Monday, November 12, 2012

Queen Victoria's Wedding (Part 4): Victoria Enters St. James's Palace

Queen Victoria's Bridesmaids
Photo Credit: Port Elizabeth Times

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

Prince Albert remains standing, possibly trembling just a bit, until the Queen Dowager (Queen Adelaide) shows some empathy and invites him to sit and chat while they await the Queen’s arrival.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., the organ and the trumpets resound with the strains of the British National Anthem as the Royal Bride floats regally through the lavishly adorned apartments St. James’s Palace, parading past all of her 2,100 invited wedding guests.* She is escorted in her father’s absence by her uncle, Prince Augustus Frederick, who is reported to have cried throughout the entire ceremony. {Longford, 142}

Her 12-foot white satin train (flounce) is held aloft somewhat clumsily by her twelve bridesmaids, the oldest daughters of chosen peers. These beautiful young maidens wear all-white dresses featuring long, off-the-shoulder sleeves. Sprays of white roses adorn their hair, the bodice of their gowns, and an upswept portion of their long white skirts. 

Painted in watercolor by the Queen, the design for these dresses was passed on to Harriet Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland, Mistress of the Robes. Supervising the dressmaking, the Mistress of the Robes ensured that each dress was made to perfection.

*The following rooms in St. James’s Palace were handsomely decorated to accommodate the 2,100 guests who would not fit in the 300-seat Chapel Royal: the Throne Room, the Ante Throne Room, Queen Anne’s Drawing Room, the Guard Chamber, the Armory, the Grand Staircase, and the Colonnade.

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