis of Bourbon-Parma

Born on 4 December 1899 at Schwarzau, Prince Louis was the tenth son and twenty-second child of Duke Roberto I of Parma (1848 – 1907). Louis’ mother was Roberto’s second wife Infanta Maria Antónia of Portugal (1862 – 1959), whom the duke had married in 1884. Empress Zita of Austria-Hungary was among twenty-three Louis’ siblings.

Princess Maria of Savoy

Fifteen years her groom’s junior, Princess Maria was born at Rome on 26 December 1914 as the fourth daughter and fifth (and youngest) child of King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy (1869 – 1947) and his wife Queen Elena (1873 – 1952; née Princess of Montenegro). Maria’s older siblings included King Umberto II of Italy and Queen Giovanna of Bulgaria.

The happy newlyweds!

After their wedding, Louis and Maria of Bourbon-Parma set off for a honeymoon that began in Belgium and ended in Mozambique, where Louis’ family had a plantation. The couple settled at Cannes when they returned to Europe. Their life together was just beginning, and World War II brought many trials to the couple and their immediate family. More on that later…

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