Marriage of A Princess
The marriage of a Princess is so remarkable an event, and so little is known in this county of Royal Etiquette, that we transfer to our columns, from an English paper that has fallen into our possession, an account of the late marriage of the Princess Alice, second daughter of the Queen of England, to Prince Louise of Hesse. The royal Jenkins describes the ceremony, dress, etiquette, &c., on the occasion and offers a pleasing diversion from the war and “rumors of war” that have so incessantly filled our columns. The London paper says:
The wedding of the princess Royal, public as it comparatively was, was considered out of doors far to private for the interest which the public took in ever event connected with the royal family; but the sad bereavement which has so recently taken place made it imperative in this case that the utmost seclusion should be preserved. So much are people inclined to disbelieve in the actual privacy of royal movements, that the completeness with which it was preserved will hardly receive credence from the public. But so it was; and neither in Southampton, nor Portsmouth, no Cowes, no within a hundred yards of Osborne House, was there the slightest indication that the second daughter of the Queen of England was about to be married, or that any event of the slightest importance was about to disturb the daily current of event. It certainly was a strange and solemn sight for a few of the public who flitted about the Osborne road, to see no indications of life about the park, beyond a few servants, in the deepest mourning, passing almost stealthily up and down the avenue. So little did the public seem to know about the events, that when the five o’clock express train to town was shunted at Basingstoke to allow the special royal train with the visitors at Osborne to pass, it was almost impossible to make the passengers by the former believe the true reason. They had a strong impression that some accident had happened on the line, and were only reassured when they saw the royal saloon carriage shooting past on the main line, with the visitors at the wedding seated in it, all in mourning.
For the ceremony an altar had been erected in the dining room, covered in purple velvet and gold, and surrounded by a handsome gilt railing. Beyond this, I understand that not a single special arrangement was made for the ceremonial. Her royal highness the bride was supported by her uncle, his royal highness the reigning duke of Saxe Coburg and Gotha, and was accompanied by her royal highness’s sisters, their royal highnesses the Princess Helena, the Princess Louise, and the Princess Beatrice, and by her grand ducal highness the Princess Anna of Hesse, sister of his grand ducal highness the bridgegroom, as bridesmaids. The parents of the bridegroom were placed opposite to the queen. When the bride had taken her place the service commenced. The bride was given away by her uncle, his royal highness the reigning Duke of Saxe Coburg and Gotha.
At the conclusion of the service, the bride and bridegroom were conducted by Lord Chamberlain to an adjoining apartment. Her majesty, the Queen, remained until all present at the ceremony had withdrawn, and then retired. The other royal and illustrious personages and guests proceeded to the drawing room. The marriage register was taken by the Hon. And Very Rev. the Dean of Windsor to her majesty and the bride and bridegroom for their signatures, and subsequently to the drawing room, for the signatures of the remaining witnesses.
The dress worn on the occasion was a morning dress; the gentlemen black evening coats, white waistcoats, gray trousers, and black neckcloths; and the ladies in gray or violet morning dresses, and gray or white gloves.
The bride, I was told – and the ladies will be grateful for the information – wore a dress of white silk, of a new description, called “crystaline,” with a single flounce of Honiton lace, and a border of orange flowers at the bottom of the skirt. I was also informed that nearly the whole of the company wore second mourning, and that there was a singular absence of flowers, jewelry, or decorations of any description. The ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of York, assisted by the Dean of Windsor, and the Rev. William Protheroe, rector of Whippingham, the office of bride-maids being sustained by the younger Princesses, and the Duke of Saxe Coburg giving the bride away. Her majesty was present at the ceremony, and among the company were the Grand ducal family of Hesse, the Duchess of Cambridge, Pricness Mary and Duke of Cambridge, His serene Highness the Prince of Saxe Coburg Goth, the Duchess of Wellington, the Lord Chancellor, Earl Granville, Viscount Palmerston, Sir George Grey, Sir GC Lewis, Earl Rusell, the Hon CP Villiers, etc.
After the ceremony the wedding presents were inspected. Prominent among these were those offered by the Duchess of Athol, the Maharaha Dhuleep Singh, and the Countess of Fife. The Duchess of Athol’s present was a presse Papier, the base formed from a piece of green variegated marble from Blair Athol, mounted with mouldings of oak leaves and acorns, having on side, in relief, the arms of Prince Louis of Hesse and her Royal Highness’s arms, with coronet over; on the other side the following inscription: “To her Royal Highness, the Princess Alice of England, on her marriage, by the Duchess of Athol”. The whole was surmounted with a finely modeled royal stag ascending a rocky peak, designed by Frederick Taylor; esq., RA, the whole in silver gilt. His Highness the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh’s present was a magnificent jeweled fan in gold; on one side the Rose of England carved from a large ruby, with emerald enamel, having her Royal Highness’s monogram of A.M.M. the initials of Alice Maud Mary, on diamond rubies and emerald blended. The reverse side is somewhat similar in design, but having orange blossoms and buds composed of large pearls, with leaves of cut emerald, and the monogram as before, but in gothic letters. The loop of the fan is formed by the letters D.S. in sanscrit, his highness’ oriental monogram, from which is suspended a gold chain with two large emeralds for tassels, and a number of pearls placed at intervals between the links. The Countess of Fife’s gift upon the occasion was a rich silver gild jewel casket, with a guardian angel at each corner, surmounted by a large cairngorm, set in gold, engrave around, “Cairngorm from Mar Forest,” the key formed of her royal highness’s coronet, the whole richly engraved with rose, shamrock and thistle, with monogram, and bearing a suitable inscription. The stone is a remarkable specimen, and is found of great beauty and size on the Mar estate.
For the wedding breakfast a pavilion fifty-three feet by thirty three, lined and elegantly decorated and with a boarded floor covered with crimson cloth, had been erected on the lawn, and connected with the palace by a decorated corridor. The pavilion was so much liked that for several days the distinguished visitors had dined there – twenty of Saturday, thirty on Sunday, and upwards of Forty on Monday. About seventy guests were at the breakfast this morning. A trophy of silk flags, with the royal standard in the centre, had been put up, and the Prince of Wales’ shields.
A jejenner was served at two-o’clock, after which the greatest part of her Majesty’s royal and other visitors returned to London.
Source: Fayetteville Observer, December 4, 1862 as found in www.digitalnc.org.
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