Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Departure to Windsor Castle: Queen Victoria's Wedding (Part 26)

Examples of Pelisse* trimmed in swansdown
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Albert looked dashing in a plain dark traveling suit with a dark coat, waiting for his bride. Returning in an elegant white satin morning dress and possibly “a white satin pelisse trimmed in swansdown,” Queen Victoria met her husband at the foot of the stairs. {17, p. 790-91}

His breath must have caught in his throat at the sight of his blushing young bride in her dazzling white gown. On her head, she wore a white terry velvet bonnet trimmed with bouquets of orange blossoms accented by marabout* feathers.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stepped into, not a new wedding coach, but rather what Charles Greville refers to as “one of the old traveling coaches,” which was in “very poor and shabby style.” Mr. Greville further reports that the men guiding the horses wore the plain uniform of stable boys.

Behind the Queen’s carriage, their royal escorts rode in three separate horse-drawn coaches. Though the cortege set off at a rapid pace, after Queen Victoria saw the “immense crowd of people” lining the streets outside Buckingham Palace and heard their “most enthusiastic and hearty” reception of the couple, she gave orders to slow the procession so she could fully receive the honor her people so graciously bestowed upon her and the Prince.

It would take three hours for the Royal retinue to travel the 22 miles to Windsor Palace, and oh, what marvelous sites they would behold along the way.

*A pelisse is an ankle-length cloak with sleeves, and marabout are African storks.

Read Part 25

Read Part 27

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