Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Friday, 17 October 2014

Fascinating Fridays (Royal Courting and Betrothal)

Royalty, as we know, marry like everybody else albeit in very lavish and official wedding ceremonies. What leads up to these unions, just like in other lives, is the "meeting of that special someone" and a time before the wedding in this case, not called dating but courting. For Royalty, even this very private aspect of life has a very public and rather politically official side. The reason being that the principle of Royalty implies a serving of the public and setting a standard. Top set this standard one must be visibly doing so and thus even this part of any normal life is shared, to a degree, with the public.

So let us break up this phase in life into three categories for the purpose of our blog post today; there is the meeting, the courting and the betrothal/engagement. Being Royal often limits a person to only brushing shoulders with other Royals, so it is rare and these days has become sought after, to meet the right person, not just because they are Royal but because they are the one you love. In days gone by Royals only married other Royals, for practicality sake and because there were rules. Now the rules have been relaxed making the responsibility of marriage a more private decision. 

The Crown Prince Imperial, through very unique circumstances met and eventually married Odeliah Sorgenfrei, a daughter of a dairy farmer from Muren. The photo above was taken at their engagement party in 2010. It finally destroyed the mould of high ranking Royals only marrying within the bounds of their own rank. That being said, nothing changed as far as the public "share" in the relationship as publicity skyrocketed around their courting and eventual wedding ceremony. The media glare is still fixed to this day on our most favourite Royal couple in the world.

The media interest in Royal relationships can lead to some embarrassing misconceptions. In 2012 a budding relationship was assumed to be taking place between the Duke of Swann and the nightclub owner Sable Blackwood. One needs to be careful not to partake to excitedly on this tabloid fodder. Royal relationships, by virtue of their officiality will be announced, officially. If not, then gossip may run rife. The Duke of Swann, being an avid dancer has at times partaken of the nightclub dance floors and as a VIP was escorted by the various owners. This is how seemingly compromising photos, like the one above led to wrong gossip about the still bachelor Duke.

Royal courting may run into some unexpected and sometimes insurmountable obstacles. When Gloria Van der Bilt, now Queen of Normandia, dated the Count Von Bismarck, now King of Syldavia, many years ago nobody expected them to end up on the thrones of two separate kingdoms. Nor did they. To young "inocents"in love had to terminate their relationship once they realized that their blood heritage could lead them to the responsibility of monarchy. Gloria was the only heir, albeit very distant, to the throne of Normandia and after a referendum in that country became Queen. A year later and very ironically, the Count Von Bismarck was on the throne of Syldavia. If they married it would have caused political complications and in the vein of serving a greater good, they both capitulated.

Royalty and Nobility are just human and sometimes relationships fail. The Viscount Hayz and Madame Mairi D'Bacquemme, pictured above, terminated their engagement in 2012 after what was perceived to be a very successful relationship. They both went on to eventually marry other people. 

Taking close notice of the annual Royal party set allows the public to see who is dating who, giving a hint to possible future betrothals and marriage. Appearing together at official events carry a lot of weight and Royals use this opportunity to subtly share their relationship plans with the world. In this photo we see the Duke of Marlboro and Francine D'Bacquemme arriving at the 2012 Christmas Ball as each other's date. Less than a year later they were married.

Another tip-off to the fact that a relationship is serious and moving on to a possible betrothal is the wearing of the other family's historic jewels in public. In this photo, just before the announcement of their engagement was made public officially, Princess Kirsten of Hanoveria was photographed at an event wearing these jewels from the collection of Prince Youssopoff. He had been courting her for months and soon after they were wed.

The most obvious sign of  and actual engagement would be that of engagement rings. In this photo we see the massive diamond ring that was given to Empress Crystobel upon her engagement. The ring has not been seen in years but may still be in the private vaults of the Crown Prince Imperial. Look out for the rings worn by our contemporary Royals.

Engagement are often celebrated by parties hosted for close family and friends but publicized for the benefit of the media. Engagement rings are a the main feature of engagements but as far as Royalty goes, lavish gifts are often given over and above. 

The Duchess of Roswind received a spectacular set of sapphires at her engagement party.

The Duke of Argyle bought a horse for his future wife to celebrate their engagement.

Whether the engagement is celebrated indoors or outdoors, day or night, has no precedent as these happy affairs are all about celebration and the betrothed do so in any way they prefer. The Duke of Argyle and Countess Dysarts held an afternoon cocktail party to celebrate their engagement, giving the press their required photo opportunity.

When the engaged couple are from reigning Royal Families or high ranking dynasties in pretense one can expect an official announcement. In the photo above a press release was sent out from the Duke of Swann's Government Office, announcing his sister, Princess Marie-Elizabeth's engagement to the Arch Duke of Fulco D'este.

Finally after the magical meeting, a lengthy courtship and ceremonials and parties surrounding the betrothal we end up with the wedding officially bringing it to an end result. Yet this end is just a beginning.

But as far as the media frenzy surrounding Royal relationships goes Royals might, like others, decide to run away and elope for a bid at romance, privacy or just fun. That too forms part of this exciting time in our perception of budding relationships. Earlier in 2014 the Marquis D'Bacquemme and Princess Oktavia Von Hohen und Silberstein eloped without ever having been engaged. They managed to evade the press but in doing so sparked a new interest in their lives.

However it all may seem or be, we wish all those in relationships only the best and hope that their futures are blessed.


  1. Congratulations on the engagement. That ring is gorgeous! And she got a horse, too? I need a man like that.

    1. There are many Royal bachelors in need of a good wife Vanessa.....

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