15 December 2015

Jewel History: The Coming Royal Wedding (1878)

"The Coming Royal Wedding"
(originally appeared in the New York Times on 15 Dec 1878)

From the London Truth -- The marriage of His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught [1] with Princess Louise of Prussia [2] is to be solemnized at St. George's Chapel, Windsor on the 7th of February [3]. The ceremony will be performed with much state and with great festivities.

Although it appears that a dramatic representation is not in the programme, yet I am pleased to hear that the Queen will take a prominent part in all the festivities. It is time that Her Majesty should let her light shine on gatherings at the court.

The royal bride is to be attended to the altar by eight bridesmaids: the daughters of two English dukes, of two Irish marquesses, and of four earls -- two being Scottish and two English. The Dukes are Bedford and Marlborough; the Marquesses Headfort and Conyngham; the Earls Errol, Elgin, Bradford, and Mount-Edgecombe.

The household of the future Duchess of Connaught, as was the case with that of the Duchess of Edinburgh, is to be composed exclusively of English ladies. I hear it reported in Tory circles that our imperial Prime Minister intends, at the first opportunity, to arrange for the Duke of Connaught and his bride to reside a great part of the year in Ireland.


1. Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (1850-1942) was the seventh child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He served in the British army in various capacities for nearly his entire adult life; he also served as Governor-General of Canada.

2. Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia (1860-1917) was the daughter of Prince Friedrich Karl and Princess Maria Anna of Prussia; she was therefore a great-niece of Kaiser Wilhelm I. Her future husband's sister, Vicky, was married to her cousin, the future Emperor Friedrich III.

3. The couple were actually married on March 13, 1879, at St. George's Chapel. Louise's wedding presents included a treasure trove of jewels. The couple had three children -- Margaret, Arthur, and Patricia -- and their direct descendants include the current monarchs of Sweden and Denmark.