Robbi Perna - Author and Lecturer
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Ballroom decorations for the Royal Wedding

Post holiday blahs affect us all and we think of ways to combat them...like eating turkey sandwiches to prolong the festive atmosphere.  At least, I tell myself that's what those dry, stick in the throat offerings do.  Instead, how about attending a wedding?  Here's an offer you can't refuse!
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     His Majesty Vittorio Emanuele wished to have no delay in the wedding of Prince Umberto and Princess Margherita.  On April 21, the Crown Prince and his chosen bride signed the marriage contract in the Palazzo Reale in Turin.  The Piedmontese aristocracy, the official representatives of the new government, members of the diplomatic corps with their wives, and the delegates charged by foreign Sovereigns with their congratulations on the happy event thronged the ballroom.

    An army of designers and servants had transformed the normal décor of the great ballroom into a rich five thousand square foot conservatory.  Large jardinières filled with mature Italian Cypress trees, profusions of flowers, fruit trees, and ornate water features vied for attention with the gilt and white interior.  The fluted Cararra marble columns with their gold Corinthian capitals framed mirrored alcoves that reflected back the scenes of nature watched over by classical maidens who danced in the frieze that circled the room above the windows and arches. 

     Overhead, coffers separated by heavily carved gilt moldings and set with neoclassical motifs made from paper-mache centered into each box provided a rectangular frame for the center panel with its bright colored mural showing the Hours dancing around the allegory of time in the presences of Apollo and the Muses at a feast of the gods.  The loggia on the second level above the thrones glimmered with gold railings.  An orchestra would play musical selections for the guests who remained after the ceremony. (Read the full account of the wedding in Chapter Five)
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