The religious marriage of the heir to the House of Mecklenburg, the Hereditary Prince Alexander, and Hereditary Princess Hande took place today at the City Church in the City of Residence of Neustrelitz.
Around 500 guests were present inside the church for the wedding ceremony of whom around 130 were especially invited, the remainder were members of the general public who were free to come and witness the historic event. The wedding was the first royal marriage to have taken place in Neustrelitz in over 100 years, the last such occasion being in 1914 when Duchess Marie, the daughter of Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V, was married to Prince Julius Ernst of Lippe.
The last occasion a member of the House of Mecklenburg had married in the Mecklenburg altogether was 79 years ago, when Duchess Anastasia of Mecklenburg-Schwerin married Prince Friedrich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein at Wiligrad near Schwerin in 1943.
The wedding ceremony was conducted according to rites of the Roman Catholic Church by Father Bernhard Szymanski from Neustrelitz and Father Sjaak de Boer from Rotterdam where the Hereditary Prince and Hereditary Princess currently live. Members of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz have belonged to the Roman Catholic faith since the conversion from Lutheranism of the Hereditary Prince’s great grandfather Duke Georg in 1920. The witnesses at the wedding today were Laura van Lankaren and Zwentibald van Blokland, friends of the Hereditary Prince and Hereditary Princess.
The organ was played by Lukas Storch during the wedding ceremony. The organ dates back to the 1893 golden wedding anniversary of Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm and Grand Duchess Augusta. The Grand Duchess was born a Princess of Great Britain and these historic ties to the British Royal Family were acknowledged during the service with a moment of remembrance observed in memory of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
During the ceremony the Italian mezzo soprano Countess Maria Tedeschi, née Ratkova, sung “Ave Maria”, while “Panis Angelicus” was later sung by her husband the Italian tenor Count Giuseppe Tedeschi, who was also jointly representing Prince Nikola of Montenegro at the wedding along with Nobile Dr. Alessio Butti.
Members of the House of Mecklenburg who were present at the wedding were the Hereditary Prince’s parents the Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg, his sister Duchess Olga, his brother Duke Michael, his aunts Duchess Marie Katharina and Duchess Irene who were both accompanied by their husbands Wolfgang von Wasielewski and Constantin Harmsen, and from the Schwerin branch, Duchess Donata accompanied by her husband Alexander von Solodkoff.