Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Queen Victoria's Wedding (Part 14): Standing in the Chapel Royal

Chapel Royal, St. James Palace
Engraved by W Radclyffe, circa 1841-44
Published by J Mead in Gough Square, Fleet Street London
Photo Source: Maritime Gallery
by Angela Magnotti Andrews

It was a spectacle of the grandest nature for those guests fortunate enough to be standing in the Chapel Royal as Queen Victoria made her way to the altar to pledge her vows as a Bride. Having arrived two hours early, these most distinguished guests thoroughly enjoyed the hushed quiet in the richly arranged cathedral.

Lined entirely in crimson velvet, the altar and raised floor exuded a rich and regal feel. From their seats, stuffed with horse hair and covered in fine yellow-fringed crimson cloth, there was plenty to arouse the senses of those privileged witnesses to this celebrated event.

Beneath their feet lay a rich indigo carpet patterned with golden Norman roses. Festoons of crimson velvet edged with gold laced decorated the wall above the communion table, which shone brilliantly with the handiwork of Messr. Garrard. Among the new additions to the altar were six salvers, two gigantic vases, four flagons with four cups, and two splendid candelabra, all made of pure gold. {Hope, Anecdotes, p. 749-50}

Filled to the brim with Britain’s most distinguished nobles wearing their most elaborate finery, the 62’ x 25’ rectangular room was customized to accommodate the 300 most prestigious wedding guests who presented tickets for the privilege of sitting this close to the wedding of their Queen.

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