Astrid and Lorenz are full of praise for their future son-in-law

"William has many similarities with Maria Laura's father, Lorenz. And my daughter has always admired her father," said Princess Astrid this Friday during a press conference in the Cathedral of Saints-Michel- et-Gudule, in the heart of Brussels, where the wedding will take place.

Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz said they were looking forward to the wedding. Their daughter, they said, insisted on getting married in Brussels, while she and her partner live and work in London.

Family and friends are also closely involved in organizing the festivities, which is very important to the parents of the future bride. "The preparations are part of the party," says the princess.

The princely couple is full of praise for William, their future son-in-law. They find him courageous, hardworking, athletic, resolute and endowed with a good sense of humor. "He is like a son to us," adds the princess. "Almost," joked Prince Lorenz.

Lorenz and his wife first met their future son-in-law a year ago in Basel, Switzerland. "I immediately hit it off with him," Archduke Lorenz continues. Princess Astrid sees many similarities between William and her husband and therefore understands the choice of her daughter.

Like her parents who got married there on September 22, 1984, the civil marriage will be celebrated at Brussels City Hall. The ceremony, which should last half an hour, will however be intimate. Alongside Astrid and Lorenz and their children, King Albert II and Queen Paola, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, Prince Laurent and Princess Claire as well as Princess Delphine will also attend the ceremony.

The religious wedding will be celebrated, meanwhile, in the course of the afternoon by the Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Mgr Jozef de Kesel, in front of 500 guests gathered in the cathedral of Saints-Michel-et-Gudule. The ceremony, which will begin at 2:30 p.m. and should last 1 hour 15 minutes, will be punctuated by Catholic and Jewish songs.

Maria Laura, 34, is the eldest daughter of Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz. She lives and works in London. Her fiancé, William Isvy, 30, was born in Paris to a British mother and a Franco-Moroccan father. The young man spent most of his childhood in London and then studied finance in Montreal, Canada. He currently works in London in asset management. The couple share a common passion for travel and tennis.