Neha Patil (Editor)

Wedding of Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon

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Covid-19
Date  26 April 1923
Wedding of Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Participants  Prince Albert, Duke of York Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon Members of the British Royal Family and guests
Location  Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom

The wedding of Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) took place on 26 April 1923 at Westminster Abbey.

Contents

Courtship and proposals

Prince Albert, Duke of York—"Bertie" to the family—was the second son of King George V. He was second in line to succeed his father, behind his elder brother the Prince of Wales. He initially proposed to Elizabeth in 1921, but she turned him down, being "afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to". When he declared he would marry no one else, his mother, Queen Mary, visited Glamis to see for herself the girl her son wanted to marry. She became convinced that Elizabeth was "the one girl who could make Bertie happy", but nevertheless refused to interfere. At the same time, Elizabeth was courted by James Stuart, Albert's equerry, until he left the prince's service for a better-paid job in the American oil business.

In February 1922, Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Albert's sister, Princess Mary, to Viscount Lascelles. The following month, Albert proposed again, but she refused him once more. Eventually, in January 1923, Elizabeth agreed to marry Albert, despite her misgivings about royal life. Albert's freedom in choosing Elizabeth, not a member of a royal family, though the daughter of a peer, was considered a gesture in favour of political modernisation; previously, princes were expected to marry princesses.

Wedding

Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon were married on 26 April 1923 in Westminster Abbey. In an unexpected and unprecedented gesture, Elizabeth laid her bouquet at the Tomb of The Unknown Warrior on her way into the Abbey, in memory of her brother Fergus. Ever since, the bouquets of subsequent royal brides have traditionally been laid at the tomb, though after the wedding ceremony rather than before.

Lady Elizabeth was attended by eight bridesmaids:

  • The Lady Mary Cambridge (26), daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Cambridge, niece of Queen Mary and thus a cousin of the groom
  • The Lady May Cambridge (17), daughter of Princess Alice and the Earl of Athlone, niece of Queen Mary and thus first cousin of the groom
  • The Lady Mary Thynn (20), daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Bath
  • The Lady Katharine Hamilton (23), daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Abercorn
  • The Hon Diamond Hardinge (22), daughter of Lord and Lady Hardinge
  • The Hon Cecilia Bowes-Lyon (11), daughter of Lord and Lady Glamis, niece of the bride
  • The Hon Mary Elizabeth Elphinstone (11), daughter of Lord and Lady Elphinstone, niece of the bride
  • Miss Betty Cator (later sister-in-law to the bride, as Hon Mrs Michael Bowes-Lyon)
  • The newly formed British Broadcasting Company had wanted to record and broadcast the event on radio, but the Chapter vetoed the idea (although the Dean, Herbert Edward Ryle, was in favour). Albert's marriage to a British commoner was considered a modernising gesture.

    The groom's family

  • The King and Queen, the groom's parents
  • The Prince of Wales, the groom's brother
  • The Prince Henry, the groom's brother
  • The Prince George, the groom's brother
  • Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles and Viscount Lascelles, the groom's sister and her husband
  • The Hon. George Lascelles, the groom's nephew
  • Queen Alexandra, the groom's paternal grandmother
  • The Princess Royal, the groom's paternal aunt
  • The Duchess of Fife and Prince Arthur of Connaught, the groom's first cousin and her husband
  • Earl of Macduff, the groom's second cousin
  • Princess Maud of Fife, the groom's cousin
  • The Princess Victoria, the groom's paternal aunt
  • The King and Queen of Norway, the groom's paternal aunt and her husband
  • The Crown Prince of Norway, the groom's cousin
  • The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, the groom's paternal granduncle
  • The Crown Prince of Sweden, widower of the groom's late first cousin once removed
  • The Duke of Västerbotten, the groom's second cousin
  • Princess Ingrid of Sweden, the groom's second cousin
  • The Lady Patricia and Capt Sir Alexander Ramsay, the groom's first cousin, once removed and her husband
  • Mr Alexander Ramsay of Mar, the groom's second cousin
  • Prince Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha's family:
  • The Queen of the Romanians, the groom's first cousin, once removed
  • The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Romania, the groom's second cousin and his second wife
  • Prince Michael of Romania, the groom's third cousin
  • Princess Christian, the groom's paternal grandaunt
  • The Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, the groom's first cousin, once removed
  • Princess Helena Victoria, the groom's first cousin, once removed
  • Princess Marie Louise, the groom's first cousin, once removed
  • The Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, the groom's paternal grandaunt
  • Princess Henry of Battenberg, the groom's paternal grandaunt
  • The Marquess of Carisbrooke and Marchioness of Carisbrooke, the groom's first cousin, once removed and his wife
  • The Queen and King of Spain, the groom's first cousin, once removed and her husband
  • The Prince of Asturias, the groom's second cousin
  • Infante Jaime of Spain, the groom's second cousin
  • Infante Juan of Spain, the groom's second cousin
  • Infante Gonzalo of Spain, the groom's second cousin
  • Infanta Beatriz of Spain, the groom's second cousin
  • Infanta Maria Cristina of Spain, the groom's second cousin
  • German Empress Victoria, Queen of Prussia's family:
  • The Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, widower of the groom's late first cousin, once removed
  • Princess Heinrich XXX Reuss of Köstritz, the groom's second cousin
  • Prince and Princess Henry of Prussia, the groom's first cousin, once removed and his wife
  • Prince and Princess Waldemar of Prussia, the groom's second cousin and his wife
  • The Queen Mother of the Hellenes, the groom's first cousin, once removed
  • The King and Queen of the Hellenes, the groom's second cousin and his wife
  • Princess Alexander of Greece and Denmark, widow of the groom's late second cousin
  • Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark, the groom's third cousin
  • The Hereditary Princess of Hesse, the groom's first cousin, once removed
  • Prince Wolfgang of Hesse, the groom's second cousin
  • Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse and by Rhine's family:
  • The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine, the groom's first cousin once removed
  • The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, the groom's first cousin, once removed
  • The Marquess of Milford Haven and Marchioness of Milford Haven, the groom's second cousin and his wife
  • Lord and Lady Louis Mountbatten, the groom's second cousin and his wife
  • The Queen Dowager of Denmark, widow of the groom's late paternal granduncle
  • The King and Queen of Denmark, the grom's second cousin and his wife
  • The Duchess and Duke of Västergötland, the groom's second cousin and her husband
  • The Queen Dowager of the Hellenes, the groom's grandaunt
  • The Empress Dowager of All the Russias, the groom's grandaunt
  • Prince Valdemar of Denmark, the groom's granduncle
  • Prince and Princess Axel of Denmark, the groom's second cousin and his wife
  • Princess René of Bourbon-Parma, the groom's second cousin
  • The Marquess and Marchioness of Cambridge, the groom's maternal uncle and aunt
  • Earl and Countess of Eltham, the groom's first cousin and his wife
  • Lord Frederick Cambridge, the groom's first cousin
  • Lady Mary Cambridge, the groom's first cousin
  • Lady Helena Gibbs and Mr John Gibbs, the groom's first cousin and her husband
  • The Earl of Athlone and Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, the groom's maternal uncle and aunt
  • Viscount Trematon, the groom's first cousin
  • Lady May Cambridge, the groom's first cousin
  • The bride's family

  • The Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the bride's parents
  • Lord and Lady Glamis, the bride's brother and sister-in-law
  • Master of Glamis, the bride's nephew
  • Mr Timothy Bowes-Lyon, the bride's nephew
  • Miss Cecilia Bowes-Lyon, the bride's niece
  • Miss Nancy Bowes-Lyon, the bride's niece
  • Mr and Mrs John Bowes-Lyon, the bride's brother and sister-in-law
  • Miss Anne Bowes-Lyon, the bride's niece
  • Miss Nerissa Bowes-Lyon, the bride's niece
  • Mr Michael Bowes-Lyon, the bride's brother
  • Mr David Bowes-Lyon, the bride's brother
  • The Lady and Lord Elphinstone, the bride's sister and brother-law
  • Master of Elphinstone, the bride's nephew
  • Mr Andrew Elphinstone, the bride's nephew
  • Miss Jean Constance Elphinstone, the bride's niece
  • Lady Rose Leveson-Gower and William Leveson-Gower Esq, the bride's sister and brother-in-law
  • Mr Granville James Leveson-Gower, the bride's nephew
  • Miss Mary Cecilia Leveson-Gower, the bride's niece
  • Mr and Mrs Francis Bowes-Lyon, the bride's paternal uncle and aunt
  • Miss Muriel Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Mr Charles Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Mr Geoffrey Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Miss Winnifred Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Mr Ronald Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Miss Doris Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Miss Lillian Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Mrs Ernest Bowes-Lyon, widow of the bride's late paternal uncle
  • Mr Hubert Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Miss Susan Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Miss Dorothea Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Miss Joan Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Miss Marjorie Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Miss Ernestine Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Mr and Mrs Patrick Bowes-Lyon, the bride's paternal uncle and aunt
  • Mr Jean Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cosuin
  • Miss Margaret Ann Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Mr and Mrs Malcolm Bowes-Lyon, the bride's paternal uncle and aunt
  • Miss Clodagh Pamela Bowes-Lyon, the bride's first cousin
  • Lady Constance Blackburn and Mr Robert Francis Blackburn, the bride's paternal aunt and uncle
  • Mr Phyllis Blackburn, the bride's first cousin
  • Miss Claudia Blackburn, the bride's first cousin
  • Lady Maud Agness Bowes-Lyon, the bride's paternal aunt
  • Miss Ann Violet Cavendish-Bentinck, the bride's maternal aunt
  • Close relatives

  • The Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • Princess Julius Ernest of Lippe
  • The Crown Princess and Crown Prince of Montenegro
  • The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland and Teviotdale
  • Bride's dress

    Elizabeth's wedding dress was made from deep ivory chiffon moire, embroidered with pearls and a silver thread. It was intended to match the traditional Flanders lace provided for the train by Queen Mary. Elizabeth's dress, which was in the fashion of the early 1920s, was designed by Madame Handley-Seymour, dressmaker to Queen Mary.

    A strip of Brussels lace, inserted in the dress, was a Strathmore family heirloom. A female ancestor of the bride wore it to a grand ball for "Bonnie Prince Charlie", Charles Edward Stuart.

    The silver leaf girdle had a trail of spring green tulle, trailing to the ground; silver and rose thistle fastened it. According to an era news article: "In the trimming the bride has defied all old superstitions about the unluckiness of green."

    Unlike more recent dresses, details of this one were publicly revealed in advance of the wedding day. However, the dress was worked on until the last possible opportunity: the day before the wedding, Elizabeth divided her time between the wedding rehearsal and her dressmakers.

    Groom's uniform

    Prince Albert wore RAF full dress in the rank of group captain, his senior service rank at the time of his marriage.

    Honeymoon

    Upon their marriage, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was styled Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York. Following a wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace prepared by chef Gabriel Tschumi, they honeymooned at Polesden Lacey, a manor house in Surrey, and then went to Scotland, where she caught "unromantic" whooping cough.

    References

    Wedding of Prince Albert, Duke of York, and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon Wikipedia


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