Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Queen Victoria's Wedding (Part 8): Victoria's Wreath & Veil

Queen Victoria on her Wedding Day
Painting by Winterhalter
Photo Credit: Versailles and More

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

On the afternoon of February 10, 1840, Queen Victoria steps into the Chapel Royal with eyes fixed upon her Beloved. Every other eye in the chapel is fixed upon her. From head to toe, she is a vision in white.

Her hair appears to have been styled in the fashionable coiled chignon, with sections of her hair loosely twisted into drop curls and likely pinned underneath a loose bun or ponytail. {Olcott} Heinrich Butschal reports that “a very few diamonds were studded in her hair behind which fastened the veil.” {Royal Magazin}

Resting delicately atop her head is a wreath of orange blossoms (purity) interlaced with myrtle (love and domestic happiness). Affixed atop her bun is the first piece of the beautiful white Honiton lacework edging her 4-1/2-foot square veil of machine-made cotton net that trails demurely down her back.

The second piece of Honiton to draw the eye is a wide Bertha collar, measuring 7-1/2” in length, which extends over the shoulders to provide a double puff to the sleeves of her dress. From here, the third piece of lace is secured as a 2-1/2” frill, which trails down her arm just beneath her elbow. The fourth and final piece of lace is found on the dramatic train of her dress. Intricately embroidered with exotic flowers and leaves, the 25-1/2”-deep flounce of lace backed by cotton net provides four (some accounts say six) yards of luxurious white satin for her beautiful bridesmaids to bear behind her.

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