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During the reign of Maria Theresa the Hall of Ceremonies was used for smaller ceremonial festivities and to celebrate occasions such as christenings or weddings. The cycle of paintings hanging in this room depicts the wedding celebrations held on the occasion of the marriage of Maria Theresa’s eldest son and heir, Joseph, to the Bourbon princess Isabella of Parma. The cycle includes what is probably the most well-known portrait of the monarch depicting her as the “First Lady of Europe” in a sumptuous gown of Brabant bobbin lace. To the left, the largest of these paintings shows the bridal procession with a train of 98 carriages. All the wedding guests, which included the entire high aristocracy of Europe, can be identified by the coats of arms on their carriages.
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