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Bavaria turns back clock for royal wedding in Munich

May 20, 2023

Ludwig Prince of Bavaria and his bride Sophie-Alexandra Evekink, who briefly collapsed during the service, have held a public marriage ceremony in Munich. One newspaper called the couple "the German Kate and William."

Ludwig Prince of Bavaria and his wife Sophie-Alexandra Princess of Bavaria
The newlyweds kiss near the churchImage: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa/picture alliance

Ludwig Prince of Bavaria, great-great-grandson of the last Bavarian King Ludwig III, held a public wedding ceremony with his bride, Sophie-Alexandra Evekink, who was born in 1989 to a Dutch-Canadian family, in Munich on Saturday.

Legally, the couple were already married, having held a private ceremony in December.

Traditional Bavaria goes back to its roots

Ludwig is a representative of the House of Wittelsbach, which ruled Bavaria until the end of the monarchy in 1918.

The wedding ceremony was performed in the Theatine Church by the Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Reinhard Marx. 

Deutschland Wittelsbacher-Hochzeit in München | Kardinal Marx
The state's most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Friesing, conducted the ceremonyImage: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa/picture alliance

The church itself has royal connections, having been commissioned and built to honor the long-awaited birth of a male heir to Bavaria's crown in the second half of the 17th century. 

A large brass band on the Odeonsplatz square in front of the Theatine Church in Munich, along with members of the crowd. A large Bavarian state flag can also be prominently seen near the center of the frame.
Bavaria's state flags were flying around the Odeonsplatz square, and regional brass bands provided a soundtrack for the throwback celebrationImage: Felix Hörhager/dpa/picture alliance

Even the transportation had a classic Bavarian feel to it, as the couple was chauffeured away in a 1950s prototype BMW 505 Pullman limousine, which never went into mass production.

It was designed originally as a potential alternative to then-Chancellor Konrad Adenauer's Mercedes government limo, but the first post-war chancellor ultimately chose to stick with Mercedes, purportedly because he caught his hat on the roof edge when exiting the vehicle after a test ride.

Guests enter the church building, with a BMW 505 Pullman Limousine, the wedding car, parked outside awaiting the couple
There's some dispute as to whether only one BMW 505 Pullman, or possibly two, were ever built, but the whereabouts of only one is accounted forImage: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa/picture alliance

Brief faint adds a shock to ceremony, but Ludwig didn't drop the ball

Soon after saying "I do" (or, strictly speaking, after saying "yes" in a German ceremony), according to some of the roughly 1,000 guests, Sophie-Alexandra briefly appeared to faint and fall backward. 

German mass-circulation daily Bild, which is often more than happy to pick up on royal news from anywhere on the planet, cited a "godfather" from the ceremony as saying: "The bride fell backwards, but the bridegroom caught her. The groomsmen also rushed to help. We're pleased that soon after she appeared absolutely fine again." 

According to the accounts, after some glucose and a sip of cola, the bride was quickly back on her feet. 

Bild described Saturday's ceremony as "the biggest German royal event of the year" and the couple as "the German William and Kate," in reference to the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Ludwig Prince of Bavaria and his wife Sophie-Alexandra Princess of Bavaria
Ludwig Prince of Bavaria and his wife Sophie-Alexandra Princess of Bavaria come out of the Theatinerkirche after their church weddingImage: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa/picture alliance

The 40-year-old groom appeared early in the morning with his mother Beatrix, in a classic cutaway. His father, Luitpold von Bayern, accompanied the bride's mother, Veronica Taylor.

The bride, who is a criminology PhD student in Oxford, arrived just before the wedding ceremony, in a white classical dress. The long, delicate bridal veil was attached to the bride's head with a tiara.

The filigree piece was created by a Ukrainian designer who also incorporated hidden Canadian and Dutch details.

Archbishop Marx greeted the bride on Odeonsplatz, the square where the Theatine Church is situated. Then the bride moved into the baroque building alongside her father Dorus Evekink, while the bells rang festively.

Approximately 1,000 guests were present in the church, including representatives of well-known aristocratic houses such as Esterhazy, Habsburg, Saxe-Coburg, Fugger and Liechtenstein.

The church wedding of Ludwig Prince of Bavaria and Sophie-Alexandra Evekink in Munich
Markus Söder (CSU), Prime Minister of Bavaria, and his wife Karin come to the church wedding of Ludwig Prince of Bavaria and Sophie-Alexandra EvekinkImage: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa/picture alliance

Politicians like Bavarian Premier Markus Söderwere also among the guests. The wedding continued a "beautiful tradition," said Söder. It was "a nice day for all of us," he added. 

dh/msh (dpa, Reuters)

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