Unless you’ve been hidden under a rock recently you will know that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has just celebrated her 90th birthday and on 9th September 2015 she became the longest serving monarch in British history, surpassing the record previously set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
But I wouldn’t be much of a wedding planner if I didn’t have an interest in the Royal weddings of the modern day (although I have to admit I only have to hear the word “wedding” and you’ve got my full attention). So with the Queen being widely featured in the media I thought it only right to write a blog about her wedding, which took place at Westminster Abbey on Thursday 20th November 1947. Not only is Her Majesty 90 years young – and the longest serving British monarch – in November 2017 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will celebrate 70 years of marriage, their platinum wedding anniversary.
Married at 21 years old, then-Princess Elizabeth and been friends with Philip Mountbatten since she was 13. Their engagement was formally announced on 9th July 1947 shortly after Elizabeth turned 21 although it was thought that Philip, 5 years her senior, had approached King George VI for his consent to marry Elizabeth at some point in 1946 when they secretly became engaged. Not a secret I’d have been able to keep.
Norman Hartnell, second cousin to William Hartnell of Doctor Who fame, was commissioned to design and make the Princess’ wedding gown.
With material purchased from ration coupons he created this stunning gown of duchesse satin embellished with embroidered star lilies and orange blossom with a silk tulle train measuring 15ft.
The tiara worn by Princess Elizabeth was the Russian Fringe tiara. It was originally made for Queen Mary in 1919 and passed to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who leant it to Princess Elizabeth for her wedding day. This tiara would also be worn by Elizabeth’s daughter Princess Anne in 1973, on loan from her grandmother.
Princess Elizabeth carried a simple bouquet of white orchids which contained a sprig of myrtle from the bush grown from the myrtle in Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet and was accompanied by eight bridesmaids, one of which was her sister Margaret, and two page boys.
The official cake was prepared by McVities & Price and the four tiers stood at a towering 9ft.
Princess Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh spent their wedding night in my home town of Romsey, Hampshire, at the Broadlands Estate, home of Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Philip’s uncle and known to residents of Romsey as Lord Louis. So, if my calculations are correct, my nan and grandad would have been in the crowds welcoming the newly-wed royal couple when they travelled to Broadlands after arriving at Romsey train station. Random fact: my lovely Nan would have been expecting my Uncle at the time.
If you enjoyed reading this blog please leave me a comment and feel free to share with anyone you think might enjoy reading it.
Amethyst Weddings is owned and operated by Siân Bowron.
Offering advice, planning and on the day coordination services for weddings throughout Hampshire including all of the New Forest.
Contact Siân for more information on services available and to book your no obligation meeting on: email@example.com | 07818 226729