Sunday, June 23, 2013

Portraits of Princess Marie-José

Here are two contrasting portraits of the daughter of Albert and Elisabeth of Belgium who became Italy's last queen. The second picture, from 1935, is very sombre and perhaps reflects the suffering the princess endured in that period. The years leading up to the Second World War were marked by the loss of her father and her sister-in-law, Astrid of Belgium, as well as by marital unhappiness and growing concern at the political situation in Italy and Europe as a whole. Marie-José's face almost appears tear-streaked. In the first picture, on the other hand, she somehow seems more cheerful and outgoing.


MadMonarchist said...

Gorgeous. I've read several times about swipes at the Queen's appearance ... and I've never understood it. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but, still, I just don't see what some others do I guess.

May said...

I think she was a very beautiful woman. However, there are some pictures where, perhaps because of health issues, her face seems a bit swollen and that makes her features less distinct and her beauty less apparent as a result.