The Story of Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise—Part 6: Marie Louise Marries Aribert


Princess Marie Louise during her wedding day, flanked by her entourage
The following month Queen Victoria invited Aribert to visit Osborne for her usual inspection of future grandsons and found him entirely suitable. English journalists, however, were less convinced. Even before his arrival, newspapers hinted that there was something ‘not quite right’ about the ‘youthful lover’ but Marie Louise was enraptured and the family agreed with Marie Mallet’s opinion that ‘he really is extremely good looking even for a Prince.’ With the Queen’s blessing, plans were made for a July 6, 1891 wedding at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor. 




The celebrations coincided with a state visit from the Kaiser who ‘insisted on being present,’ though, for once, proud of his part in bringing the couple together, he behaved himself well. When the ceremonials were over, the newly married couple drove in an open carriage through the streets of Windsor, where crowds of Eton schoolboys who had been given a day off in honour of the occasion, gave them a warm reception. The set out for a honeymoon in Cliveden, and spent further ten days in Marie Louise’s childhood home, Cumberland Lodge, before embarking on a tour of Holland. In the autumn, Prince Aribert took his wife home to the quaint sleepy town of Dessau in eastern Germany.


The new couple spent part of their honeymoon in Bayreuth where Marie Louise met Cosima Wagner, widow of the famous composer, whom she befriended. Cosima introduced Marie Louise into her late husband's music. 


Prince and Princess Aribert, as the couple became known after their marriage, established their home in Dessau. However, the princess found new life quite stringent due to the severe etiquette of the court. Eventually, the couple did not live full time in Dessau but instead move to Berlin from time to time, where Aribert also maintained a residence. 

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