Category Archives: British Royals

Wedding of King Haakon VII of Norway and Princess Maud of Wales

by Susan Flantzer

Painting by Laurits Tuxen, 1897; Credit – Wikipedia

King Haakon VII of Norway, Prince Carl of Denmark at the time, and Princess Maud of Wales were married in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 22, 1896.

Carl’s Early Life

Standing, left to right: Crown Prince Frederik (King Frederik VIII), Princess Louise, Prince Carl King Haakon VII) Sitting, left to right: Princess Ingeborg,  Crown Princess Louise (Queen Louise), Princess Thyra, Prince Harald and Prince Christan (King Christian X); 1886; Photo Credit –

Born Prince Carl of Denmark (Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel) at the Charlottenlund Palace on August 3, 1872, he was the second son of the four sons and the second of the eight children of King Frederik VIII of Denmark and Princess Louise of Sweden. At the time of his birth, his paternal grandfather King Christian IX of Denmark sat upon the Danish throne and his maternal grandfather King Carl XV of Sweden and Norway sat upon the Swedish throne. Carl was related to many European royals via his paternal uncles and aunts and had many royal first cousins including King George V of the United Kingdom, King Constantine I of Greece, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and his future wife Princess Maud of Wales. Carl’s elder brother was King Christian X of Denmark who reigned from 1912 – 1947.

Prince Carl grew up with his seven siblings at his parents’ residence Frederik VIII’s Palace at Amalienborg in Copenhagen and in the family’s summer residence Charlottenlund Palace, north of Copenhagen. As a younger son, it was expected that he would have a career in the military and he trained as a naval officer at the Royal Danish Naval Academy in Copenhagen. He served as a lieutenant and participated in several sailing expeditions with the Royal Danish Navy from 1893 until 1905. In 1905, Carl became King of Norway, taking the name Haakon VII.

Maud’s Early Life

Standing, left to right: Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence; Princess Maud (Queen Maud of Norway), Alexandra, Princess of Wales (Queen Alexandra); Princess Louise (Princess Royal); Edward, Prince of Wales (King Edward VII); Sitting, left to right: Prince George (King George V); Princess Victoria; 1889


Princess Maud of Wales (Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria) was born on November 26, 1869 at Marlborough House in London, England. She was the third and youngest daughter and the fifth of the six children of the Prince and Princess of Wales (the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Princess Alexandra of Denmark, daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark). Princess Maud had five siblings including the future King George V of the United Kingdom. Maud’s mother was a paternal aunt of her future husband. At the time of her birth, Maud’s grandmother Queen Victoria sat upon the British throne.

Growing up, Maud was the most exuberant of the three sisters and was known as Harry in the family. She developed a one-sided romance with Prince Francis of Teck, the brother of her future sister-in-law Mary of Teck. Maud and Francis exchanged a couple of letters, but it was soon apparent that Francis was not interested in Maud.

The Engagement

Engagement photograph with the bride’s parents, Queen Alexandra and King Edward VII (Photo: W&D Downey, London, The Royal Court Photo Archive); Photo Credit –

Because Maud’s mother was a Danish Princess, Maud visited her Danish relatives often and was familiar with her first cousin Prince Carl of Denmark, who was three years younger than her. They had played together with their other cousins at family reunions held in Denmark at Fredensborg Castle and Bernstorff Castle. There had been family gossip that Maud and Carl might marry, so it was not all that surprising when Carl proposed to Maud during a family reunion at Fredensborg Castle and Maud accepted. On October 29, 1895, the couple’s engagement was announced. Maud’s mother had some concerns about the age difference, but Maud realized Carl would make a good husband for her. She loved the sea and sailing, so a husband who was in the navy would be quite appropriate.

Maud’s grandmother Queen Victoria was delighted. Marie Mallet, who served as Maid of Honour and Extra Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria from 1887-1900 wrote in her diary that Maud’s engagement “…caused much excitement at Balmoral…and has been the cause of much telegraphing…The Queen is delighted and healths were drunk at dinner.” The Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII) gave his daughter Appleton House on the Sandringham Estate for Maud to use on her visits to England.

Carl had responsibilities to the Danish Royal Navy. He was due to go on a five-month assignment to the West Indies, so the wedding was scheduled for the next summer, on July 22, 1896.

Earlier in 1896, Prince Henry of Battenberg, the husband of Maud’s paternal aunt Princess Beatrice, had died. Henry had persuaded Queen Victoria to allow him to go to West Africa to fight in the Anglo-Ashanti Wars. He arrived in Africa on Christmas Day of 1895. By January 10, 1896, Henry was sick with malaria and it was decided to send him back to England, but Henry died aboard the ship HMS Blonde off the coast of Sierra Leone on January 20, 1896. There were conflicts in the family over whether the marriage should take place during the mourning period. Finally, it was decided that the wedding should go on as planned and that Princess Beatrice and her children would not attend.

Wedding Guests

Family of the Groom

Princess Frederick of Schaumburg-Lippe, born Princess Louise of Denmark, sister of the groom and first cousin of the bride, 1895; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

  • Crown Prince Frederik (father of the groom, uncle of the bride, the future King Frederik VIII of Denmark)
  • Crown Princess Louise of Denmark (mother of the groom, born Princess Louise of Sweden)
  • Prince Christian of Denmark (brother of the groom, first cousin of the bride, the future King Christian X of Denmark)
  • Princess Frederick of Schaumburg-Lippe (sister of the groom, first cousin of the bride, born Princess Louise of Denmark)
  • Prince Frederick of Schaumburg-Lippe (brother-in-law of the groom)
  • Prince Harald of Denmark (brother of the groom, first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Ingeborg of Denmark (sister of the groom, first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Thyra of Denmark (sister of the groom, first cousin of the bride)
  • Prince Gustav of Denmark (brother of the groom, first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Dagmar of Denmark (sister of the groom, first cousin of the bride)

Family of the Bride

Queen Victoria, grandmother of the bride, 1897; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

  • Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (grandmother of the bride)
  • The Prince of Wales (father of the bride, the future King Edward VII of the United Kingdom)
  • The Princess of Wales (mother of the bride, aunt of the groom, born Princess Alexandra of Denmark)
  • The Duke of York (brother of the bride, first cousin of the groom, the future King George V of the United Kingdom )
  • The Duchess of York (sister-in-law of the bride, born Princess Victoria Mary of Teck)
  • Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife (sister of the bride, first cousin of the groom)
  • Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife (brother-in-law of the bride)
  • Lady Alexandra Duff (niece of the bride)
  • Princess Victoria of Wales (sister of the bride, first cousin of the groom)
  • Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke of Edinburgh (uncle of the bride)
  • The Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess of Edinburgh (born Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia)
  • Hereditary Prince Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (aunt of the bride, born Princess Helena)
  • Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (husband of Princess Helena)
  • Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Aribert of Anhalt (first cousin of the bride, born Prince Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein)
  • Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne (aunt of the bride)
  • John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne (husband of Princess Louise, the future 9th Duke of Argyll)
  • Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught (uncle of the bride)
  • The Duchess of Connaught (born Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia)
  • Prince Arthur of Connaught (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Margaret of Connaught (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Patricia of Connaught (first cousin of the bride)
  • Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Alice of Albany (first cousin of the bride)
  • The Duchess of Albany (widow of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, born Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont)

Other Relatives

Crown Prince Constantine I of Greece, first cousin of both the bride and the groom, 1890s; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

  • Crown Prince Constantine of Greece (first cousin of the bride and the groom, the future King Constantine I of Greece)
  • Crown Princess Sophie of Greece (first cousin of the bride, born Princess Sophie of Prussia)
  • Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark (first cousin of the bride and the groom)
  • Prince Heinrich of Prussia (first cousin of the bride, representing his brother Wilhelm II, German Emperor)
  • Grand Duke Ernst of Hesse and by Rhine (first cousin of the bride)
  • Grand Duchess Victoria Melita of Hesse and by Rhine (first cousin of the bride, born Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh)
  • Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna of Russia (first cousin of the bride, born Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine)
  • Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovich of Russia (husband of Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine)
  • Prince Friedrich Karl of Hesse
  • Princess Friedrich Karl of Hesse (first cousin of the bride, born Princess Margarete of Prussia)
  • Prince George, Duke of Cambridge (Queen Victoria’s first cousin)
  • The Duchess of Teck (Queen Victoria’s first cousin, mother of the Duchess of York, born Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge)
  • The Duke of Teck (father of the Duchess of York)
  • Prince Adolphus of Teck (brother of the Duchess of York)
  • Princess Adolphus of Teck (born Lady Margaret Grosvenor)
  • Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (widow of the son of Queen Victoria’s half-sister Princess Feodora of Leiningen)
  • Count Edward Gleichen (son of Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg)
  • Countess Feodora Gleichen (daughter of Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg)
  • Countess Valda Gleichen (daughter of Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg)
  • Countess Helena Gleichen (daughter of Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg)

Other Royals

  • Crown Prince Gustaf of Sweden (the future King Gustaf V of Sweden)
  • Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
  • Princess Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (born Princess Louise of Belgium)
  • Princess Elisabeth of Waldeck and Pyrmont
  • Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar (born Lady Augusta Gordon-Lennox)

Wedding Attendants



  • Princess Victoria of Wales (sister of the bride)
  • Princess Ingeborg of Denmark (sister of the groom)
  • Princess Thyra of Denmark (sister of the groom)
  • Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Margaret of Connaught (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Patricia of Connaught (first cousin of the bride)
  • Princess Alice of Albany (first cousin of the bride)
  • Lady Alexandra Duff (the bride’s niece)

Supporters of the Groom

  • Prince Christian of Denmark (brother of the groom)
  • Prince Harald of Denmark (brother of the groom)

Prince Christian and Prince Carl arrive at Buckingham Palace; Credit – Illustrated London News

Wedding Attire


Princess Maud wanted to dress in a simple fashion. Her dress, designed by Miss Rosalie Whyte of the Royal Female School of Art, had a long train and was made of pure white English satin that had been woven in Spitalfields, a section of London known for its weaving. Maud wore her mother’s veil and instead of a tiara, she wore flowers in her hair. Her jewelry was simple, a choker necklace and several bracelets, and she carried a bouquet of orange blossoms, German myrtle, and a mixture of white jessamine.

The bridesmaids wore white dresses trimmed with red geraniums while the Carl wore his Royal Danish Navy uniform.

Wedding Ceremony

 The Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace


The wedding was held in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace in London, England at 12:30 PM on July 22, 1896, a sunny and pleasant day. It was a family affair, rather than a state occasion. Queen Victoria was already at Buckingham Palace, so she made no public appearance during the wedding procession. The streets of London were decorated with British and Danish flags and flowers. Two military units, the Life Guards and the Coldstream Guards, lined the short distance from Marlborough House, the home of Maud’s parents, and Buckingham Palace. Crowds gathered near the Palace in anticipation of the procession.

Early arrivals to the Palace included minor members of the British royal family and foreign royals. First in the carriage procession was the groom with his parents Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Louise and his brothers Prince Christian and Prince Harald. The Princess of Wales and the children of Queen Victoria, accompanied by their children, came next. When the royals, with the exception of the bride’s procession, had gathered at the palace, Queen Victoria led the family into the Private Chapel, accompanied by two of her grandsons, Prince Arthur of Connaught and Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein. Then Prince Carl and his brothers entered the chapel, heading up to the altar to wait for the bride. Maud accompanied by her father The Prince of Wales and her eight bridesmaids were the last to leave Marlborough House.

The wedding ceremony was conducted by Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury assisted by Frederick Temple, Bishop of London and Randall Thomas Davidson, Bishop of Winchester. The musicians and choir of the Chapel Royal of St. James’s Palace provided the music during the ceremony. The newlyweds left the chapel the famous wedding march by Felix Mendelssohn from his suite of incidental music to Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The wedding march had become popular after it was used at the wedding of Maud’s aunt Victoria, Princess Royal and the future Friedrich, German Emperor. After signing the wedding registry with 50 other royals, chatting animatedly for several minutes, and embracing the bride and groom, Queen Victoria left and did not attend the wedding luncheon.

Wedding Luncheon

 The State Dining Room at Buckingham Palace


Two luncheons were held at Buckingham Palace: one in the State Dining Room for the royal guests and one in the State Ballroom for everyone else. After that, the newlyweds and The Prince and Princess of Wales greeted guests in a receiving line in the Picture Gallery. Later in the afternoon, The Prince and Princess of Wales hosted a garden party at Marlborough House.

Carl and Maud’s wedding cake; Photo Credit –

A publication of the day described the wedding cake: “…the separate tiers were encircled with white satin ribbon bordered with pearls, trimmed with bridal buds and tied in true lovers’ knots: a triumphant god of love surmounting the whole structure bore aloft a delicate nautilus shell, from which fell festoons of silver bullion and fragile seaweed.”

At 2:45 PM, the bridal party departed Buckingham Palace and went the long way around via Piccadilly and St. James Street. The streets were beautifully decorated with bunting, flags, and flowers. People lined the streets and the windows of clubs and other buildings along the route were filled with cheering people.

The Honeymoon

Later, Maud and Carl left Marlborough House for St. Pancras Station to board a special train for the railway station in Wolferton, Norfolk, the nearest station to Sandringham House. The newlyweds were to spend a short honeymoon at Appleton House on the Sandringham Estate, the house that Maud’s father had given her as a wedding gift. However, the short honeymoon turned a five-month honeymoon. Some family members had been concerned that Maud would have difficulty leaving England, and that was proving to be true.

Three weeks after the wedding, the Danish Royal Family all met at Bernstorff Castle, ready to welcome the newlyweds to Denmark. Maud’s mother and sister, The Princess of Wales and Princess Victoria, arrived at Bernstorff Castle at the end of August. Maud wrote to her grandmother Queen Victoria that they were going to Denmark in the beginning of September. Family members began arriving in Denmark, expecting to see Carl and Maud. King George I of Greece (Maud and Carl’s uncle) arrived at Berstorff Castle in early September. Within a few days, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (Maud and Carl’s first cousin) and his wife Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna (Maud’s first cousin) arrived and there was still no sign of Maud and Carl in Denmark. Maud and Carl were still in England on December 14 when the family gathered at Frogmore for the annual remembrance ceremony for Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s late husband.

Carl’s leave from the navy was nearly over and it was imperative they leave for Denmark, which they did on December 21, 1896. Maud never did get used to the harsh Danish winters and visited her England as often as she could.


King Haakon VII, Queen Maud, and Crown Prince Olav, July 17, 1913; Credit – Wikipedia

In 1905, upon the dissolution of the Union between Sweden and Norway, the Norwegian government began searching for candidates to become King of Norway. Because of his descent from prior Norwegian monarchs, as well as his wife’s British connections, Carl was the overwhelming favorite. Before accepting, Carl insisted that the voices of the Norwegian people be heard in regards to retaining a monarchy. Following a referendum with a 79% majority in favor, Prince Carl was formally offered and then accepted the throne. He sailed for Norway, arriving on November 25, 1905, and took the oath as King two days later. He took the name Haakon VII and Maud became Queen of Norway. The couple’s only child Prince Alexander of Denmark, born in 1903, took on the name Olav, became Crown Prince of Norway, and succeeded his father on the throne in 1957. Because of their mutual descent from King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, the Norwegian Royal Family is the most closely related royal family to the British Royal Family.

Works Cited

  • Holland, E. (2017). Royal Wedding #2: Princess Maud of Wales & King Haakon VII of Norway. [online] Edwardian Promenade. Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].
  • Kay, E. (2017). Norwegian Royal Weddings: King Haakon VII and Queen Maud. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].
  • (2017). PRINCESS MAUD A BRIDE; MARRIED IN STATE TO PRINCE CHARLES OF DENMARK. The Archbishop of Canterbury Performs the Ceremony at the Buckingham Palace Chapel — The Queen and All the Royal Family Except Princess Beatrice Present — Profuse, Decorations — Vast Crowds Line the Streets.. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].
  • Unofficial Royalty. (2017). King Haakon VII of Norway. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].
  • Unofficial Royalty. (2017). Maud of Wales, Queen of Norway. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].
  • Van der Kiste, J. (2013). Edward VII’s Children. Stroud: The History Press.

July 17, 1917: The Birth of the House of Windsor

by Susan Flantzer

Badge of the House of Windsor; Credit – Wikipedia

The anti-German feeling in the United Kingdom existed even before World War I. In 1912, two years before the start of World War I, Prince Louis of Battenberg, Admiral in the Royal Navy, had been appointed First Sea Lord, the professional head of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. Some members of the British press were against Prince Louis’ appointment because he was a German.  Prince Louis was born Count Ludwig Alexander of Battenberg. He was the eldest son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine, and Countess Julia Hauke. As his parents’ marriage was morganatic, Louis and his siblings took their titles from their mother, who had been created Countess of Battenberg (later elevated to Princess of Battenberg in 1858). Louis’ brother Prince Henry of Battenberg was the husband of Princess Beatrice, the youngest child of Queen Victoria.

Influenced by his cousin’s wife, Princess Alice, a daughter of Queen Victoria, and by Prince Alfred, another of Queen Victoria’s children, Prince Louis had joined the British Royal Navy and had become a naturalized British subject in 1868 at the age of fourteen. In 1884, Louis married Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine, the daughter of his first cousin, Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse and by Rhine and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom. (Note: Louis and Victoria are the maternal grandparents of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.) The couple made their home in England and raised their four children there.

Prince Louis of Battenberg; Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Louis’ rank continued to rise, as did his influence in the Royal Navy. In 1902, he was made Director of Naval Intelligence, and two years later elevated to Rear Admiral. In 1908, he was made Vice-Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet. In 1911, he was appointed Second Sea Lord and was made Admiral in July 1912. Five months later, Prince Louis was made First Sea Lord.

However, in 1914, with war imminent, there was an intense anti-German sentiment in Britain. Louis, despite his exemplary 46-year career in the Royal Navy, was still seen by many as just a German prince. There were false accusations in the media of spying for the Germans. In fact, due to his German relations, he was able to learn much about the German military and share that information with the British. Despite protests from King George V, Louis was asked to resign his position as First Sea Lord in October 1914.

King George V by Walter Stoneman, for James Russell & Sons, bromide print, circa 1916, Photographs Collection, NPG Ax39000

By 1917, anti-German sentiment had reached a fevered pitch in the United Kingdom. The British Royal Family’s dynastic name had gone from one German name to another, the House of Hanover to the decidedly more Germanic-sounding, House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Many British people felt that this implied a pro-German bias. Even Prime Minister David Lloyd George remarked as he was on his way to see King George V, “I wonder what my little German friend has got to say.” Letters were pouring into the Prime Minister’s office wondering how the British were going to win the war if the king was German.

In May 1917, King George V discussed the matter with his Private Secretary Arthur Bigge, 1st Baron Stamfordham.  Lord Stamfordham had to agree that Germanic names and titles were in several branches of the royal family and that no one was really certain what the royal family’s surname was. The College of Arms, which is delegated to act on behalf of the Crown in all matters of heraldry, the granting of new coats of arms, genealogical research and the recording of pedigrees, was consulted as to what was King George V’s surname. The answer was an uncertain one. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was a geographic name. The surname was not Stuart and not Guelph which had been the old family name of the Hanoverians. That name was lost by common law when Queen Victoria married. Looking into Prince Albert‘s family, there was Wipper and Wettin,  but no one was absolutely certain of the answer.

“A Good Riddance” cartoon by Leonard Raven-Hill from Punch, Vol. 152, 27 June 1917, commenting on the King’s order to relinquish all German titles held by members of his family

King George V decided that to show the British people that the royal family was indeed British, a change of name was necessary. The king’s uncle Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught suggested the name Tudor-Stuart, but that name was discarded because of unpleasant implications. Other names suggested were Plantagenet, York, Lancaster and even just plain England. Meetings began to take on the nature of a parlor game. Lord Stamfordham ultimately came up with an acceptable idea. King Edward III had been known as Edward of Windsor after his birthplace Windsor Castle. Windsor, which comes from the old English windles-ore or “winch by the riverside,” had been a settlement hundreds of years before William the Conqueror had a castle built there in 1070. King George V agreed that Windsor would be the family name. On July 17, 1917, the Privy Council gave final approval and on the next day, the following proclamation from King George V appeared in newspapers:


WHEREAS We, having taken into consideration the Name and Title of Our Royal House and Family, have determined that henceforth Our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor:

And whereas We have further determined for Ourselves and for and on behalf of Our descendants and all other the descendants of Our Grandmother Queen Victoria of blessed and glorious memory to relinquish and discontinue the use of all German Titles and Dignities:

And whereas We have declared these Our determinations in Our Privy Council:

Now, therefore, We, out of Our Royal Will and Authority, do hereby declare and announce that as from the date of this Our Royal Proclamation Our House and Family shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, and that all the descendants in the male line of Our said Grandmother Queen Victoria who are subjects of these Realms, other than female descendants who may marry or may have married, shall bear the said Name of Windsor:

And do hereby further declare and announce that We for Ourselves and for and on behalf of Our descendants and all other the descendants of Our said Grandmother Queen Victoria who are subjects of these Realms, relinquish and enjoin the discontinuance of the use of the Degrees, Styles, Dignities, Titles and Honours of Dukes and Duchesses of Saxony and Princes and Princesses of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and all other German Degrees, Styles, Dignities. Titles, Honours and Appellations to Us or to them heretofore belonging or appertaining.

Given at Our Court at Buckingham Palace, this Seventeenth day of July, in the year of our Lord One thousand nine hundred and seventeen, and in the Eighth year of Our Reign.
GOD save the KING.
(London Gazette, issue 30186, July 17, 1917, p. 1.)

When Wilhelm II, German Emperor, a grandson of Queen Victoria and a first cousin of King George V, received the news, he smiled, got up from his chair, and said in his perfect English that he was off to the theater to see Shakespeare’s play The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. A number of King George V’s relatives who had Germanic titles and were British subjects exchanged their old names and titles for new ones. While the transition in names and titles was occurring, Prince Louis of Battenberg spent some time at the home of his eldest son George. After his surname was anglicized from Battenberg to Mountbatten and Louis became the Marquess of Milford Haven instead of Prince of Battenberg, he wrote in his son’s guestbook, “Arrived Prince Hyde, Departed Lord Jekyll.”

The children of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and subsequently male-line descendants inherited the titles Prince/Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Duke/Duchess of Saxony through Prince Albert. Those particular titles held by British subjects were discontinued by the proclamation.  With the exception of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha/Saxony titles above, family members who lost German names/titles and their new names/titles appear on the list below.

Works Cited

  • “House Of Windsor”. Web. 26 May 2017.
  • “Prince Louis Of Battenberg”. Web. 26 May 2017.
  • “Prince Louis Of Battenberg, Marquess Of Milford Haven”. Unofficial Royalty. Web. 26 May 2017.
  • “Queen Victoria’s Children And Grandchildren”. Unofficial Royalty. Web. 26 May 2017.
  • Spoto, Donald. The Decline And Fall Of The House Of Windsor. 1st ed. New York: Pocket Books, 1995. Print.
  • Velde, Francois. “Royal Styles And Titles Of Great Britain: Documents”. Web. 26 May 2017.
  • “Windsor, Berkshire”. Web. 26 May 2017.

Lady Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scots

by Susan Flantzer

Credit – Wikipedia

Lady Joan Beaufort, wife of James I, King of Scots, was born around 1404 in England. She was the third of the six children and the first of the two daughters of John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset and Margaret Holland. Her mother was the daughter of Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent, who was the eldest son of Joan, 4th Countess of Kent, known as “The Fair Maid of Kent” from her first marriage to Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent, 2nd Baron Holland. Joan of Kent later married Edward, Prince of Wales (the Black Prince), the eldest son of King Edward III of England, and was the mother of King Richard II of England.

Joan Beaufort’s father John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset was the eldest of the four children of John of Gaunt, son of King Edward III, and his mistress Katherine Swynford. Their children were given the surname “Beaufort” after a former French possession of John of Gaunt. John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford married on January 13, 1396 at Lincoln Cathedral in England. After the marriage of John and Katherine, their four children were legitimized by both King Richard II of England and Pope Boniface IX. After John of Gaunt’s eldest son from his first marriage to Blanche of Lancaster deposed his first cousin King Richard II in 1399, the new King Henry IV inserted a phrase excepta regali dignitate (“except royal status”) in the documents that had legitimized his Beaufort half-siblings which barred them from the throne.

Joan had five siblings:

Joan met her husband James I, King of Scots during his long captivity in England. After the probable murder of his elder son by an uncle, Robert III, King of Scots sent his only surviving son James to France for his safety. However, the ship 12-year-old James was sailing on was captured on March 22, 1406 by English pirates who delivered James to King Henry IV of England. Robert III died a month later and James, who was nominally King of Scots, spent the first eighteen years of his reign in captivity. As Joan was related to the English royal family, she was often at court. Joan is said to be the inspiration for The Kingis Quair  (“The King’s Book”), a poem supposedly written by James after he looked out a window and saw Joan in the garden.

James I, King of Scots; Credit – Wikipedia

Although there may have been an attraction between Joan and James, their marriage was political as it was a condition for James’ release from captivity. Joan was well connected. She was a great granddaughter of King Edward III, a great-niece of King Richard II, a niece of King Henry IV, and a first cousin of King Henry V. Her paternal uncle Henry Beaufort was a Cardinal, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England. The English considered a marriage to a Beaufort gave the Scots an alliance with the English instead of the French. Joan’s dowry of £6,000 was subtracted from James’ ransom of £40,000. The couple was married February 12, 1424, at St. Mary Overie Church, now known as Southwark Cathedral in Southwark, London, England. James was released from his long captivity on March 28, 1424 and the couple traveled to Scotland. On May 21, 1424, James and Joan were crowned King and Queen of Scots at Scone by Henry Wardlaw, Bishop of St. Andrews.

Joan and James I, King of Scots had eight children:

Upon returning to Scotland after an absence of 18 years, James found that Scotland was in a horrible condition, with much poverty and lawlessness. He vigorously set about transforming his kingdom and made many enemies. In addition, there were still doubts about the validity of the first marriage of James’ grandfather, Robert II and this raised questions about James’ own right to the throne of Scotland. James found himself facing challenges from descendants of his grandfather’s second marriage.

On February 20, 1437, plotters supporting the claim to the throne of Walter Stewart, Earl of Atholl, a son of Robert II’s second marriage, broke into the Carthusian Charterhouse of Perth where James and Joan were staying. The conspirators reached the couple’s bedroom where Joan tried to protect James but was wounded. James then tried to escape via an underground passage but was cornered and hacked to death by Sir Robert Graham.  There was no strong support for the conspiracy and James’ assassins were soon captured and brutally executed.

Joan herself had been a target of her husband’s killers, and although wounded, she escaped, took custody of her 6-year old son King James II and declared a regency. The idea of having Scotland ruled by an Englishwoman was not popular and three months later, King James II’s first cousin, Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas, was proclaimed regent, a position he held until his death two years later. On September 21, 1439, Joan married Sir James Stewart, known as the Black Knight of Lorne. The Stewarts of Lorne were trusted supporters of Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas, the young king’s regent, and their power greatly increased while the Douglas family controlled Scotland. However, this all changed with the death of Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas.

After Douglas’ death, the power of the regency was shared uneasily by William Crichton, 1st Lord Crichton, Lord Chancellor of Scotland and Sir Alexander Livingston of Callendar, who was the custodian of the young King James II as the warden of Stirling Castle.  As a result, Joan’s second husband Sir James Stewart and his Douglas allies planned to abduct the young James II who was being held by Livingston at Stirling Castle. However, Livingston placed Joan and her new husband under house arrest at Stirling Castle. They were only released by making a formal agreement to relinquish custody of King James II in favor of Livingston, by giving up Joan’s dowry for her son’s maintenance, and agreeing that Livingston’s actions were only in ensure the king’s safety. From then on, Joan had no participation in matters of state.

Joan and Sir James Stewart, the Black Knight of Lorne had three sons:

In November 1444, Joan was besieged at Dunbar Castle by William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas from the Black Douglas faction, who may have had the blessing of King James II. Joan was under the protection of James Douglas, 3rd Earl of Angus from the Red Douglas faction and Sir Adam Hepburn of Hailes, the custodian of Dunbar Castle. It is likely that supplies from the nearby Red Douglas stronghold of Tantallon Castle were shipped in via a hidden passage to maintain the garrison at Dunbar Castle. However, after a ten-month siege, Joan died on July 15, 1445 at around 41 years of age and Dunbar Castle was turned over to the Black Douglas faction.

Joan was buried beside her first husband James I, King of Scots in the Carthusian Charterhouse of Perth, which he had founded. On May 11, 1559, following a sermon by John Knox, a leader of the Scottish Reformation and the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, the Carthusian Charterhouse in Perth was attacked by a mob of Protestant reformers. Everything was destroyed including the royal tombs and remains.

A monument marking the site of the Charterhouse; Photo Credit – By kim traynor, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Wikipedia: Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scots

Works Cited

  • Ashley, Michael, and Julian Lock. The Mammoth Book Of British Kings & Queens. London: Constable & Robinson, 2012. Print.
  • “Dunbar Castle”. Web. 27 May 2017.
  • “Dunbar Versus Douglas – A Story Of Conflict”. Web. 27 May 2017.
  •, Undiscovered. “Joan Beaufort, Queen Of Scotland: Biography On Undiscovered Scotland”. Web. 27 May 2017.
  • “James I Of Scotland”. Web. 27 May 2017.
  • “Joan Beaufort, Queen Of Scots”. Web. 27 May 2017.
  • “John Beaufort, 1St Earl Of Somerset”. Web. 27 May 2017.
  • “Margaret Holland, Duchess Of Clarence”.  Web. 27 May 2017.
  • “Scottish Royal Burial Sites”. Unofficial Royalty. Web. 27 May 2017.
  • Williamson, David. Brewer’s British Royalty. London: Cassell, 1996. Print.

Wedding of King George V of The United Kingdom and Princess Mary of Teck

by Susan Flantzer

Prince George, Duke of York (the future King George V of the United Kingdom) and Princess Victoria Mary of Teck were married on July 6, 1893, at the Chapel Royal at St. James’ Palace in London, England.

Prince George’s Family

HRH Prince George Frederick Ernest Albert was born on June 3, 1865, at Marlborough House, London. His parents were Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), known as Bertie, and Alexandra of Denmark, known as Alix. Bertie’s sister Vicky, the Crown Princess of Prussia, had helped in the matchmaking. Bertie and Alix were married on March 10, 1863, at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. Queen Victoria sorrowfully watched the ceremony from the Royal Closet, still blaming Prince Albert’s death in 1861 on a trip the ailing Albert had made to Oxford to sort out Bertie’s early sexual adventures.

Bertie and Alix had six children: Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, known as Eddy (1864) who died in 1892 unmarried but engaged to Mary of Teck, George V (1865), Louise (1867) later Princess Royal who married the first Duke of Fife, Victoria (1868) who never married and served as her mother’s companion, Maud (1869) who married Prince Carl of Denmark (later King Haakon of Norway), and John who was born and died in 1871.

During their marriage, Bertie had many mistresses which Alix forced herself to accept without protest. The couple remained on friendly and affectionate terms throughout their marriage. While Bertie was on his deathbed, Alix summoned his last mistress Alice Keppel (the great-grandmother of Camilla, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall) so she might say goodbye. After Bertie died, Alix remarked, “Now at least I know where he is.”

George was related to many other royals. Through his father, he was the first cousin to Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, Queen Marie of Rumania, Queen Sophie of Greece, Queen Ena of Spain, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden and was a brother to Queen Maud of Norway. Through his mother, he was the first cousin to King Christian X of Denmark, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, King Constantine I of Greece and King Haakon VII of Norway.

“Brewer’s British Royalty” by David Williamson
Royal Genealogies –Menu,
Directory of Royal Genealogical Data,

Princess Mary’s Family

Her Serene Highness Princess Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes of Teck was born at Kensington Palace, London on May 26, 1867. Mary’s mother was HRH Princess Mary Adelaide, the youngest child of HRH Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge (the seventh son and tenth child of King George III and Queen Charlotte) and HRH Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel. The new princess was known as Mary or May.

Princess Mary Adelaide weighed approximately 250 pounds and was affectionately known as “Fat Mary.” Her first cousin Queen Victoria wrote of her, “Her size is fearful. It is really a misfortune.” Princess Mary Adelaide, however, was high-spirited and full of life and was adored by the Victorian public who called her “The People’s Princess.”

Mary’s father was His Serene Highness Prince Francis of Teck, the product of a morganatic marriage. Prince Francis’ father, Duke Alexander of Württemberg, was once heir to the throne of Württemberg. However, Duke Alexander contracted a morganatic marriage (marriage to a person of a lower rank) to a Hungarian countess, Claudine Rhedey. Alexander lost his rights to the throne and his children lost the right to use the Württemberg name. Francis’ cousin King Karl of Württemberg eventually elevated him to the more important Germanic title of Duke of Teck.

“Fat” Mary Adelaide (age 33) and genealogically-tainted Francis (age 29) married on June 12, 1866, at Kew Palace, London. Mary Adelaide and Francis had a happy marriage but had chronic financial problems due to Mary Adelaide’s extravagance and generosity. Queen Victoria gave them an apartment at Kensington Palace where their four children were born: Mary (1867), Adolphus (1868) who became the second Duke of Teck and married Lady Margaret Grosvenor, daughter of the first Duke of Westminster, Francis (1870) who died unmarried in 1910, and Alexander (1874) who married Princess Alice of Albany, the daughter of Prince Leopold, the youngest son of Queen Victoria. During World War I in 1917, when British royals were anglicizing names and titles, Adolphus became the Marquess of Cambridge and Alexander became the Earl of Athlone. Both Adolphus and Alexander adopted the surname Cambridge.

“Queen Mary’s Photograph Album” edited by Christopher Warwick
“Brewer’s British Royalty” by David Williamson
Royal Genealogies –Menu,
Directory of Royal Genealogical Data,

Prince Eddy: Princess Mary’s First Fiancé

Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward (1864-1892) was the oldest son and eldest child of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) and Alexandra of Denmark. He was known in the family as Eddy. George was his younger brother. Prince Eddy was second in line to the throne held by his grandmother Queen Victoria.

Eddy was backward and lazy. He was an apathetic student and received very little education. He was primarily interested in pursuing pleasure which often led him into trouble. His lack of concentrating on anything serious caused great concern in his family. There have been suggestions that Eddy was homosexual and frequented a notorious male brothel in Cleveland Street, London. A theory purported that Eddy was Jack the Ripper, but there is no real evidence to support this theory.

Eddy’s family decided that finding a suitable wife might help correct his attitude and behavior. Eddy proposed to his cousin Alix of Hesse and by Rhine (later Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia) but was rejected by her. Eddy then fell head over heels for French Catholic Princess Hélène of Orléans, who returned his love. However, Hélène’s father, the Comte de Paris, refused to allow his daughter to convert to Anglicanism and forbade the marriage.

It was at this time that, unbeknownst to her, Mary was considered the most suitable bride for Eddy. Eddy offered no resistance to this suggestion. Mary had been brought up to revere the monarchy and to be proud that she was a member of the British Royal Family. The fact that Mary’s father was a product of a morganatic marriage could have presented difficulties for her in the marriage market. Despite the shortcomings Eddy might have, Mary felt it was her duty to marry him.

Eddy proposed to Mary during a ball on December 3, 1891. The engagement was announced three days later and the wedding set for February 27, 1892. The engagement was met with disdain by some German relatives who felt that dignified, well-educated Mary was unequal in rank due to her grandfather’s morganatic marriage. However, Queen Victoria approved wholeheartedly of the marriage.

In the midst of the wedding preparations, Eddy developed a high fever on January 7, 1892 at Sandringham. His sister Victoria and other household members already had been ill with influenza, which Eddy also developed. Two days later, his lungs became inflamed and pneumonia was diagnosed. In his delirium, Eddy frequently shouted out the name “Hélène.”

In the early morning hours of January 14, 1892, a chaplain was summoned to Eddy’s bedroom at Sandringham. There, surrounded by his parents, the Prince and Princess of Wales, his brother George, his sisters Louise, Victoria and Maud, his fiancée Mary, and her mother the Duchess of Teck, Eddy died at 9:35 a.m. Eddy’s funeral was held at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor and he is buried in the Albert Memorial Chapel, Windsor. Mary’s wedding bouquet of orange blossoms lay on his coffin.

“Royal Weddings” by Dulcie M. Ashdown
“Queen Mary” by James Pope-Hennessey
“Queen Mary’s Photograph Album” edited by Christopher Warwick
“Brewer’s British Royalty” by David Williamson

The Engagement

After the death of Prince Eddy, Mary and George spent much time together. As time passed and their common grief eased, there was hope that a marriage might take place between them. George proposed to Mary beside a pond in the garden of his sister Louise’s home, East Sheen Lodge, on April 29, 1893. The engagement was announced on May 3, 1893 with the blessing of Queen Victoria.

The Trousseau

Mary of Teck choosing her Wedding Trousseau by Arthur Hopkins May, 1893

Mary already had a trousseau made in preparation for her wedding to Eddy. However, that trousseau had fallen out of fashion and would have been considered bad luck to use, so a new trousseau was necessary. To the rescue of the Tecks, always in financial crisis, came Mary’s aunt, the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Augusta, the sister of Mary’s mother). Aunt Augusta and her husband gave Mary £1000 for the purchase of a new trousseau. The new trousseau, made by English dressmakers Linton and Curtis, Scott Adie, and Redfern, included 40 outdoor suits, 15 ball dresses, five tea gowns, bonnets, shoes, gloves, traveling capes, traveling wraps and driving capes.

“Queen Mary by James Pope-Hennessey

The Wedding Dress

Mary visited Queen Victoria before the ceremony, who described Mary’s dress in her diary: “Her dress was very simple of white satin with a silver design of roses, shamrocks, thistles and orange-flowers interwoven. On her head, she has a small wreath of orange-flowers, myrtle and white heather surmounted by a diamond necklace I gave her, which also can be worn as a diadem, and her mother’s wedding veil.”

Actually, Mary’s dress was far from simple. The satin brocade had been specially woven into national symbols and true love knots in silver. The bodice was cut to Mary’s figure and the front of the skirt was left open to reveal a plain satin slip. The overskirt was decorated with lace and sprays of orange blossoms. The long silk veil interwoven with May blossoms, originally made for Mary’s wedding to Eddy, was replaced with the Duchess of Teck’s wedding veil. This veil, which was little more than a short lace scarf, was secured with a diamond tiara.

“Queen Mary” by James Pope-Hennessey
“Queen Mary’s Photograph Album” edited by Christopher Warwick

The Bridesmaids

Ten bridesmaids had been selected: Princesses Victoria and Maud of Wales (the groom’s sisters), Princesses Victoria Melita, Alexandra and Beatrice of Edinburgh, Princesses Margaret and Patricia of Connaught, Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein (all first cousins of the groom), and Princess Alice of Battenberg (daughter of the groom’s first cousin Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine). At least three of the bridesmaids wished they were in Mary’s shoes.

Back row: Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh, Princess Helena of Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Victoria-Melita of Edinburgh, Prince George, Duke of York, Princess Victoria of Wales, Princess Maud of Wales

In the middle: Princess Alice of Battenberg, Princess Margaret of Connaught, Princess Mary of Teck, Duchess of York

Front row: Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, Princess Victoria-Eugenie of Battenberg, Princess Patricia of Connaught

“Queen Mary” by James Pope-Hennessey
“Brewer’s British Royalty” by David Williamson

The Wedding

The wedding was set for July 6, 1893 at the Chapel Royal, St. James’ Palace. St, George’s Chapel, Windsor, had been the choice for Mary’s planned marriage to Eddy, but it was considered inappropriate because it had been the site of Eddy’s funeral.

There was much excitement about the upcoming wedding. Women’s magazines produced special editions detailing Mary’s trousseau. Crowds visited London’s Imperial Institute where royal wedding gifts were displayed for the first time.

The summer of 1893 had been hot and July 6, the wedding day, was no different. Crowds gathered in the morning along the bridal procession route on Constitution Hill, Piccadilly, and St. James Street.

At 11:30 a.m., the first of the carriage processions left Buckingham Palace. Royalty from Britain and abroad rode in twelve open state landaus driven by cream-colored horses. The bridegroom and his father left the Palace at 11:45 a.m. followed by Queen Victoria in the Glass Coach. Accompanying the Queen was her cousin, the beaming Princess Mary Adelaide, the mother of the bride. The bride’s procession came last. Mary was accompanied by her brother Adolphus.

As Mary walked down the aisle of the Chapel Royal towards George, she leaned stiffly on her father’s arm and smiled at those guests she recognized. While exchanging vows, George gave his answers distinctly while Mary spoke quietly. After the wedding service, the royals returned in state to Buckingham Palace.

The royals feasted at round tables covered with food in a room separate from the other guests. The guests enjoyed themselves in the Ballroom where large buffet tables were set up. After the meal, there was a royal wedding “first.” Queen Victoria led George and Mary out onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace and presented them to the cheering crowds.

George and Mary’s royal wedding guests came from all over Europe, and many were related to the bride or groom. Among the royal guests were King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark (grandparents of the groom), Tsarevich Nicholas of Russia (cousin of the groom), Grand Duke Ernest Louis of Hesse (cousin of the groom), Grand Duke Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (uncle of the bride), the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh (aunt and uncle of the groom), the Duke and Duchess of Connaught (aunt and uncle of the groom), Princess Helena of Schleswig-Holstein (aunt of the groom), the Duchess of Argyll (aunt of the groom), Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg (aunt and uncle of the groom), Prince Henry and Princess Irene of Prussia (both cousins of the groom), Prince George of Denmark (cousin of the groom) and Prince Philip of Saxe-Coburg (a distant cousin of the groom.)


“Matriarch” by Anne Edwards
Directory of Royal Genealogical Data,
“Royal Weddings” by Dulcie M. Ashdown
“Queen Mary” by James Pope-Hennessey
“Queen Mary’s Photograph Album” edited by Christopher Warwick

The Honeymoon

York Cottage at Sandringham

After the wedding festivities, George changed into a frock coat and top hat and Mary into a dress of cream white poplin with gold braid and a small gold bonnet trimmed with white ostrich feathers and rosebuds. As the couple left Buckingham Palace, the wedding guests showered them with rice. Crowds cheered them as they drove down The Mall, through the City of London to Liverpool Street Station where they boarded a train to Sandringham. The couple spent their honeymoon at York Cottage on the Sandringham estate, a five-minute walk from the room where Eddy had died less than eighteen months earlier. Queen Victoria wrote to her daughter Vicky, “The young people go to Sandringham to the Cottage after the wedding which I regret and think rather unlucky and sad.”

“Royal Weddings” by Dulcie M. Ashdown
“Queen Mary” by James Pope-Hennessey
“Queen Mary’s Photograph Album” edited by Christopher Warwick

Children of George V and Mary of Teck

  • Edward VIII (Duke of Windsor after his abdication): (1894-1972) married Wallis Simpson, June 3, 1937 at the Chateau de Candé near Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France
  • George VI: (1895-1952) married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, April 26, 1923 at Westminster Abbey
  • Mary, Princess Royal: (1897-1965) married Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, February 28, 1922 at Westminster Abbey
  • Henry, Duke of Gloucester: (1900-1974) married Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott, November 6, 1935 at the Private Chapel, Buckingham Palace
  • George, Duke of Kent: (1902-1942) married Princess Marina of Greece, November 29, 1934 at Westminster Abbey
  • John: (1905-1919)

Wedding of Prince William of The United Kingdom and Catherine Middleton

by Susan Flantzer

Prince William and Catherine Middleton were married on April 29, 2011, at Westminster Abbey in London, England.

The Family of Prince William

william baby

William with his parents

HRH Prince William Arthur Philip Louis was born on June 21, 1982, at St. Mary’s Hospital in the Paddington section of London. William was the first child of Charles, The Prince of Wales and his wife of eleven months, the former Lady Diana Spencer. Charles was the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of Greece. Upon his mother’s accession to the throne in 1952, Charles became her heir. He was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on July 26, 1958. At birth, William became the second in line of succession and is expected to follow his grandmother and father as monarch.

Diana was the third of four surviving children of Edward John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer and The Honourable Frances Ruth Roche, younger daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy. The Spencer family is an old English noble family. Althorp in Northamptonshire, England has been the ancestral home of the Spencer family since the early 16th century. The Spencer family has served the British monarchy for centuries. Most recently, Diana’s grandmother, Lady Fermoy, was a close friend and a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Diana’s father served as equerry to both King George VI and to Queen Elizabeth II. Among the Spencer family ancestors are the famous soldier and statesman John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and his wife Sarah Jennings who was a close friend of Queen Anne, and King Charles II through four of his illegitimate children.

William’s brother Prince Harry was born on September 15, 1984. Unfortunately, the marriage of The Prince and Princess of Wales was not a happy one. The couple separated in December 1992 and divorced in August 1996. Exactly a year later, Diana, Princess of Wales tragically died in a car accident in Paris. Accompanied by their father, their grandfather Prince Philip, and their uncle the 9th Earl Spencer, William and his brother Harry walked behind their mother’s coffin during her funeral procession. In 2005, Prince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles with whom he had a romantic relationship before and during his marriage. It is understood that William and Harry have a good relationship with their stepmother.

The Family of Catherine Middleton

William_ young Kate Middleton

A smiling young Kate in 1988

Catherine Elizabeth “Kate” Middleton was born on January 9, 1982, at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, Berkshire. Kate is the oldest of the three children of Michael Francis Middleton and Carole Elizabeth Goldsmith. Michael Middleton worked as a flight dispatcher for British Airways. Carole Goldsmith also worked for British Airways, but as a flight attendant. In addition to Kate, the Middletons also have another daughter Philippa (Pippa) born in 1983 and a son James born in 1987.

Kate was raised in the village of Bucklebury in Berkshire. Her ancestors are basically English with a few Scots and French Huguenots in the family background. Michael Middleton’s family comes from Leeds in West Yorkshire and Carole Goldsmith’s family is from County Durham where they were laborers and miners.

After the birth of James, Carole had the idea to create a business to help parents with their children’s birthday parties called Party Pieces. The business grew from a cottage industry into a business that made the family millionaires. Recent research by some journalists has revealed that apparently, Michael’s side of the family are descendants of a Victorian mill owner who left the equivalent of £33million in his will and that some of the Middleton family’s wealth may come from this source.

The Engagement


In 2001, Prince William and Kate Middleton first met each other while they were both students at University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland. During their first year, they both lived at St. Salvator’s Hall, a residence hall at the university. For their final two years, they shared housing in the town. They started dating in 2003 and remained together for eight years except for a brief separation in 2007. The couple became engaged in October 2010 while on a private vacation in Kenya.

The official engagement announcement came from Clarence House on November 16, 2010: “The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.”

The Engagement Ring

William_Kate ring

William presented Kate with his mother’s engagement ring, a platinum ring set with a large oval sapphire and fourteen diamonds. The ring, reported to have cost in the region of $55,000 in 1981, was made by the royal jewelers Garrard & Company in Regent Street, London. William’s mother herself selected the largest and most expensive ring from a tray of engagement rings. As in 1981, copies of the engagement ring went on sale soon after the engagement was announced.

Partial Guest List

Members of the British Royal Family

  • The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh
  • The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall
  • Prince Henry of Wales
  • The Duke of York
  • Princess Beatrice of York
  • Princess Eugenie of York
  • The Earl and Countess of Wessex
  • The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence
  • Mr. and Mrs. Peter Phillips
  • Miss Zara Phillips with Mr. Mike Tindall
  • Viscount Linley and Viscountess Linley and The Hon. Charles Armstrong-Jones
  • Lady Sarah and Mr. Daniel Chatto, Master Samuel Chatto, and Master Arthur Chatto
  • The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
  • Earl and Countess of Ulster
  • Lady Davina and Mr. Gary Lewis
  • Lady Rose and Mr. George Gilman
  • The Duke and Duchess of Kent
  • Earl and Countess of St. Andrews
  • Lord Downpatrick
  • Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor
  • Lady Amelia Windsor
  • Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor
  • Lady Helen and Mr. Timothy Taylor
  • Prince and Princess Michael of Kent
  • Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor
  • Lady Gabriella Windsor
  • Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy
  • Mr. and Mrs. James Ogilvy
  • Miss Marina Ogilvy

Members of Foreign Royal Families

  • Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium
  • The Sultan of Brunei and Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha
  • King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria
  • Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
  • King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes
  • Crown Prince Pavlos, Crown Princess Marie-Chantal, and Prince Constantine of Greece
  • Sheikh Ahmad Hmoud Al-Sabah of Kuwait
  • Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso and Princess Mabereng Seeiso of Lesotho
  • Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
  • The Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaysia
  • Prince Albert II of Monaco and Miss Charlene Wittstock
  • Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco
  • Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange and Princess of Maxima of the Netherlands
  • King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway
  • Prince Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said of Oman
  • Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani The Emir of The State of Qatar and Sheika Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned
  • King Michael I of Romania and Crown Princess Margarita
  • Prince Mohamed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and Princess Fadwa bint Khalid bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman
  • Queen Sofia of Spain
  • The Prince and Princess of the Asturias
  • King Mswati III of Swaziland
  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Prince Daniel
  • Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand
  • King George Tupou V of Tonga
  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi
  • Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia
  • Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia


  • The Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda
  • The Governor-General of Australia and His Excellency Mr. Michael Bryce
  • The Governor-General of The Bahamas and Lady Foulkes
  • The Governor-General of Barbados
  • The Governor-General of Belize and Lady Young
  • The Governor-General of Canada and Mrs. David Jonhnston
  • The Governor-General of Jamaica
  • The Governor-General of New Zealand and Lady Satyanand
  • The Governor-General of Papua New Guinea and Mrs. Michael Ogio
  • The Governor-General of the Solomon Islands and Lady Kabui
  • The Governor-General of St Christopher and Nevis
  • The Governor-General of St Lucia
  • The Governor-General of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Lady Ballantyne
  • The Prime Minister of Australia and Mr. Tim Matheison
  • The Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Ms. Delores Miller
  • The Prime Minister of Barbados
  • The Prime Minister of New Zealand and Mrs. John Key
  • The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and Lade Somare
  • The Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Mrs. Rosalia Nestor King
  • The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines and Mrs. Ralph Gonsalves
  • The Premier of Bermuda and Mr. Germain Nkeuleu
  • The Premier of The British Virgin Islands and Mrs. Ralph O’Neal
  • The Premier of the Cayman Islands and Mrs. Kerry Bush
  • The Hon. Sharon and Mr. Rodney Halford (Falkland Islands)
  • The Chief Minister of Gibraltar and Mrs. Peter Caruana
  • The Chief Minister of Montserrat and the Reverend Doctor Joan Delsol Meade
  • The Hon. John and Mrs. Vilma Cranfield (St. Helena)

Members of Government and Parliament

  • The Prime Minister and Mrs. David Cameron
  • The Deputy Prime Minister and Ms. Miriam Gonzalez Duantez
  • First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Mrs. William Hague
  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Hon. Mrs. Osborne
  • The Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor and Mrs. Kenneth Clarke
  • The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister for Women and Equalities, and Mr. Philip May
  • The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport and Mrs. Jeremy Hunt
  • The Rt. Hon Ed Miliband, M.P. and Ms. Justine Thornton
  • The Speaker of the House of Commons and Mrs. John Bercow
  • The Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales and the Lady Elis-Thomas
  • The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament and Mrs. Alex Fergusson
  • The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Mrs. William Hay
  • The Lord Speaker and Mr. Martin Hayman
  • First Minister of Wales and Mrs. Carwyn Jones
  • First Minister of Northern Ireland and Mrs. Peter Robinson
  • First Minister of Scotland and Mrs. Alex Salmond
  • The Mayor of London and Mrs. Boris Johnson
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor and The Lady Mayoress
  • Sir Gus and Lady O’Donnell
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of Westminster and Count Paolo Filo della Torre
  • Mr. and Mrs. Simon Fraser

Representatives from the Church of England and other Faiths

  • The Most Reverend Gregorious, Archbishop of the Greek Archdiocese of Thysteira and Great Britain
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs. Rowan Williams
  • Rabbi Anthony Bayfield
  • Mr. Anil Bhanot
  • The Archbishop of Armagh, Cardinal Archbishop Sean Brady
  • Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, The Most Reverend David Chillingworth
  • The Right Reverend John Christie, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
  • Mr. Malcolm Deboo President, Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe
  • The Rt. Reverend Doctor Norman Hamilton
  • The Archbishop of Armagh, The Most Reverend Alan Edwin Harper
  • Monsignor Philip Kerr, The Convener, Action of Churches Together in Scotland
  • Commissioner Elizabeth Matear, Salvation Army
  • The Archbishop of Wales, The Most Reverend Doctor Barry Morgan
  • The Reverend Gareth Morgan Jones, President of the Free Church Council of Wales
  • Cardinal Cormac Murphy-Connor
  • The Archbishop of Westminster, The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols
  • Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh
  • Rabbi Alan Plancey
  • Imam Mohammad Raza
  • The Chief Rabbi (Lord Sacks)
  • The Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala, Acting Head Monk, The London Buddhist Vihara
  • Maulana Syed Raza Shabbarm, Muhammadi Trust
  • Mr. Natubhai Shah, President, the Jain Academy
  • Dr. Indarjit Singh, Director, Network Sikh Organisations (UK)
  • Canon Christopher Tuckwell
  • The Reverend Martin Turner
  • The Archbishop of York and Mrs. John Sentamu

Senior Members of the Defense Services

  • Major General and Mrs. William Cubitt, Major General Commanding Household Division and GOC London District
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen and Lady Dalton, Chief of the Air Staff
  • General Sir Nicholas and Lady Houghton
  • Air Vice-Marshal the Hon. David and Mrs. Murray, Defence Services Secretary
  • General Sir David and Lady Richards, Chief of the Defence Staff
  • Admiral Sir Mark and Lady Stanhope, First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff
  • General Sir Peter and Lady Wall, Chief of the General Staff

Also invited are ambassadors representing countries with which the United Kingdom has normal diplomatic relations and Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenants for the United Kingdom. These individuals will not be accompanied by their spouses or partners.

What follows is a list of other guests who have a relationship with the bride and/or groom and guests whom television viewers may recognize. These guests have been invited along with their spouses or civil relationship partners.

  • Mr. David Allan, Chairman of Mountain Rescue, England, and Wales. Prince William has been Patron of the organization since 2007.
  • Major Tom Archer-Burton, was Prince William and Prince Harry’s Commanding Officer in the Household Cavalry.
  • Mr. Charlie Mayhew, Chief Executive of the Conservation Charity, Tusk Trust. Prince William and Prince Harry visited Tusk-funded projects in Botswana in 2010.
  • Mrs. Alison Moore-Gwyn, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust. Prince William is Patron of The Queen Elizabeth II Fields, an initiative to protect and create hundreds of playing fields throughout the UK in honor of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The project is run by Fields in Trust.
  • Mr. Seyi Obakin, Chief Executive of Centrepoint. Centrepoint became Prince William’s first Patronage in 2005. His mother, Diana, Princess of Wales was also Patron of the Charity.
  • Mr. Peter Cross, Chief Executive of the charity SkillForce, of which Prince William has been Patron since 2009.
  • Miss Amanda Berry, Chief Executive of BAFTA. Prince William has been President of BAFTA since 2010.
  • Mrs. Ann Chalmers, Chief Executive of the Child Bereavement Charity. Prince William has been Patron of the Charity since 2009.
  • Mrs. Julia Samuel, Chair of the Child Bereavement Charity and also a family friend of Prince William. Prince William has been Patron of the Charity since 2009.
  • Mrs. Tessa Green, former Chairman of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. Prince William became President of The Royal Marsden in May.
  • Mr. Simon Johnson, worked closely with Prince William as Chief Operating Officer of the FA’s 2018 World Cup bid.
  • Sir Trevor Brooking, the Football Association’s Director of Football Development and is responsible for youth-coaching standards in England. Prince William has been President of the FA since 2006.
  • Sir Clive Woodward, a former Coach of the England Rugby Team and the British and Irish Lions. Prince William was invited by Sir Clive to join the British and Irish Lions rugby team on their tour to New Zealand in 2005.
  • Mr. Gareth Thomas, Welsh Rugby player. Gareth Thomas several times in his role as Vice Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.
  • Mr. Ian Thorpe, Australian Olympic swimmer. Prince William met the Olympic swimmer, Ian Thorpe, on a visit to Australia in 2010 and has since supported Mr. Thorpe’s charitable organization Fountain for Youth, which focuses on improving health and education for children.
  • Mr. Barty Pleydell-Bouverie led the Cycle of Life charity bike ride across Africa in 2008, which raised money for the Tusk Trust.
  • Rear Admiral Ian Corder, Rear Admiral of Submarines. Prince William was appointed Commodore-in-Chief of Submarines by The Queen in 2006.
  • Brigadier Ed Smyth-Osbourne, Brigadier Smyth-Osbourne was Prince William and Prince Harry’s Commanding Officer in the Household Regiment and acted as their military mentor.
  • Major William Bartle-Jones, Prince William’s Squadron Leader in the Household Cavalry Regiment based at Windsor.
  • Wing Commander Steven Bentley, Prince William’s Search and Rescue Force Squadron Leader at RAF Valley, Anglesey.
  • Sergeant Keith Best, a colleague of Prince William’s at RAF Valley, in Anglesey, North Wales.
  • Squadron Leader Paul Bolton, a colleague of Prince William’s at RAF Valley in Anglesey, North Wales.
  • Wing Commander Kevin Marsh met Prince William through his service in the RAF. He will be one of the Path Liners outside Westminster Abbey on the wedding day.
  • Lance-Corporal Martyn Compton, Lance-Corporal in the Household Cavalry. He was injured in an ambush in Afghanistan in 2006, which put him in a coma for three months and left him with 75 per cent burns.
  • Miss Holly Dyer, sister to 2nd Lieutenant Joanna Dyer, who was killed by a bomb in Iraq in 2007. Joanna was a close friend of Prince William’s at Sandhurst.
  • Mrs. Susie Roberts, widow of Major Alexis Roberts, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007. Major Alexis Roberts was Prince William’s Platoon Commander at Sandhurst.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bryn Parry, founded the charity Help for Heroes to assist wounded service men and women. Both Prince William and Prince Harry are supporters of the charity.
  • Mr. Edward Gould, Master of Marlborough College when Miss Middleton was a student.
  • Dr. Andrew Gailey, Vice-Provost of Eaton College and was Prince William’s Housemaster.
  • The Hon. Edward Dawson-Damer, ex-Irish Guards officer, who was Equerry to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in the 1980’s.
  • Mr. Sam Stevenson, New Zealander Sam Stevenson was Prince William’s New Zealand equerry during his visit to the country in July 2005.
  • Sir John Major, former Prime Minister, was appointed a Guardian to Prince William and Prince Harry with responsibility for legal and administrative matters after the death of their mother.
  • Mr. Rowan Atkinson, actor and close friend of The Prince of Wales.
  • Mr. Tom Bradby, journalist and news reporter. He has known both Prince William and Miss Middleton for some time and conducted their first joint interview together.
  • Mr. Ben Fogle, travel writer, television presenter and adventurer and has met Prince William on a number of occasions.
  • Sir Elton John, singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist. He performed at the funeral of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
  • Mr. and Mrs. David Beckham, footballer (soccer player). Beckham and Prince William worked together as Ambassadors of England’s 2018 World Cup Bid.
  • Mr. Guy Ritchie, film-maker and friend of Prince William and Miss Middleton.
  • Miss Joss Stone, English Soul singer and songwriter, performed at the Concert for Diana at Wembley in 2007 and at City Salute in 2008.
  • Mr. Mario Testino, photographer, took Prince William and Miss Middleton’s official engagement photographs.
  • Miss Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, friend of The Prince of Wales and his family.
  • Mr. Sam Waley-Cohen, amateur jockey and friend of Prince William and Miss Middleton.
  • Mr. Galen Weston, friend of The Prince of Wales and his family.

The Wedding Attendants

William _wedding party


  • The Honorable Margarita Armstrong-Jones, age 8, daughter of Viscount and Viscountess Linley
  • Lady Louise Windsor, age 7, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Wessex
  • Grace van Cutsem, age 3, daughter of bride and groom’s friend Hugh van Cutsem
  • Eliza Lopes, age 3, granddaughter of the Duchess of Cornwall

Page Boys:

  • William Lowther-Pinkerton, age 10, son of Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the groom’s Private Secretary
  • Tom Pettifer, age 8, son of Tiggy Pettifer, the former nanny of the groom and his brother

William wedding_Harry_Pippa

Best Man: Prince Harry of Wales, brother of the groom

Maid of Honor: Philippa Charlotte “Pippa” Middleton, sister of the bride

The Wedding Attire



The Ceremony


Announcement from Clarence House on November 23, 2010:

“The marriage of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton will take place at Westminster Abbey on Friday 29th April 2011. The Royal Family will pay for the wedding, following the precedents set by the marriages of The Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981 and Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947. “

The Lunchtime Wedding Reception

William_ Official Wedding Family Photo

Prior to the reception, there was a private photo session for the wedding party and family with photographer Hugo Burnand and then the bride and groom greeted the 650 guests.

William_greeting guests

Next, the bride, groom appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace where they pleased the crowd with the now obligatory kiss.


Finally, Queen Elizabeth II hosted the lunchtime wedding reception for 650 guests at Buckingham Palace. Claire Jones, the official harpist of The Prince of Wales, entertained at the reception. The guests were served an assortment of canapés prepared by a team of 21 chefs, led by Royal Chef Mark Flanagan. The chefs prepared approximately 10,000 canapés. Along with the canapés, guests were served Pol Roger NV Brut Réserve Champagne and soft and alcoholic drinks. The selection of canapés included:

  • Cornish Crab Salad on Lemon Blini
  • Pressed Duck Terrine with Fruit Chutney
  • Roulade of Goats Cheese with Caramelised Walnuts
  • Assortment of Palmiers and Cheese Straws
  • Scottish Smoked Salmon Rose on Beetroot Blini
  • Miniature Watercress and Asparagus Tart
  • Poached Asparagus spears with Hollandaise Sauce for Dipping
  • Quails Eggs with Celery Salt
  • Scottish Langoustines with Lemon Mayonnaise Pressed Confit of Pork Belly with Crayfish and Crackling
  • Wild Mushroom and Celeriac Chausson
  • Bubble and Squeak with Confit Shoulder of Lamb
  • Grain Mustard and honey-glazed Chipolatas
  • Smoked Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole
  • Miniature Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Fillet of Beef and Horseradish Mousse
  • Gateau Opera
  • Blood Orange Pate de Fruit
  • Raspberry Financier
  • Rhubarb Crème Brulee Tartlet
  • Passion Fruit Praline
  • White Chocolate Ganache Truffle
  • Milk Chocolate Praline with Nuts
  • Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffle


Two cakes were served, a wedding cake and a chocolate biscuit cake specially requested by Prince William and made by McVitie’s Cake Company using a Royal Family recipe. The wedding cake was designed by Fiona Cairns and was made from 17 individual fruit cakes and had eight tiers. A garland design around the middle of the wedding cake matched the architectural garlands around the top of the Picture Gallery in Buckingham Palace where the cake was displayed. The wedding cake was decorated with 900 individually iced flowers and leaves of 17 different varieties. The flowers and the leaves on the wedding cake symbolized the following:

  • White Rose – National symbol of England
  • Daffodil – National symbol of Wales, new beginnings
  • Shamrock – National symbol of Ireland
  • Thistle – National symbol of Scotland
  • Acorns, Oak Leaf – Strength, endurance
  • Myrtle – Love
  • Ivy – Wedded Love, Marriage
  • Lily-of-the-Valley – Sweetness, Humility
  • Rose (Bridal) – Happiness, Love.
  • Sweet William – Grant me one smile
  • Honeysuckle – The Bond of Love
  • Apple Blossom – Preference, Good Fortune
  • White Heather – Protection, Wishes will come true
  • Jasmine (White) – Amiability
  • Daisy – Innocence, Beauty, Simplicity
  • Orange Blossom – Marriage, Eternal Love, Fruitfulness
  • Lavender – ardent attachment, devotion, success, and luck

The Evening Wedding Reception

Willian_kate_evening reception

300 of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s closest friends and family attended the evening wedding reception hosted by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. The Queen and Prince Philip were not in attendance, having left the Palace for the younger crowd. The new Duchess of Cambridge had changed into a floor-length ivory satin gazar gown with a diamante-embroidered waistband and a cream-coloured angora bolero jacket which was also designed by her wedding dress designer Sarah Burton. William looked handsome in a black tie and dinner jacket. As the guests arrived, a military band played. Swiss chef Anton Mosimann, who owns a restaurant in the Knightsbridge section of London, was responsible for the dinner. The menu included:

  • Terrine of dressed crab and tiger prawns
  • Aberdeen Angus beef fillet from Longoe Farm, the Castle of Mey, Scotland
  • Welsh lamb from the Highgrove estate
  • Spring vegetables grilled and blanched (and not cooked in butter or cream)
  • Trio of chocolate puddings
  • Seasonal fruits
  • Ice cream with a brandy snap

When dinner was done, Prince Harry gave the best man’s speech and Michael Middleton gave the father of the bride speech. After the speeches, William and Kate had their first dance to Elton John’s “Your Song” sung by Ellie Goulding. The music continued until 2 AM and most guests had departed by 3 AM after a long and memorable day.

The Honeymoon

William_honeymoon_North Island

North Island in the Seychelles

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent their wedding night at Buckingham Palace. The next day, they left the Palace via helicopter for an undisclosed location in the United Kingdom. Prince William returned to work the next week as a Search and Rescue pilot on the island of Anglesey in Wales. On Tuesday, May 10, 2011, palace officials said that the couple had left for a honeymoon at an undisclosed location and declined to comment on the length of the honeymoon. At a later date, it was revealed that the couple spent a 10-day honeymoon in the island nation of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. The location of their honeymoon was the private North Island in one of the 11 secluded, exclusive villas there. To learn more about North Island, see its official website.

Wedding of Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones and Daniel Chatto

by Susan Flantzer


The bride and groom met on a movie set. He was an actor and she was a wardrobe assistant. He was the son of an actor and a theatrical agent. She was the daughter of a princess and the granddaughter of a king. He played a prince (one of her cousins) in a film.

Lady Sarah Frances Elizabeth Armstrong-Jones was born on May 1, 1964, at Kensington Palace in London, England. Her parents were Princess Margaret, younger daughter of King George VI, and Antony Armstrong-Jones. Her father was created Earl of Snowdon and Viscount Linley on October 6, 1961, so Sarah is entitled to the courtesy title, Lady Sarah. Sarah has an older brother, David, who used his father’s secondary title Viscount Linley as a courtesy title for many years before succeeding as the 2nd Earl of Snowdon.

Sarah and her brother attended Bedales School where Sarah developed an interest in art. Her interest in art led her to attend Camberwell College of Arts followed by coursework in Printed Textiles at Middlesex Polytechnic, before completing her studies at Royal Academy Schools where she won the Winsor & Newton Prize for emerging artists in painting and drawing in 1988 and the Creswick Landscape Prize in 1990.

Daniel Chatto St. George Sproule was born on April 22, 1957, at the Princess Beatrice Hospital in Richmond, London, England. His father was actor Thomas Chatto Sproule (stage name Thomas Chatto) and had a career in television, commercials and on the stage. His mother was the theatrical agent Ros Chatto, born Rosalind Thompson. Daniel studied English at Oxford University and graduated in 1979. In 1987, Daniel’s name was legally changed to Daniel St. George Chatto. With both of his parents in show business, it was not unusual for Daniel to try his hand at acting. One of his roles was as Prince Andrew in an American TV movie Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story. His acting career lasted from 1981-1988. See his filmography at

In 1983, Daniel had a small role in the film Heat and Dust which was filmed in India. Sarah was working on the film as an uncredited wardrobe assistant and it was on the film set that the couple first met.
Internet Movie Database: Heat and Dust
Wikipedia: Heat and Dust (film)

Sarah and Daniel’s romance blossomed in 1986, three years after their first meeting, and the two were often spotted going to the theater or art galleries. By 1989, Daniel had given up acting for art and had his own successful show at the Cadogan gallery in 1992. The two took painting trips together and shared a love of books and travel.

The couple’s wedding on July 14, 1994, was a small, low-key affair at St. Stephen’s Walbrook, a small 17th-century church in London built by Sir Christopher Wren. The church was chosen by Sarah and Daniel because they wanted a romantic and intimate place to get married. There was seating for only 200 people, and children were not invited due to the dimensions of the church. The bride chose not to use a royal carriage, red carpet, or have bells ringing. Daniel was so worried about being punctual that he arrived at the church 90 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony. Sarah arrived with her father Lord Snowdon, and her three bridesmaids: her half sister Lady Frances Armstrong-Jones, her cousin Zara Philips and her friend Tara Noble Singh. The bride’s arrival was almost overshadowed by the arrival of the bride’s more recognizable relatives, the Prince and Princess of Wales, who were appearing at the same place, although not together, for the first time since Prince Charles’s admission of adultery the previous month.


The bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses were designed by Jasper Conran. Many consider Sarah’s dress to be one of the most beautiful royal wedding dresses. The dress was made with yards of draped white georgette fabric with a ruched bodice and a three-meter train. The bridesmaids’ dresses were nearly identical. Sarah’s veil was held in place with the Snowdon Floral Tiara, a gift to Princess Margaret from her husband for their wedding. To enhance the floral effect, some greenery was added amongst the diamond flowers.

Lady Sarah wearing the Snowdon Floral Tiara, Photo Credit –

As the bride entered the church, the hymn “Ye Holy Angels Bright” was sung. The ceremony was adapted from the “Book of Common Prayer” of 1928. Other hymns sung during the ceremony were “Jesus Shall Reign Where’er The Sun” and “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus.” After their marriage vows, the couple exchanged simple gold rings. The ceremony took only 30 minutes and the newlyweds caught everyone by surprise when they left the church unannounced. Even the driver was not at his place which made the couple laugh while waited for the car. After the ceremony, there was a reception at Clarence House which the Princess of Wales did not attend. The couple spent their honeymoon in India, which was where they first met.

Photo Credit –

The couple has two children: Samuel David Benedict Chatto born July 28, 1996, in London, England and Arthur Robert Nathaniel Chatto born February 5, 1999, in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II stays in close contact with both of her sister’s children and their families are invited to royal functions and usually spend Christmas at Sandringham. Queen Elizabeth appointed Arthur Chatto and his cousin Charles Armstrong-Jones, both grandsons of Princess Margaret, to be Pages of Honor.

Sarah and Daniel both still pursue their careers as painters and their work can be seen at the websites of the galleries that represent them:
The Redfern Gallery: Sarah Armstrong-Jones
Long and Ryle Contemporary Art: Daniel Chatto

Wikipedia: Lady Sarah Chatto
Wikipedia: Daniel Chatto

Wedding of Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer

by Susan Flantzer

The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer were married on July 29, 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England.

The Family of Prince Charles

HRH Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was born on November 14, 1948, at Buckingham Palace, London. Charles was the first child of HRH Princess Elizabeth and her husband of one year, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, born HRH Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. Elizabeth was the elder daughter and the first of two children of King George VI and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who was the youngest daughter and the ninth of ten children of Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. Philip’s father was HRH Prince Andrew of Greece, the son of King George I of Greece (formerly Prince William of Denmark) and Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia. His mother was Her Serene Highness Princess Alice of Battenberg. Alice was the daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. During World War I, when King George V ordered his family to relinquish their German styles and titles, Prince Louis became the Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven. Princess Victoria’s mother was Princess Alice, a daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Therefore, Charles’ parents are both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Charles’ parents added another child to the family, Princess Anne, born on August 15, 1950. Ill with lung cancer, King George VI died on February 6, 1952, and the 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II. Her duties as Queen postponed additions to the family. Prince Andrew was born eight years later on February 19, 1960, and Prince Edward was born on March 10, 1964.

As soon as his mother became Queen, Charles was the heir apparent to the throne and as the monarch’s eldest son became Duke of Cornwall. In the Scottish peerage, he became Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. Charles was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on July 26, 1958. He was invested as Prince of Wales on July 1, 1969, at Caernarvon Castle in Wales.

Queen Elizabeth’s children have been unlucky in marriage. Charles and Diana, The Prince and Princess of Wales, separated in December 1992 and divorced in August 1996. Exactly a year later, Diana, Princess of Wales tragically died in a car accident in Paris. In 1974, Princess Anne married Mark Phillips, a Lieutenant in the 1st Queen’s Dragoon Guards, but the couple separated in 1989 and divorced in 1992. Princess Anne married again in 1992 to Timothy Laurence, then a Commander in the Royal Navy. Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in 1986. The couple separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996. Prince Edward has been the most stable of the Queen’s children as far as marriage is concerned. In 1999, he married Sophie Rhys-Jones, then a public relations manager with her own firm and that marriage still continues as does Princess Anne’s marriage to Timothy Laurence. In 2005, Prince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles with whom he had a romantic relationship before and during his marriage.

The Family of Lady Diana Spencer

The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer was born on July 1, 1961, at Park House on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England. Her father was John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, son and heir of Albert Spencer, 7th Earl Spencer, and Lady Cynthia Hamilton, daughter of James Hamilton, 3rd Duke of Abercorn and Lady Rosalind Bingham who was a daughter of Charles Bingham, 4th Earl of Lucan. Her mother was The Honourable Frances Burke Roche, daughter of Edmund Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy and Ruth Gill. In 1975, when Diana’s father succeeded his father as 8th Earl Spencer, her courtesy title became Lady Diana Spencer. Diana’s parents had three other children: Sarah born in 1955, Jane born in 1957 and Charles, currently the 9th Earl Spencer, born in 1964. The children’s parents divorced in 1969 and both remarried.

The Spencer family is an old English noble family. Althorp in Northamptonshire, England has been the ancestral home of the Spencer family since the early 16th century. The Spencer family has served the British monarchy for centuries. More recently, Diana’s grandmother, Lady Fermoy, was a close friend and friend and a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Diana’s father served as equerry to both King George VI and to Queen Elizabeth II. Among the Spencer family ancestors are the famous soldier and statesman John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and his wife Sarah Jennings who was a close friend of Queen Anne, and King Charles II through four of his illegitimate children.

The Engagement


“It is with the greatest pleasure that The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh announce the betrothal of their beloved son, The Prince of Wales, to the Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of the Earl Spencer and the Honourable Mrs. Shand Kydd.”

This official engagement announcement, issued by Buckingham Palace at 11 AM on February 24, 1981, ended years of speculation over who the world’s most eligible bachelor would marry. The couple had first met in 1977 when Prince Charles was dating Diana’s older sister Sarah. Their romance began when Lady Diana went to Balmoral with Prince Charles in July 1980. Prince Charles proposed to Lady Diana just before she left for a trip to Australia to visit her mother. Diana’s father, Earl Spencer, along with his second wife Raine Spencer, mingled with the crowd outside Buckingham Palace on the day of the announcement. Following tradition, the couple posed for their first official appearance on the terrace at the rear of the palace. Diana was wearing an off-the-rack outfit of a sapphire blue scalloped-edged suit with a white silk blouse with a blue swallow motif. Charles wore a gray, single-breasted suit.

Charles had presented Diana with a platinum engagement ring set with a large oval sapphire and fourteen diamonds. The ring, reported to have cost in the region of $55,000, was made by the royal jewelers Garrard & Company in Regent Street, London. Lady Diana herself selected the largest and most expensive ring from a tray of engagement rings. Copies of the engagement ring went on sale in nearly every British gift and jewelry shop within days of the engagement announcement.

“Invitation to a Royal Wedding” by Kathryn Spink
“A Souvenir of the Royal Wedding” by Lornie Leete-Hodge
“Royal Wedding Day”, The Daily Mail
“Diana, Princess of Wales” by Penny Junor

The Trousseau

The Going Away Outfit

Soon after the engagement was announced, Diana began visiting dress designers, dress shops, and milliners, to extend her wardrobe and choose her trousseau. However, she found it increasingly difficult to go shopping as she had before the engagement announcement. Diana’s sister Jane had worked at Vogue magazine before she married. Jane still had connections at the magazine and used them to help Diana. As a top fashion magazine, Vogue knew all the designers, knew what was available in stores, and regularly received dozens of outfits and accessories for possible use in the magazine. Diana was able to go to the Vogue offices two or three times a week and try on exclusive designs. She also developed friendships with the Vogue editors, who gave her much fashion advice. Beatrice Miller, editor in chief; Grace Coddington, fashion editor and a former model; and Anna Harvey, the deputy fashion editor; were able to help Diana decide what suited her, what would be appropriate for which occasion and what accessories would match. The Vogue editors helped her choose her pre-wedding wardrobe and her trousseau.

“Invitation to a Royal Wedding” by Kathryn Spink
“A Souvenir of the Royal Wedding” by Lornie Leete-Hodge
“Royal Wedding Day”, The Daily Mail
“Diana, Princess of Wales” by Penny Junor

The Wedding Attire

Prince Charles wore the Navy’s No. 1 ceremonial dress uniform with a blue Garter sash. The seven attendants’ outfits cost more than the bride’s dress, which was made of ivory pure silk taffeta with embroidered lace panels at the front and back of the bodice, lace-flounced sleeves, and a neckline decorated with taffeta bows. The train was twenty-five feet long and made of silk taffeta trimmed with sparkling old lace. Designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel created the wedding dress in strict secrecy. Both the dress and the tulle veil were hand-embroidered with mother-of-pearl sequins and pearls, as were the matching silk slippers. A little blue bow and a tiny gold horseshoe were sewn at the waist for good luck. Diana’s wedding attire cost well over £2,000, but she was never charged for it. The publicity the Emanuels received was worth much more.

The Spencer family tiara held the veil in place. The “something old” was the Carrickmacross lace on the bodice which had belonged to Queen Mary; the “something borrowed” was diamond earrings from Diana’s mother. Diana carried a bouquet of gardenias, golden roses, orchids, stephanotis, lilies of the valley, freesias, myrtle (taken from a bush grown from a sprig originally taken from Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet) and veronica. After the ceremony, the bouquet was placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.

The bridesmaids also wore dresses designed by the Emanuels and the page boys were dressed in 1863 naval uniforms. The women in the family looked resplendent: Queen Elizabeth in aquamarine silk crepe-de-Chine, the Queen Mother in green silk georgette, Princess Margaret in coral and Mrs. Shand Kydd, Diana’s mother, in hyacinth blue. Princess Anne wore an outfit of yellow and white, which a French newspaper called an omellette Norvegienne (a Norwegian omelet: a scoop of ice cream placed on hot beaten eggs).

“Invitation to a Royal Wedding” by Kathryn Spink
“A Souvenir of the Royal Wedding” by Lornie Leete-Hodge
“Royal Wedding Day”, The Daily Mail
“Diana, Princess of Wales” by Penny Junor
“Princess” by Robert Lacey

The Wedding Attendants

The bridesmaids and pages were sons and daughters of Prince Charles’ relatives and friends. The youngest bridesmaid, five-year-old Clementine Hambro, had also been one of Diana’s charges at the Young England Kindergarten. Clementine is the great-granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill. The other attendants were six-year-old Catherine Cameron, Charles’ goddaughter and the daughter of Donald Cameron and Lady Cecil Cameron; Sarah Jane Gaselee, aged ten, the daughter of Charles’ horse trainer; fourteen-year-old India Hicks, another of Charles’ goddaughters and the daughter of David Hicks and Lady Pamela, younger daughter of Lord Mountbatten. Seventeen-year-old Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, daughter of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, was the maid of honor. The pages included Edward van Cutsem, age eight, the son of Charles’ racehorse training friends Hugh and Emilie van Cutsem; and eleven-year-old Lord Nicholas Windsor, Charles’ godson and son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent. They wore Royal Navy cadet summer uniforms dating from 1863, the date of the last State wedding of a Prince of Wales (later Edward VII).

“Invitation to a Royal Wedding” by Kathryn Spink
“A Souvenir of the Royal Wedding” by Lornie Leete-Hodge
“Royal Wedding Day”, The Daily Mail
“Diana, Princess of Wales” by Penny Junor

The Ceremony

Guests started arriving at St. Paul’s Cathedral as soon as the doors were opened at 9 AM on July 29, 19, 1 and were greeted with cheers from the assembled crowd. There had been only one other royal wedding held at the St. Paul’s: the wedding of Arthur, Prince of Wales, the son of Henry VII and Catherine of Aragon, in 1501.

Charles arrived at the cathedral with his brothers Andrew and Edward, who were his “supporters.” Andrew was the principal supporter and performed the tasks usually assigned to the best man. Charles and his brothers walked down the aisle to Henry Purcell’s “Trumpet Tune.” As he reached the aisle’s end, there was a great roar from the crowd outside, signaling the arrival of Diana in the Glass Coach.

As Diana entered the cathedral, the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry sounded a fanfare. Diana made her three and a half minute walk up the aisle to the dramatic “Trumpet Voluntary” by Jeremiah Clark. In one arm, Diana carried a bouquet of orchids, stephanotis, gardenias, lilies of the valley, freesias, myrtle, and gold Mountbatten roses. With her other arm, she supported her father, Earl Spencer, who had never completely recovered from a stroke suffered in 1978.

The service began with a hymn. Charles chose “Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation.” Diana’s choice of hymn was “I Vow to Thee My Country,” a favorite hymn from her school days. The same hymn was to be sung at her funeral sixteen years later. The Dean of St. Paul’s introduced the service, but Robert Runcie, the Archbishop of Canterbury, performed the actual marriage ceremony. Diana did not promise “to obey” as royal brides of the past had done.

During the ceremony, both the bride and groom made mistakes. Diana got Charles’ names in the wrong order, while Charles vowed to share all her worldly goods. After reciting their vows, Charles placed the wedding ring on Diana’s finger. The ring, made of 22-karat gold, was fashioned from a nugget found more than fifty years earlier at a mine in North Wales. The same nugget had also been used for the wedding rings of the Queen Mother, the Queen, Princess Margaret, and Princess Anne. The little that was left was used to make the ring for Diana.

Near the end of the seventy-five-minute ceremony, the Archbishop of Canterbury announced to the congregation that “Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made: the Prince and Princess on their wedding day. Those who are married live happily ever after the wedding day if they persevere in the real adventure which is the royal task of creating each other and creating a more loving world.”

After signing the register, the couple returned to the altar as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa sang Handel’s “Let the Bright Seraphim.” Diana gave a deep curtsey to the Queen before walking back down the aisle to the strain of “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 in G” and ‘Crown Imperial.” As the newlyweds left the cathedral, the bells of St. Paul’s rang in jubilation. Soon church bells from all over London joined in the celebration. Charles and Diana, smiling and waving, drove in the 1902 State Postillion Landau down Ludgate Hill, along Fleet Street, past the Law Courts, into the Strand, through Trafalgar Square, into The Mall, and back to Buckingham Palace.

2,650 wedding invitations were sent out from the office of the Lord Chamberlain. Most of the invitations went to those who served crown and country: senior armed forces officers, diplomats, politicians, civil servants, local government officials, industrial leaders, and over 200 members of the Queen’s staff from Sandringham, Balmoral, and Windsor.

Most of Europe’s reigning monarchs were present, with the exception of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain. They boycotted because on their honeymoon, Charles and Diana were boarding the royal yacht at Gibraltar, whose possession is disputed by Spain and the United Kingdom. There were over 160 foreign presidents, prime ministers, and their spouses in attendance.

Diana was given 500 invitations and her parents were given 50 invitations. Diana used her invitations to invite old school friends, the staff at Althorp, her current set of friends, the entire staff she had worked with at the Young England Kindergarten, and the helpful editors of the fashion magazines who helped her choose her trousseau.

Among those who attended the wedding were: King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik of Denmark, King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, King Olav of Norway, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg, Princess Grace and her son Prince Albert of Monaco, Prince Hans-Adam and Princess Marie of Liechtenstein, Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko of Japan, Princess Maha Chakri of Thailand, Crown Prince Hassan and Crown Princess Sarvath of Jordan, the Prince and Princess of Nepal, King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou and Queen Halaevalu Mataʻaho ʻAhomeʻe of Tonga, Queen ‘Mamohato Bereng Seeiso of Lesotho, Malietoa Tanumafil of Western Samoa, Prince Gabieni and Princess Lindiow of Swaziland, former King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania, former Tsar Simeon and Tsarina Margarita of Bulgaria, and former King Constantine of Greece.

Nancy Reagan, the wife of the American President was also in attendance, along with the Presidents of Greece; West Germany; Portugal; Iceland; Gambia; Malawi; Trinidad and Tobago; Sri Lanka; India; Cyprus; Nauru; Kiribati; Dominica; Zimbabwe; Vanuatu, and Guyana; the wives of the Presidents of Uganda, Ghana, and Zambia; the Prime Minister of Turkey; the Vice Presidents of Nigeria, Kenya, and the Seychelles; the Governors-General of Canada; Australia; New Zealand; Jamaica; Barbados; Mauritius; Fiji; Bahamas; Grenada; Papua New Guinea; Solomon Islands; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Invitation to a Royal Wedding” by Kathryn Spink
“A Souvenir of the Royal Wedding” by Lornie Leete-Hodge
“Royal Wedding Day”, The Daily Mail
“Diana, Princess of Wales” by Penny Junor
“The British Royal Family: Great Front Pages” by Anthony Holden

The Wedding Luncheon

After the ceremony, the couple returned to Buckingham Palace for their wedding breakfast. Following five balcony appearances and one royal kiss, they attended a three-course luncheon held for 118 of their closest friends and relatives. The luncheon, prepared in the Buckingham Palace kitchens, was served in the Ball Supper Room. The meal consisted of brill coated in lobster sauce, supreme de volaille Princesse de Galles, strawberries and cream, served with 3 different wines. The five-tiered, 225-pound hexagonal wedding cake was cut by Prince Charles, using his ceremonial sword. The cake was made by the Royal Navy Cookery School in Chatham. It took four men two days to sort the fruit and check each currant, raisin, and cherry. Master baker, Chief Petty Officer David Avery, spent eleven weeks creating the cake, etching the couple’s coats of arms, family crests, and pictures of their homes, in color on the white icing.

“Invitation to a Royal Wedding” by Kathryn Spink
“A Souvenir of the Royal Wedding” by Lornie Leete-Hodge
“Royal Wedding Day”, The Daily Mail
“Diana, Princess of Wales” by Penny Junor

The Honeymoon

After the wedding breakfast, Charles and Diana left the Buckingham Palace in an open carriage decorated with heart-shaped balloons sporting imprints of the Prince of Wales’ feathers, and a “Just Married” sign scrawled in lipstick borrowed from a lady-in-waiting, placed there by supporters Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Charles had changed into a gray suit and Diana into a melon colored silk suit designed by Belville Sasson and a matching hat by Knightsbridge milliner John Boyd. She was also wearing the same six-strand pearl choker that her sister Sarah had worn to the wedding. Sarah went home bare-necked.

They departed Waterloo Station for Broadlands, the family home of the Mountbattens, where Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip spent their wedding night in 1947. Lord and Lady Romsey, the current residents, had moved out to give Charles and Diana the entire run of the estate. There they spent two days in peace, away from crowds, and three nights in a large four-poster bed in the Portico Room.

After Broadlands, Charles and Diana flew from Eastleigh Airport to Gibraltar, where the couple boarded the royal yacht Britannia for a Mediterranean cruise. The cruise included stops in Tunisia, Sicily, Egypt and the Greek Islands. The course of the Britannia was kept a secret to insure the couple’s privacy. Twelve days later, Britannia docked at Port Said, Egypt, where Charles and Diana entertained Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and his wife Jihan. After sailing through the Suez Canal and into the northern Red Sea, the couple flew to Scotland to join the rest of the Royal Family at Balmoral.

“Invitation to a Royal Wedding” by Kathryn Spink
“A Souvenir of the Royal Wedding” by Lornie Leete-Hodge
“Royal Wedding Day”, The Daily Mail
“Diana, Princess of Wales” by Penny Junor
“Princess” by Robert Lacey

Wedding of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and Lady Louise Mountbatten

by Scott Mehl

Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and Lady Louise Mountbatten were married on November 3, 1923 at the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace, London. This was Gustaf Adolf’s second marriage. He was previously married to Princess Margaret of Connaught from 1905 until her death in 1920.

Gustaf Adolf’s Early Life

Gustaf Adolf (l) with his brother Wilhelm, c1885

Gustaf Adolf of Sweden (Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf) was born on November 11, 1882 at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. At birth, he was created Duke of Skåne by his grandfather, King Oscar II. He was the eldest of three sons of the future King Gustav V and Victoria of Baden. Along with his two brothers – Prince Wilhelm and Prince Erik – Gustaf Adolf began his education at home, with a governess and then with tutors. In 1901, he began his formal education, studying history, economics, political science and archeology at Uppsala University. He also received military training at the Military Academy Karlberg, becoming an officer in the Swedish Army. He would eventually rise to the rank of Lieutenant General. In 1907, Gustaf Adolf became Crown Prince upon his father’s accession to the Swedish throne. He would hold this title for nearly 43 years before becoming King himself in 1950.

Gustaf Adolf married Princess Margaret of Connaught in 1905, and the couple had five children – Prince Gustaf Adolf (father of the current King); Prince Sigvard; Princess Ingrid (became Queen of Denmark, mother of the current Queen); Prince Bertil; and Prince Carl Johan. Margaret died in 1920, while eight months pregnant with her sixth child.

For more information about Gustaf Adolf see:

Louise’s Early Life

Louise as a baby, with her parents and older sister, Alice

Lady Louise Mountbatten was born Princess Louise Alexandra Marie Irene of Battenberg on July 13, 1889 at Schloss Heiligenberg in the Grand Duchy of Hesse. She was the second of four children of Prince Ludwig of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. Her siblings were Princess Alice (later Princess Andrew of Greece), George, 2nd Marquess of Milford-Haven, and Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Despite their German titles, the family was very much British. Louise’s father spent his entire life in the British Royal Navy and served as First Sea Lord up until World War I.

Educated mostly at home, Louise traveled often as her father’s naval position often had him stationed in different places. She did a lot of volunteer work with military organizations as well as working as a nurse with the Red Cross.

In 1917, King George V of the United Kingdom asked all of his relatives in Britain to relinquish their German titles and styles. Louise’s family gave up their Battenberg titles, taking on the surname Mountbatten, and her father was created Marquess of Milford Haven. As the daughter of a Marquess, Louise became Lady Louise Mountbatten.

Louise had several previous romances – she refused a proposal from King Manuel II of Portugal, and later was secretly engaged to Prince Christopher of Greece. Another engagement to a Scottish artist was also called off.

For more information about Louise see:

The Engagement

In June 1923, Lady Louise’s great-aunt, Princess Helena (the third daughter of Queen Victoria), passed away in London. Among those attending the funeral was Prince Gustaf Adolf. He and Louise were drawn to each other immediately, and despite her vow that she would never marry a king or a widower, fate had other plans. Their engagement was announced on July 1, 1923 by both the Swedish and British courts. However, it was not without controversy. Some in Sweden felt that it violated the succession laws in Sweden, which stated that a Swedish prince would forfeit his succession rights if he “with or without the King’s knowledge and consent, married a private Swedish or foreign man’s daughter”. As Louise ceased to be a Princess of Battenberg several years earlier when the family gave up their German titles, it was questioned if she was considered a private man’s daughter or not. After lengthy discussions, it was deemed that she was of suitable rank and that her husband-to-be would remain Crown Prince of Sweden.

Wedding Guests

Unlike the groom’s first marriage which was attended by royalty from around the world, the marriage between Gustaf Adolf and Louise was a much smaller affair. Other than their immediate families, only two foreign royals attended. Below is a partial list of the guests:

The Groom’s Family
King Gustav of Sweden
Prince Wilhelm of Sweden

The Bride’s Family
The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven
The Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven
David Mountbatten, Earl of Medina
Lady Tatiana Mountbatten
Lord and Lady Louis Mountbatten
Princess Andrew of Greece
Princess Margarita of Greece
Princess Theodora of Greece
Princess Cecilie of Greece
Princess Sophie of Greece

The British Royal Family
King George and Queen Mary of the United Kingdom
Dowager Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom
The Prince of Wales
The Duke and Duchess of York
Prince Henry of the United Kingdom
Prince George of the United Kingdom
Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles and Viscount Lascelles

Foreign Royalty
Queen Maud of Norway
Dowager Queen Olga of Greece

The Wedding Attendants

Louise’s bridesmaids were the four daughters of her sister, Princess Andrew of Greece:

  • Princess Margarita of Greece
  • Princess Theodora of Greece
  • Princess Cecilie of Greece
  • Princess Sophie of Greece

Her train was carried by the children of her brother George, Marquess of Milford Haven:

  • David Mountbatten, Earl of Medina
  • Lady Tatiana Mountbatten

The bridesmaids wore dresses of crepe Georgette in pale peach, with Lady Tatiana also in the same color. David, Earl of Medina wore a sailor outfit.

The groom was attended by his brother, Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, who wore his blue and gold uniform of the Swedish Navy.

The Wedding Attire

Lady Louise wore a dress made from Indian silver gauze which had been a gift from her uncle, the Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. The dress featured a square neck and wrap-over skirt, with a low waist adorned with a lover’s knot of orange blossoms. The flowers also trailed down the dress, encased in silver thread, leading to a 4-yard train. Over the gown, she wore a short ermine cape which had belonged to her grandmother, Princess Alice. She carried a bouquet of lilies of the valley.

The bridal tiara. source: Wikipedia

Instead of a jeweled tiara, she wore a heavy diadem of orange buds, designed in the shape of a tiara. Her veil, of Honiton lace, had also belonged to her grandmother, Princess Alice. It had been a gift from Alice’s mother, Queen Victoria, at the time of Alice’s wedding in 1862. In addition, Louise’s mother Victoria also wore the veil at her wedding in 1884.

Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf wore his full military uniform with several Swedish and British honours:

  • The badge – on a necklet – of the Order of the Polar Star (Sweden)
  • The Royal Victorian Chain (UK)
  • The Sash and Star of the Order of the Bath (UK)
  • The Star of the Order of the Seraphim (Sweden)
  • The Star of the Order of Vasa (Sweden)
  • The Star of the Order of Carl XIII (Sweden)

The Ceremony

Interior of the Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace. photo: Daily Mail/PA

With the guests and the groom waiting, Lady Louise arrived at the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace, accompanied by her brother The Marquess of Milford Haven. The brief marriage service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London. During the service, the Archbishop spoke kindly of Louise’s late father and his lifelong service to Britain. He referred to Louise as the “…daughter of a gallant, well-loved man, to whose prescience, firmness and resource England and the Allies of England owe a debt which is not forgotten.”

Following the service, the newly married couple greeted the crowds who had gathered, including a large group of the Swedish community in London who were seated in a special stand just outside the chapel. They traveled by car to Kensington Palace, where a wedding reception was held for the invited guests. Afterward, the couple traveled to Cliveden in Buckinghamshire – the home of Viscount and Viscountess Astor – which was loaned to them by the Astors for the first part of their honeymoon. They then traveled to Paris and Italy before returning to Sweden.

Wedding of Queen Elizabeth II of The United Kingdom and Lt. Philip Mountbatten

by Susan Flantzer

The Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom) and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten were married at Westminster Abbey in London, England on November 20, 1947.

Princess Elizabeth’s Family

HRH Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on April 21, 1926, at 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair, the London home of her maternal grandfather. Her parents were the Duke and Duchess of York: HRH Prince Albert, the second son of King George V, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the daughter of the 14th Earl of Strathmore. The new baby was named after her mother, her grandmother Queen Mary, and her great-grandmother Queen Alexandra, who had died the previous year. In her family, the baby was known as Lilibet. Elizabeth had only one sibling, a sister, Margaret Rose (1930-2002) who married Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960. The couple divorced in 1978. Elizabeth and her sister were educated at home primarily by their governess Marion Crawford. The York family was considered an ideal family by the British public and King George V adored his granddaughters, particularly Elizabeth.

At her birth, Elizabeth was third in line to the throne after her uncle Edward, Prince of Wales (known in the family as David) and her father. It was considered unlikely that she would become queen since her uncle was still young, and it was assumed that he would marry and have a family of his own. In January 1936, when Elizabeth was nearly ten, her grandfather King George V died and his eldest son succeeded him as King Edward VIII. The new king was still unmarried and Elizabeth’s father was now heir to the throne and Elizabeth was number two in the line of succession. Later that year, there was a crisis when King Edward VIII proposed to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American. The government’s opposition to the marriage and the king’s unwillingness to give up Mrs. Simpson led to King Edward VIII’s abdication in December 1936. In an instant, Elizabeth’s life changed. Her father succeeded his brother as King George VI and Elizabeth was how heiress presumptive. This meant that she was presumed to be the heir, but if a brother were born, he would move ahead of Elizabeth in the succession. As befitting her new role, Elizabeth received private instruction from Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College in constitutional history.

After her marriage in 1947, Elizabeth had a little more than four years to enjoy her new husband and start a family. Her first child Charles was born in November 1948 and a daughter, Anne, was born in August 1950. Ill with lung cancer, King George VI died on February 6, 1952, while Elizabeth and Philip were in Kenya. She had left her country as HRH The Princess Elizabeth and returned as HM Queen Elizabeth II.

“Brewer’s British Royalty” by David Williamson
Wikipedia: Queen Elizabeth II
“Margaret Rose, Princess, Countess of Snowdon (1930–2002)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Wikipedia: Princess Margaret

The Family of Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten
(Prince Philip of Greece)

HRH Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born June 10, 1921, at Villa Mon Repos on the Greek island of Corfu. His father was HRH Prince Andrew of Greece, the son of King George I of Greece (formerly Prince William of Denmark) and Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, and his mother was Her Serene Highness Princess Alice of Battenberg, the daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. During World War I, when King George V ordered his family to relinquish their German styles and titles, Prince Louis became the Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven. Princess Victoria’s mother was Princess Alice, a daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Therefore, Philip and Elizabeth are third cousins as they are both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They also share descent from King Christian IX of Denmark. Philip is King Christian’s great grandson and Elizabeth his great-great-granddaughter, so they are also second cousins once removed.

Philip had four much older sisters: Margarita (1905-1981) who married Prince Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Langenburg; Theodora (1906-1969) who married Prince Berthold, Margrave of Baden; Cecilie (1911-1937) who married Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse; and Sophie (1914-2001) who married (1) Prince Christoph of Hesse, who died in World War II and (2) Prince George William of Hanover.

Philip’s childhood was far from ideal. A year after his birth, his uncle, King Constantine I, abdicated after Greece suffered a humiliating defeat in the Greco-Turkish War and his father Prince Andrew was arrested. Andrew had been a commander in the war and had refused to obey orders which he considered desperate and dangerous to his men. He was court-martialed and found guilty of “disobeying an order” and “acting on his own initiative.” Many others who had been tried and found guilty had been executed, so there was fear that Andrew would suffer the same fate. However, he was spared, but banished from Greece for life. His family fled Greece on a British cruiser with the young Philip in a crib made from a fruit box.

The family in exile was forced to depend upon relatives. They first settled in a Paris suburb in a house provided by Princess Marie Bonaparte, Andrew’s sister-in-law. During the next several years, the family drifted apart. Philip’s mother, Princess Alice, suffered a nervous breakdown when Philip was nine, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and spent two years in a Swiss sanatorium. After her release from the sanatorium, Alice isolated herself from her family until late 1936, maintaining contact only with her mother. In this period, her daughters married and settled in Germany, Philip was sent to England to live with his mother’s brothers and her mother, and Andrew moved to the French Riviera. Andrew and Alice did not see each other again until the 1937 funeral of their daughter Cecilie, their son-in-law and two of their grandchildren who were killed in an airplane accident. After this, Alice did remain in contact with her family, but she and Andrew remained separated. Philip, by this time, was a teenager. She told Philip he should return to live in Greece, apparently not aware that her family was steering him toward a life in England.

“Brewer’s British Royalty” by David Williamson
“Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece” by Hugo Vickers
Wikipedia: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Wikipedia: Princess Alice of Battenberg
Wikipedia: Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark

The Engagement

Engagement photo
taken on July 10, 1947

Always looking to make connections for his family, Philip’s maternal uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten (the future 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma), then a Captain in the Royal Navy, arranged for his nephew to be the escort of Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret when the Royal Family toured Dartmouth Naval College in July 1939, where Philip was a cadet. 13-year-old Elizabeth fell in love with Philip and the two began exchanging letters. Seven weeks after this meeting, World War II began and Philip served in the Royal Navy during the war. Philip and Elizabeth saw each other during the war whenever possible, but it was not until the war was over that the courtship started in earnest. Philip was often at Buckingham Palace, his sports car roaring into the palace’s forecourt and Elizabeth running out to meet him. By the summer of 1946, the press was beginning to speculate about an engagement. Apparently, Philip proposed at Balmoral and Elizabeth said yes without consulting her parents. Although George VI approved of Philip, he resented that the “Royal Firm” of “Us Four” would be no more. The Royal Family was due to visit the Union of South Africa in early 1947 and the king did not want the engagement announced until their return. Apparently, some sort of argument ensued, but the king got his way. While Elizabeth was on her African trip, Philip, urged on by his uncle, renounced his Greek and Danish titles, become a naturalized British subject, and took the anglicized version of his mother’s surname, Mountbatten. On June 8, 1947, at midnight, the engagement was announced: “It is with the greatest pleasure that the King and Queen announce the betrothal of their dearly beloved daughter the Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, RN…to which the King has gladly given his consent.”

The Queen: The Life of Elizabeth II by Elizabeth Longford
Wikipedia: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Wikipedia: Queen Elizabeth II

The Engagement Ring

Philip did not have the kind of money needed for an engagement ring, but his mother came to the rescue. Alice had kept two tiaras and after a family discussion, it was decided that one of the tiaras would be dismantled to make the engagement ring and a bracelet that Philip would give to Princess Elizabeth as a wedding present.  The second tiara, the Meander Tiara, would be Alice’s wedding gift to Elizabeth.

Alice took the tiara to be dismantled to the jeweler Philip Antrobus Limited at 6 Old Bond Street in London where Princess Elizabeth’s platinum engagement ring was set with eleven diamonds in a design that Elizabeth and Philip had chosen together. The central stone is about three carats and is surrounded by five small diamonds on either side.

“Royal Sisters” by Anne Edwards

The Bridesmaids

Elizabeth had a retinue of eight bridesmaids. Two of the bridesmaids were also princesses: Margaret Rose, Elizabeth’s 17-year-old sister, and their paternal first cousin, Alexandra of Kent, the youngest in the wedding party at the age of 10.

Eldest of the eight bridesmaids was Diana Bowes-Lyon, the 24-year old daughter of The Honorable John Herbert Bowes-Lyon. The Honorable Margaret Elphinstone, the 22-year old daughter of the 16th Lord Elphinstone and his wife Mary Bowes-Lyon, was one of Elizabeth’s closest friends. Both were Elizabeth’s maternal first cousins.

Like Margaret Elphinstone, bridesmaid Lady Caroline Montagu-Douglas-Scott had often accompanied Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret to the theater, to dinner parties, and to dances in fashionable West End clubs and restaurants. Lady Caroline, who was 20 at the time, was the younger daughter of the 8th Duke of Buccleuch.

Other bridesmaids were Lady Pamela Mountbatten, 18, daughter of the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and a first cousin of the bridegroom; Lady Mary Cambridge, 23, daughter of the 2nd Marquess of Cambridge and a grandniece of Queen Mary; and 23-year-old Lady Elizabeth Lambart, daughter of the 10th Earl of Cavan.

“Royal Sisters” by Anne Edwards
Royal Genealogies,
Directory of Royal Genealogical Data,

The Wedding Attire

Princess Elizabeth was an all-white bride, with an all-white retinue of eight bridesmaids. Her dress, inspired by a Botticelli painting and created by Norman Hartnell, dressmaker to the bride’s mother, was made of 15 yards of rich ivory duchesse satin and was cut along classical lines, with a fitted bodice, long, tight sleeves, a full falling skirt, and a full court train 15 feet long. The broad heart-shaped neckline of the bodice was delicately embroidered with seed pearls and crystal in a floral design. From the pointed waistline, formed by a girdle of pearl-embroidered star flowers, the swirling skirt was hand embroidered in an exquisite design representing garlands of white York roses. It was carried out in raised pearls entwined with ears of corn embroidered in crystals and oat-shaped pearls. Alternating between the garlands of roses and wheat, and forming a final border around the entire hem of the skirt, were bands of orange blossom and star flowers appliqué with transparent tulle bordered with seed pearls and crystal.

The train of transparent ivory silk tulle fell from the bride’s shoulders and was edged with graduated satin flowers, forming a border at the end of the fan-shaped train. A reverse type of embroidery, used on the wedding gown, was introduced on the train by appliqué satin star flowers, roses, and wheat, further encrusted with pearl and crystal embroideries.

Elizabeth also wore a voluminous bridal veil of white tulle which was held by a tiara of pearls and diamonds, and ivory satin-draped sandals that had higher heels than she had ever worn before. The open-toe back and side effect was finished off with a silver buckle studded with small pearls.

There was a ban of secrecy on the details of the wedding dress, imposed by the Princess herself. That was lifted for reporters, but only a few hours before the royal wedding.

The gowns for the eight bridesmaids were made of ivory silk tulle with a design inspired by pictures hanging in Buckingham Palace.

Five-year-old Prince Michael, son of the late Duke of Kent, and six-year-old Prince William, the elder son of the Duke of Gloucester, wore Royal Stuart tartan kilts. It was their duty to carry their cousin Elizabeth’s train.

Other royals wore eye-catching attire to the wedding. Queen Ingrid of Denmark selected a full-length gray silk dress with a short jacket of the same material trimmed with blue fox, and a small gray velvet hat with feathers. Former Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain wore a long, softly draped gown of chiffon velvet. A sable cape and a small gray hat trimmed with yellow osprey feathers finished off the outfit. Princess Juliana of the Netherlands chose a long, soft, silky moss green dress with a belt of golden sequins. Her hat was adorned with paradise feathers.

“Royal Sisters” by Anne Edwards
“Elizabeth and Philip” by Charles Higham and Roy Moseley
“Majesty” by Robert Lacey
“Royal Silver Jubilee” by Patrick Montague-Smith
Two Centuries of Royal Weddings by Christopher Warwick
“Majesty” Magazine, November 1997 & February 1998

The Ceremony

The bride and her father enter Westminster Abbey as the bridesmaids adjust the wedding gown and veil

November 20, 1947, the wedding day, arrived. Philip had converted from Greek Orthodoxy to the Church of England in September. The morning of the wedding, it was announced that the King had created Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich with the style His Royal Highness. It was too late to change wedding program where his name appeared as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.

The guests were all in their seats at Westminster Abbey anxiously awaiting the start of the wedding ceremony. The bride’s grandmother, Queen Mary, wearing an outfit that featured a hip-length cape of aquamarine velvet, led the Royal Procession into the Abbey. Next came the bride’s mother, Queen Elizabeth, in a dress of gold and apricot lamé. They were followed by the foreign sovereigns. A drum roll and trumpet voluntary announced the arrival of the bride and her father, King George VI. As Princess Elizabeth walked down the aisle, she felt a tug on her gown. Six-year-old page Prince William of Gloucester was so nervous that he stepped on her train, but luckily had not torn it. The other page, five-year-old Prince Michael of Kent clutched the train so tightly that he committed the sin of walking right over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Abbey aisle.

At the altar, Philip waited with the best man, his cousin David Mountbatten, the 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven. The King put his daughter’s hand in Philip’s and took his place next to the Queen. The Dean of Westminster began the rite of solemnization and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, performed the wedding ceremony which followed the normal wedding service from the Book of Common Prayer. In her vows, Elizabeth promised to “obey” Philip. Elizabeth’s gold wedding ring was made from the same Welsh nugget as her mother’s wedding ring.

As the couple moved to the high altar, the King bent down and helped Prince Michael with the train which had become too heavy for him. The Lord’s Prayer and the litany were followed by a favorite hymn of Elizabeth’s. Then the Archbishop of York gave his address to the couple. As The Lord Is My Shepherd was sung, Elizabeth, Philip, the King, the Queen and several others disappeared into the Chapel of Edward the Confessor to sign the registry. As Mendelssohn’s Wedding March sounded for the recessional, Elizabeth paused to curtsey first to her father, then her mother, and finally to her grandmother Queen Mary, while Philip offered a bow to each. Once again, Prince Michael delayed the bride’s progress and Philip glanced back at him several times to make sure poor little Michael kept in step.

Among the 2,500 invited wedding guests were the following foreign sovereigns: King Frederick and Queen Ingrid of Denmark, King Haakon of Norway, King Michael and Queen Helen of Rumania, Queen Frederika of Greece, King Peter and Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia, Queen Victoria Eugenie (Ena) of Spain and the Dowager Queen Marie of Yugoslavia. Other foreign royals were: Princess Anne and Princess René of Bourbon-Parma, Prince Charles of Belgium, Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, The Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden, Prince and Princess George of Greece, The Duchess of Aosta, Princess Axel of Denmark, Prince Fleming of Denmark, Prince George of Denmark, Prince John and Princess Elizabeth of Luxembourg and Prince Nicholas of Greece.

Notably absent from the wedding celebrations were Philip’s three surviving sisters: Princess Margarita married to Prince Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Lagenburg; Princess Theodora married to Berthold, Margrave of Baden; and Princess Sophie, the widow of Prince Christoph of Hesse, and married to Prince George William of Hanover. The presence of German royalty so soon after World War II would have been embarrassing, especially since Prince Christoph, who died in World War II, had been a high-ranking Nazi. The sisters were simply not invited.

Also not invited were the uncle of the bride, the Duke of Windsor (the former King Edward VIII), and his wife, the Duchess of Windsor. The Duke was instructed to avoid answering questions from the press regarding the wedding which infuriated the Duchess.

“Royal Sisters” by Anne Edwards
“Majesty” by Robert Lacey
“Elizabeth and Philip” by Charles Higham and Roy Moseley
“Royal Silver Jubilee” by Patrick Montague-Smith

The Wedding Luncheon

A wedding luncheon for 150 was held in the State Dining Room at Buckingham Palace. The luncheon menu included Filet de Sole Mountbatten, Perdreau en Casserole, and Bombe Glace Princess Elizabeth served on gold plate. The speeches were short and the King rose with his champagne glass and said simply, “The bride!” Philip cut the cake with the sword of his grandfather, Lord Louis Mountbatten.

“Elizabeth and Philip” by Charles Higham and Roy Moseley
“Royal Sisters” by Anne Edwards

The Honeymoon

Photo taken three days after the wedding

After the luncheon, Elizabeth changed into a powder blue outfit and Philip into another uniform. It had started to rain, but Elizabeth insisted upon driving to Waterloo Station in an open carriage so the people could see the newly married couple. Hot water bottles were packed at her feet and Susan, her favorite Corgi who was accompanying her mistress, sat beneath her lap robe. As the couple left Buckingham Palace, members of the Royal Family threw paper rose petals at them.

The first part of the honeymoon was spent at Broadlands, the home of Lord and Lady Mountbatten, Philip’s aunt and uncle. The newlyweds had little privacy there as the public and photographers continuously sought opportunities to see them. The last part of the honeymoon was spent at the secluded Birkhall near Balmoral in Scotland.

“Elizabeth and Philip” by Charles Higham and Roy Moseley
“Royal Sisters” by Anne Edwards

Wedding of King George VI of The United Kingdom and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon

by Susan Flantzer

Prince George, Duke of York (the future King George VI of the United Kingdom) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon were married on April 26, 1923 at Westminster Abbey in London, England.

Prince Albert’s Family

HRH Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George was born on December 14, 1895, the anniversary of the death in 1861 of his great-grandfather Prince Albert. The baby’s father was George, Duke of York (later George V) and his mother was Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (later Queen Mary). In his family, the new baby was always known as Bertie, but he was formally known as Prince Albert.

Queen Victoria received the news with mixed feelings. Her son, the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) wrote to his son, the new baby’s father: “Grandmama was rather distressed that this happy event should have taken place on a darkly sad anniversary for us, but I think – as well as most of us in the family here – that it will break the spell of this unlucky date.”

Bertie had four brothers and one sister: Edward (1894) succeeded his father as Edward VIII, abdicated and was then styled HRH The Duke of Windsor; Mary (1897), later Princess Royal, married the 6th Earl of Harewood; Henry (1900), the Duke of Gloucester, married Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott; George (1902), the Duke of Kent, married Princess Marina of Greece; John (1905) died of epilepsy complications in 1919.

In 1901, Bertie’s great grandmother Queen Victoria died and his grandfather succeeded her as Edward VII. Bertie’s father George was created Prince of Wales in 1901. When his grandfather died in 1910, Bertie’s father ascended the throne as George V. Bertie’s elder brother Edward (known in the family as David) was created Prince of Wales in 1911.

Bertie, as a second son, grew up without any specific training for the throne. Following the tradition for second sons in the Royal Family, he entered the Royal Navy in 1913 and saw action during World War I. In 1916 Bertie was created a Knight of the Garter and in 1920 he was created Baron Killarney, Earl of Inverness and Duke of York, the same titles his father had received in 1892. In 1936, Bertie ascended the throne as King George VI upon the abdication of his brother.

“Brewer’s British Royalty” by David Williamson

Lady Elizabeth’s Family

Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, on right, and her brother David, at St. Paul’s Waldenbury in 1905

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was born on August 4, 1900, in London. She was the fourth daughter and the ninth of ten children of Claude Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis (who succeeded his father as 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in 1904) and Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck, a descendant of the Marquess Wellesley (brother of the Duke of Wellington) and the Kings of Ireland. Little Elizabeth bore the courtesy title of “Honorable” until her father became Earl when she exchanged it for “Lady.”

Elizabeth had three sister and six brothers: Violet (1882) died in childhood; Mary (1883) married Baron Elphinstone; Patrick (1884), the future Earl of Strathmore, married Lady Dorothy Osborne, the daughter of the Duke of Leeds; John Herbert (1886) married Fenella Hepburn-Stuart-Forbes-Trefuss; Alexander (1887) died unmarried; Fergus (1889) was killed in World War I; Rose (1890) married the Earl of Granville; Michael (1893) married Elizabeth Cator; David (1902) married Rachel Spender-Clay.

Elizabeth was brought up at Glamis Castle and educated privately. She was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Bertie’s sister Princess Mary to Viscount Lascelles in 1922.

The Bowes-Lyon family is an old Scottish family. Robert II of Scotland granted Sir John Lyon the Thaneage of Glamis in 1372 as a reward for service. In 1376, Sir John married Joanna, a daughter of Robert II of Scotland. Their grandson Patrick was created Lord Glamis in 1445. The 9th Lord Glamis, also a Patrick, was created Earl of Kinghorne in 1606. His grandson, the 3rd Earl, obtained a charter in 1677 stating that he and his heirs “should in all future ages be styled Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, Viscounts Lyon, Barons Glamis, Tannadyce, Sidlaw and Strathdichtie.” The 9th Earl married a Durham heiress, Mary Eleanor Bowes, and, as a condition of the marriage settlement, assumed the surname Bowes. Their sons, the 10th and 11th Earls and their grandson the 12th Earl adopted the surname Lyon-Bowes, but the 13th Earl reversed the order to the current Bowes-Lyon.

Glamis Castle,
Bowes Family of Brompton, Northallerton Yorkshire,
“The Queen” by Elizabeth Longford
“Thirty Years A Queen” by Geoffrey Wakeford

The Engagement

Engagement Portrait

Although they had met at a tea party in 1916, Bertie and Elizabeth had their first significant meeting on July 8, 1920, at the Royal Air Force Ball at the Ritz in London. Bertie had come to the ball with his equerry James Stuart, the youngest son of the Earl of Moray. Elizabeth and James were old friends from Scotland and shared a dance. Bertie questioned James about his dance partner and asked to be introduced. Although the meeting did not make much of an impression upon Elizabeth, Bertie fell in love that evening and started courting Elizabeth. He first proposed to her in 1921 and was rejected because Elizabeth feared the changes in her life being a member of the Royal Family would require. Elizabeth served as a bridesmaid in the wedding of Bertie’s sister Mary in February 1922. The following month, Bertie again proposed to her and was turned down once more. On January 2, 1923, after taking Elizabeth to dinner at Claridge’s and the theater, Bertie proposed a third time. After talking to friends and relatives and expressing her feelings in the diary, Elizabeth agreed to marry Bertie on January 14, 1923, although she still had misgivings.

“Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother: The Official Biography” by William Shawcross
“The Queen Mother” by Elizabeth Longford

The Trousseau

Designers from New York, Paris, London, Rome and Australia contributed to Lady Elizabeth’s trousseau, which included 65 formal gowns, over a hundred morning, tea and evening dresses and 72 fur coats and hats.

The bride-to-be received some spectacular jewels. As an engagement ring, Bertie had given her a large dark oval sapphire from Kashmir surrounded by diamonds. Her father, the Earl of Strathmore, gave her a platinum and diamond tiara with five large roses of gems separated by sprays of diamonds. From King George V, she received a diamond ribbon bow brooch. Her godmother presented her with a diamond and emerald arrow. Bertie also gave her a diamond replica of the badge of his naval cap and a diamond cluster corsage brooch designed as a spray of flowers with three diamond pendants suspended from a chain of platinum.

“Thirty Years A Queen”, Geoffrey Wakeford
“Elizabeth and Philip” by Charles Higham and Roy Moseley

The Wedding Attire

The bride’s dress was designed by Madame Handley-Seymour of New Bond Street, London. It was a pearl embroidered gown of ivory tinted chiffon moiré. The veil was an old “point de Flandres” veil loaned by Queen Mary. The train was made of machine-made lace from Nottingham in support of industry instead of the traditional handmade lace. Lady Elizabeth wore a double strand of matched pearls around her neck. The bridesmaids’ dresses were made of white chiffon lace also from Nottingham. In their hair, they wore myrtle green leaves and a white rose with a sprig of white heather.


“Royal Weddings” by Dulcie M. Ashdown
“Thirty Years A Queen” by Geoffrey Wakeford

The Bridesmaids

Lady Elizabeth had an escort of eight bridesmaids. Her nieces Elizabeth Elphinstone, daughter of her sister Mary and the 16th Lord Elphinstone and 2nd Baron Elphinstone, and Cecilia Bowes-Lyon, daughter of her brother Patrick, the future 15th Earl of Strathmore, carried her train. The remaining bridesmaids were Lady May Cambridge, daughter of the1st Earl of Athlone (Queen Mary’s brother Alexander) and Princess Alice of Albany (Queen Victoria’s granddaughter); Lady Mary Cambridge, daughter of the 1st Marquess of Cambridge (Queen Mary’s brother Adolphus); Lady Katherine Hamilton, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Abercorn; Lady Mary Thynne, daughter of the 5th Marquess of Bath; The Honorable Diamond Hardinge, daughter of the 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst; and Miss Elizabeth Cator, who would marry Elizabeth’s brother Michael.

“Thirty Years A Queen” by Geoffrey Wakeford
Royal Genealogies,
Directory of Royal Genealogical Data,

The Ceremony

The wedding of HRH The Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was held on April 26, 1923, at Westminster Abbey, London. Before the ceremony, at Buckingham Palace, King George V bestowed upon Bertie the Most Ancient Order of the Thistle, the Scottish counterpart of the Garter, which he had received six years earlier.

The wedding procession started with the Archbishop of Canterbury, followed by the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of London, and the Primate of Scotland. The National Anthem was played followed by Elgar’s Imperial March. As the Royal Family entered the Abbey, the congregation rose. Princess Mary and her husband Viscount Lascelles appeared first followed by Prince George in midshipman’s uniform flanked by Queen Alexandra, the Queen Mother, and her sister Marie, the Dowager Empress of Russia. King George and Queen Mary followed. The King was wearing the full-dress uniform of an admiral. The Queen wore a silver and aquamarine gown with the sash of the Order of the Garter.

Bertie arrived at the Abbey with his brothers the Prince of Wales and Prince Henry. Bertie wore his Royal Air Force Group Captain’s uniform. The Prince of Wales wore a Welsh Guard uniform and Prince Henry wore a Hussar’s uniform. Their grandmother, Queen Alexandra, rose from her seat and embraced all three of her grandsons.

Cheers soon were heard announcing the bride’s arrival. Lady Elizabeth and her father entered the Abbey through the Great West Door. As Lady Elizabeth passed the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, whose remains had been brought from France and buried in the Abbey floor three years earlier, she laid her bouquet of white roses on it. No doubt she was thinking of her brother Fergus and all the other British soldiers who died in World War I.

As Elizabeth proceeded down the aisle, the boys’ choir sang Lead Us, Heavenly Father. Randall Thomas Davidson, Archbishop of Canterbury and Cosmo Lang, Archbishop of York waited at the altar to perform the marriage ceremony. After the vows were exchanged, the Archbishop of York addressed the couple: “The warm and generous heart of this people takes you today unto itself. Will you not, in response, take that heart, with all its joys and sorrows, unto your own?”

The choir sang Beloved, Let Us Love One Another, which had been composed by the Westminster Abbey organist Sir Sydney Hugo Nicholson for the wedding of Princess Mary the previous year. The newly-married couple proceeded up the Abbey aisle to Mendelssohn’s Wedding March.

“Royal Weddings” by Dulcie M. Ashdown
“Thirty Years A Queen” by Geoffrey Wakeford;
“Elizabeth and Philip” by Charles Higham and Roy Moseley

The Wedding Breakfast

The wedding breakfast was held at Buckingham Palace with the following menu: Consomme a la Windsor, Supremes de Saumon Reine Mary, Cotelettes d’Agneau Prince Albert, Chapons a la Strathmore, Jambon et Langue Decoupes a l’Aspic, Salade Royale, Asperges, Sauce Creme Mousseuse, Fraises Duchesse Elizabeth, Panier de Friandises, Dessert, Cafe.

Fourteen wedding cakes were made for the wedding breakfast. The most elaborate weighed 300 pounds and had nine tiers with a replica of the couple on top. On the first tier were reproductions of Windsor Castle and St. George’s Chapel. Glamis Castle appeared on the second tier and on the third tier were Masonic emblems in honor of Bertie and the Earl of Strathmore who were both Masons. Cupids ringing tiny silver wedding bells moved up and down ladders leading to the top of the cake. After the breakfast, the couple appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

“English Royal Cookbook” by Elizabeth Craig
“Thirty Years A Queen” by Geoffrey Wakeford
“Elizabeth and Philip” by Charles Higham and Roy Moseley

The Honeymoon

During the first part of their honeymoon at Polesden Lacey, Surrey

The couple took the train from Waterloo Station, London to Dorking, Surrey where they stayed at Polesden Lacey, the home of society hostess Mrs. Ronald Greville. They continued their honeymoon with a visit to Glamis Castle where Elizabeth came down with whooping cough. When she recovered, the couple concluded their honeymoon at Frogmore House, Windsor.

“Elizabeth and Philip” by Charles Higham and Roy Moseley
“Thirty Years A Queen” by Geoffrey Wakeford
“The Queen” by Elizabeth Longford