29 OCTOBER 2007

One of the most glittering society weddings of the year took place at the weekend when PR businessman Anthony Bailey – a former pizza parlour assistant turned self-made millionaire - wed his regal love Princess Marie Therese von Hohenberg of Austria. The couple, who first met 14 years ago but began dating last year, exchanged vows in front of a host of dignitaries including Lord Nicholas Windsor.

Marie-Therese, an architect and direct descendant of the former royal dynasty which ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire, no doubt took the groom's breath away as she arrived in a lace gown with sweeping veil and train. She was followed by several little bridesmaids and pageboys, all smartly turned out in the Austrian national colours of red and white.

Six hundred guests were invited to the ceremony at the Abbey of St Peter's in Salzburg, which was followed by a reception in the Salzburg Festival Hall and a white tie ball at the country's former royal palace, the Residence of Salzburg. The festivities are reported to have cost over £1 million.

Among the wedding party were, of course, Anthony's parents - Colin, a retired engineer, and Irish-born Veronica, who has worked with foster children. The couple had previously admitted to being stunned when their son announced his engagement to the 35-year-old descendent of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the assassination of whom triggered WWI. Anthony, 37, who started dating Marie-Therese last year, proposed to her at his holiday home in Portugal on New Year's Eve.

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The Austrian princess and her self-made millionaire love tied the knot in St Peter's Abbey in SalzburgPhoto: © Rex
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The young couple's parents, Prince Peter von Hohenberg and Princess Christine (left) and Veronica and Colin Bailey, joined the newlyweds in an official photo Photo: © Rex
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Thirty-five-year-old Princess Marie-Therese was every inch the radiant bride in a stunning lace confection as she left the abbey with her new husband Anthony Photo: © Rex