11 February 2014

Jewel History: Royal Wedding at Windsor (1904)

Prince Alexander of Teck and Princess Alice of Albany on their wedding day [1]
"Royal Wedding at Windsor"
(originally appeared in the New York Times on 11 Feb 1904)

LONDON, FEBRUARY 10 -- Prince Alexander of Teck [2] and Princess Alice of Albany [3] were married this afternoon at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, where Queen Victoria was married on the same date in 1840 [4]. The Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by other clergy, officiated, and King Edward gave away the bride.

The whole ceremony was very elaborate and brilliant. There were no less than four processions to the chapel, the Queen of Württemberg's [5], that of Queen Emma of the Netherlands [6], the procession of King Edward and Queen Alexandra, and that of the bride.

Wedding party of Prince Alexander and Princess Alice [7]
There was a brilliant assemblage of members of royal families, foreign princes, peers, peeresses, ministers, diplomats, and other distinguished personages, the men all in court or levee dress or uniform, and the women in evening dress. The display of jewels was magnificent. There were five royal bridesmaids, all cousins of the bride [8]. The Seventh Hussars, the bridegroom's regiment, lined the nave. A luncheon was given subsequently in the state dining room at Windsor Castle. 

The only special incident was the arrest of an alleged lunatic, who, flourishing a swordstick, molested the guests arriving from London. Windsor was decorated with flags and filled with excursionists.

1. Cropped version of a photograph in the public domain; source here.
2. Prince Alexander of Teck (1874-1957) was the youngest son of Prince Francis, Duke of Teck and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge; Queen Mary was his older sister. He relinquished his German titles in 1917, after which his brother-in-law, King George V, made him the Earl of Athlone.
3. Princess Alice of Albany (1883-1981) was the only daughter of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (the youngest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert) and Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont. After her husband relinquished his German titles, she was known as Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone.
4. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were married on February 10, but at the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace in London, not at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
5. In 1904, the Queen of Württemberg was Charlotte of Schaumberg-Lippe, the second wife of Wilhelm II of Württemberg. Wilhelm II's first wife was Princess Marie of Waldeck and Pyrmont -- the aunt of Princess Alice of Albany. More importantly, the Tecks were from Württemberg; they were descendants of Duke Alexander of Württemberg, the nephew of King Friedrich I of Württemberg.
6. Queen Emma of the Netherlands, who was born Princess Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, was Princess Alice's aunt.
7. Picture postcard of the Teck wedding party; source here.
8. The bridesmaids were Princess Mary of Wales (daughter of King George V and Princess Mary of Teck); Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont (daughter of Prince Friedrich of Waldeck and Pyrmont and Bathildis of Schaumberg-Lippe); Princess Margaret and Princess Patricia of Connaught (daughters of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia); and Princess Mary of Teck (daughter of Prince Adolphus of Teck, later the 1st Marquess of Cambridge, and Lady Margaret Grosvenor).