Monday, December 10, 2012

Queen Victoria's Wedding (Part 16): Wilt Thou Give This Woman?

Rupert Friend & Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria
The Wedding Scene
Copyright Unknown.
Photo Source: Madame Guillotine
by Angela Magnotti Andrews

You can be sure that once Queen Victoria stood face to face with her beloved Albert, the crimson velvet, the golden plates, and the rich festoons adorning the majestic Chapel Royal faded away. For a brief window in their very public life, she laid her royalty aside as they exchanged the most solemn of vows:

Albert, wilt thou give this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy state of matrimony? Wilt thou comfort her, honour, and keep her in sickness and in health; and forsake all other, keep thee only unto her, as long as ye both shall live?

In perfect English, the Prince answered ‘in a tone of softened feeling’ {Hope, Anecdotes, pp. 779-80}:

I, Albert, take thee, Victoria, to my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

When it was her turn, Victoria, in bright and dulcet tones both soft and resounding, emphasized the words, ‘love, cherish, and obey,’ with her eyes locked on his in rapt affection. {Gillian}

Though she was enraptured by the experience of being called by their first names, it would be the next moment which would most captivate her in the days to follow. As he slipped the plain gold wedding band onto her left fourth finger, he repeated these words with heartfelt solemnity:

With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I do thee endow; in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. {Hope, Anecdotes, p. 781-82}

The Archbishop of Canterbury finished the liturgy and then pronounced them man and wife. After receiving the felicitations of the Royal Family, Victoria and Albert grasped hands and walked among their peers for the first time as husband and wife.

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