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Posts Tagged ‘The Duke and Duchess of York’

Gentle Readers, this lovely post comes from Patty at Brandy Parfums. I think she captured the day and its history perfectly, don’t you?

“Are you happy?  Yes, are you happy?  Yes, very happy.”  These words the experts say were spoken by Prince William and his bride Kate Middleton in the 1902 state landau right after their wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Catherine and Prince William in the State Landau

How remarkable to witness a royal marriage with British pomp and grandeur with the added pleasure of observing the attractive couple’s affection for each other.

Prince William and his bride in the Landau

The day began auspiciously with the rain that had been forecast never occurring.  The crowds that had gathered watched the Welsh Guards band circling about the Queen Victoria Memorial at Buckingham Palace.  Then, at various intervals all the royals and members of the wedding party alighted royal limos in black and claret, other limos and mini-vans to go to Westminster Abbey.  This was a break with tradition that perhaps was a courtesy to those concerned with security.  In years past, horse drawn state landaus and royal coaches with elegant Windsor greys or Cleveland bays transported the wedding party to and from the ceremony.  Afterwards, when horse drawn vehicles conveyed the wedding party back to the Palace, the BBC did not focus their cameras on the pageantry – the Household Calvary or any landaus. Besides fairly close shots of Kate and William, there were brief glimpses of the Queen and Prince Philip.  Prince Charles was seen only fleetingly as his landau pulled into Buckingham Palace.  In this remarkable newsreel from 1923, the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, are shown in elegant horse drawn coaches and landaus.

Duke and Duchess of York, 1923

So important to the festivities were Kate’s lace and satin wedding gown and William’s bright red Irish Guards uniform.  The minute Kate stepped out of the 1950 Rolls Royce Phantom IV, the BBC presenters and guests both praised and criticized her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen creation.  One said it was too severe, and the other said she was thrilled it was a Sarah Burton and Kate looked lovely.  Many in the press compared Kate’s gown to Grace Kelly’s Helen Rose wedding gown with its lace top.  The press also made reference to the times we live in with its economic hardship for many people, and for this reason they speculated that perhaps Kate preferred a less flamboyant gown than Princess Diana’s.

A puff of a breeze lifted Catherine's veil

While similar to Catherine's gown in the front, Grace's elegant gown is quite different from the back.

Diana's wedding gown with large puffy sleeves was perfect for the 1980s

Full British pomp and formality is on display in this 1947 newsreel of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mounbattan getting married at Westminster Abbey.  The royal coaches and state landaus are in use, and in the Abbey, the women are wearing evening gowns. The Princess’s gown is by Norman Hartnell.  In this video, the commentator describes eloquently the euphoria everyone feels watching the royal wedding, and the same is true for all royal weddings.  He says, “For the people who had come from afar, the wedding was a family wedding for the entire British people.  Everyone gladly shared in the rejoicings because the Crown once again was serving to remind us of the common humanity that unites us all.” The wedded union of royals represents hierogamy.

Princess Elizabeth and Philip

The marriage ceremony of Princess Elizabeth and Phillip

Click here to see the YouTube video

Princess Elizabeth and Phillip

While it is sad to watch the actual wedding ceremony of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the procession back to Buckingham Palace in the same 1902 state landau used by Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is still majestic.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana

Click here to see the YouTube video

Prince Charles and Princess Diana

The most fashionable lady at the Prince William/Catherine Middleton wedding may have been the Queen in a flattering, dazzling yellow ensemble and hat designed by Angela Kelly.

The Queen

Queen Elizabeth

A source of great amusement and interest in the Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding were the hats, and fascinators.  Many hats were flattering if a trifle large, but the Philip Treacy fascinators worn by Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie were singled out by the press as among the most bizarre.

Treacy fascinators

Eugenie (left) and Beatrice (right)


No wedding is complete without a lovely cake. Here are photos of Prince William’s and Catherine’s wedding cake – a fruit cake from baker Fiona Cairns in the language of flowers and a groom’s chocolate biscuit cake from McVities.

William and Kate’s cakes

Kate's and William's wedding cakes


The following newsreel of the 1923 wedding cake for the Duke and Duchess of York completes this royal wedding survey. The cake was ten feet high, designed in St. Brides tiers – an object of great beauty.

1923 Cake

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