For the Fête Impériale, Vienna’s famous summer ball, the Spanish Riding School’s director general Elisabeth Gürtler, gathered about 2000 people to celebrate in the royal mews of the Hofburg. At the 7th edition of the ball the celebrity density was – as usual – very high, among the guest were also two members of the Danish royal family: Princess Benedikte of Denmark, sister of Queen Margrethe II, and her daughter, princess Nathalie Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.
Princess Benedikte of Denmark and daughter Princess Nathalie Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
A Goose-ful Opening
For the opening ceremony, dancing school owner Thomas Schäfer-Elmayer instructed 60 debutant couples to dance to a polka from Johann Strauss. The singing from sopranist Daniela Fally was accompanied by 8 gooses, that waddled on the dance floor. At last the ballet from the opera of Graz staged a waltz by Hans Christian Lumbye.
Elisabeth Gürtler – Austria’s Most Famous Host
The host of the Fête Impèriale, Elisabeth Gürtler, is also managing director of Hotel Sacher, Austria’s world famous luxury hotel, and the corresponding restaurant and coffee house, know for it’s traditional cake, the Sachertorte. From 1999 she was the organizer of the Opernball until she layed down her office in 2007 and became director of the Spanish Riding School. The entrepreneuse is well-known for hosting her majestic balls which are always high-class parties. Elisabeth Gürtler wore a custom-made dress by Lena Hoschek which will be auctioned for charity.
Elisabeth Gürtler and Princess Benedikte of Denmark
A Star-Studded Riding School
Of course, the creme de la creme of Austria’s high society did not want to miss out on the summer ball. Among the guests were politicians, musicians, actors, business people, sportspeople and other celebrities such as Harald Serafin, Arabella Kiesbauer, Karl Schranz, Lena Hoschek, Sophie Karmasin, Werner Fasslabend and many more.
See all the celebrities and their beautiful red carpet looks below!
Ingeborg and Harald Serafin
Karl Schranz (right) with a Kaiser Franz Josef lookalike
TV host Arabella Kiesbauer and her husband
Daniela Fally, Alexandra Meissnitzer, Karl Schranz and his wife
Sophie Karmasin with her husband
Singer Gregor Glanz with his girlfriend
Karl Schranz & wife with minister Andrae Rupprechter & wife
All Pictures (c) by APA/Hans Punz