Engagement Ball of Hereditary Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg and Princess Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium, 1953

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Embed from Getty Images

The Engagement Ball of Hereditary Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, the son of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg and Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma, and Princess Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium (wearing her Sapphire Bracelet), daughter of King Leopold III of Belgium and late Princess Astrid of Sweden, at the Royal Palace of Brussels on this day in 1953, ahead of their Wedding that April. From Luxarazzi

Some time in November 1953, a 26-year-old Princess Joséphine-Charlotte sat down on her father’s lap to tell him that she had gotten engagement. “To whom?”, asked the surprised King Leopold III of Belgium and his daughter smilingly answered “To Jean of Luxembourg.”

Rumors of a Belgian-Luxembourg engagement began appearing in the press in November 1952. While Joséphine-Charlotte and Jean were indeed officially engaged the previous month, the engagement was not made official to the public until December 26, 1952. The April 9, 1953 wedding date was announced the following day.

Even though rumours of the engagement between the Belgian princess and the heir to the Luxembourgish throne instantly made it into the press, the public had to wait for an official announcement until December 26th. The young couple were frenetically celebrated by the Belgian crowds when they appeared on the balcony of the royal palace in Brussels. In the evening, a ball was held in honour of the newly engaged couple

A ball was held in Brussels to celebrate the event. Speculation began early on that the match had been arranged for political reasons. The pro- moters of the union were believed to be Dowager Queen Elisabeth and Grand Duchess Charlotte. The press seemed to conclude somewhat harshly that if the pairing was indeed arranged, the marriage would, therefore, be unhappy and loveless. At various times both Jean and Joséphine-Charlotte were said to have fallen in love and wanted to marry commoners but were prevented from doing so by their disapproving families.

Still, other news reports portrayed Jean and Joséphine-Charlotte as long-time sweethearts, as a surprising love match that bloomed after a lifetime of casual friendship, or as each other’s best options in a limited royal dating pool. Whatever the background of their engagement, Jean and Joséphine-Charlotte gave the impression of a happy couple during their engagement.


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