HRH Prince Albert, Prince of Liège and Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria
July 2, 1959
Today's post is a request which I am delighted to fulfill because I adore looking at early pictures of the lady we know today as Queen Paola of the Belgians. Paola was born in Tuscany to an Italian princely family; her father was Prince Fulco Ruffo di Calabria, Duke of Guardia Lombarda. She met Prince Albert, second son of King Leopold III of the Belgians, at the coronation of Pope John XXIII and married him less than a year later.
For her Brussels wedding, Paola's gown was made of specially woven heavy satin. The dress features a 5 meter long train and a bow at the waist accented with a small brooch. The standout feature is her veil, a family heirloom first worn by her Belgian grandmother and made, so fittingly, of wonderful Brussels lace.
Since Paola brought the veil "home", the family tradition has continued with her daughter and two daughters-in-law wearing it at their weddings. Paola wore a small cluster of orange blossoms in lieu of a tiara with her grand veil.
What do you think of Paola's wedding gown?