The German House of Hanover hasn't technically ruled over a kingdom in over a century, but the deposed royal family can still churn up some imperial drama and drag a good chunk of the rest of European royalty into it. Over the weekend, Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Jr. married his longtime girlfriend Ekaterina Malysheva, a Russian-born designer of catsuits, in a lavish televised ceremony that kicked of ten days of planned celebrations. Though, the event was somewhat overshadowed by the groom's father Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Sr.'s last minute decision to publicly oppose the marriage and decision not to attend.
If you're familiar with the name Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Sr.'s name it may be because he's the estranged husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco (yes, Grace Kelly's eldest daughter). The couple wed in 1999, but have been separated since 2009 (Ernst Jr. is the product of his father's first marriage to Swiss heiress Chantal Hochuli). Caroline didn't attend either, but seemed to signal her support by allowing her children, the groom's glamorous step and half-siblings, to attend.
Ernst Sr.'s public disapproval had nothing to do with his son's choice of bride, so hopefully any possible reconciliation won't lead to any awkward family holidays. Thirty-three-year-old Ernst Jr. and 31-year-old Malysheva had been dating for about eight years after reportedly meeting at a party in London. Though born in Russia, Malysheva was raised in the Czech Republic and studied fashion in London. Her colorful high end catsuit line, Ekat, is a festival girl favorite and has been worn by the like of Sienna Miller and Miley Cyrus. Malysheva herself got the idea for the line after she was complimented on her own catsuits while attending Burning Man.
She also once shared her Halloween tips and style secrets with W (amongst the things she always has in her bag: "lots of other crap I don’t need.").
So, she might not be your traditional prince's bride, but Ernst Sr.'s seems to be fine with the actual pairing.
What he's really upset with is his property. Basically, the man wants his castle.
Back in 2004, when Ernst, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, was dealing with tax issues he passed a lot of his property over to his son and would now like it back, thank you very much.
“The decision was not easy for me because it concerns my son,” he told a German newspaper while making his intent to snub the nuptials public. “But I am constrained to preserve the interests of the House of Hanover and the property, including cultural property, which has been its property for centuries.”
Amongst those properties is the Marienburg castle which once served as the center of Government for the former Kingdom of Hanover (one of several independent Kingdoms that now make up the country we know as Germany). The younger Ernst refused to give it back, and, actually held his wedding dinner at that castle.
Now, as for the actual wedding, Ernst and Ekaterina held a lowkey civil ceremony last Thursday on July 6th, but kicked off the big shebang with the televised church ceremony at Hanover's Market Church before 600 guests, according to People.
The bride wore a traditional gown created by her friend Sandra Mansour, but her ensemble included a special royal touch. People reports that her veil was topped with, "a diadem created for the May 1913 wedding of Princess Victoria Luise, daughter of Germany’s last Kaiser, for her wedding to Ernst August III, the groom’s great-grandfather."
After the ceremony the couple departed in a horse drawn carriage while being heralded by a 100-member honor guard. Later they rejoined guests for lunch at Herrenhauser Gardens and then held a formal dinner at the castle the groom's father so earnestly wants back.
Guests included, Princess Alexandra of Hanover, the groom's 17-year-old half-sister and the result of Ernst Jr. and Caroline's marriage. Princess Caroline's jet setting children from her previous marriage to Italian socialite Stefano Casiraghi also attended with their glamorous spouses. That squad included Prince Andrea Casiraghi and wife Tatiana Santo Domingo, Prince Pierre Casiraghi and wife Beatrice Borromeo (who had their own lavish wedding just two summers ago), and Princess Charlotte Casiraghi.
Other attendees included the groom's brother Prince Christian of Hanover and his fiancee Alessadra de Osma, Prince Georg Friedrich Ferdinand Prince of Prussia and his wife Princess Sophie of Prussia, Prince Maximilian Andreas Markgraf von Baden and his wife Valerie Isabella Habsburg-Lothringen, and Elisabeth of Thurn and Taxis.
Though, fathers staying off the guest list seems to be something of a House of Hanover tradition. Prince Ernst Sr's first marriage was also snubbed by his father.
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