Wedding dress of Princess Alexandra of Denmark
|Artist||Charles Frederick Worth|
The wedding dress of Princess Alexandra of Denmark was worn by Alexandra of Denmark in her wedding to the future Edward VII of the United Kingdom on 10 March 1863 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The dress was designed by Charles Frederick Worth. Alexandra's wedding dress was described as "symbolic, echoing long traditions of wedding attire and a fashionable court dress of completely English manufacture." The dress now belongs to the British Royal Collection and is part of a display of royal wedding dresses at Kensington Palace in London.
The Irish fashion set by Queen Victoria for the wedding gown became a precursor for the wedding gown made for Princess Alexandra of Denmark; the earlier design for the gown based on Brussels’ lace did not find acceptance. The white court gown was made of English silk. The lace used was from Honiton and was elaborately embellished with emblematic designs of England, Ireland and Scotland of roses, shamrock and thistles respectively (cf. Wedding dress of Kate Middleton). The dress was made by Mrs James of Belgravia.
The final ensemble of the luxurious wedding dress which adorned the 18-year-old Princess Alexandra for the wedding was made with rich flowing silvery silk (woven at Spitalfields) and lace. The gown was embellished by fresh-flower garlands made of orange-blossom and myrtle. The sensational dress was the first to be photographed of any royal family member and the pictures of the princess wearing the gown were flashed across the world.
The dress of the Princess Alexandra was a petticoat of white satin trimmed with chatelaines of orange blossoms, myrtle and bouffants of tulle with Honiton lace; the train of silver moire antique trimmed with bouffants of tulle, Honiton lace and bouquets of orange blossom and myrtle; the body of the dress trimmed to correspond. Her Royal Highness wore a veil of Honiton lace and a wreath of orange blossom and myrtle. The necklace, earrings and brooch of pearls was a gift of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales; the opal and diamond bracelet was given by the Queen, another diamond bracelet, given by the ladies of Leeds; and an opal and diamond bracelet, given by the ladies of Manchester. The bouquet was composed of orange blossoms, white rosebuds, lilies of the valley, and rare and beautiful orchideous flowers, interspersed with sprigs of myrtle. The bouquet was supplied by Mr. J Veitch.
One of the wedding gifts had been a suite of Brussels lace for the trousseau; however, following the example of Queen Victoria and her preference for national tailory, this was ignored in favour of new lace from Honiton. The Honiton lace was designed and executed by Messrs. John Tucker and Co. of Branscombe, near Sidmouth. It was composed of four deep flounces of exquisite fineness, nearly covering the dress, with lace for train, veil and pocket handkerchief en suite. The design (made by Miss Tucker) was a sequence of cornucopia, filled with rose, shamrock and thistle, arranged in festoons, and interspersed with the same national floral emblems. The intricately designed dress with slim column and spread with gold paillettes (seqins) beneath magnolia lace had a 21 feet (6.4 m) bridal train of white and silver. The train was borne by eight young ladies between the ages of 15 and 20.
The bridesmaids were:
- Lady Diana Beauclerk, later Lady Huddleston (1841-1905), wife of Sir John Walter Huddleston; daughter of William Beauclerk, 9th Duke of St Albans.
- Lady Eleanor Cecilia Hare, later Lady Heneage (1845-1924), wife of Edward Heneage, 1st Baron Heneage; daughter of William Hare, 2nd Earl of Listowel.
- Lady Elma Bruce, later Lady Thurlow (1842-1923), wife of the 5th Baron Thurlow; daughter of James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin.
- Lady Feodorowna Cecilia Wellesley, later Viscountess Bertie of Thame (1838-1920), wife of Francis Bertie, 1st Viscount Bertie of Thame; daughter of Henry Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley.
- Lady Georgiana Susan Hamilton, later Countess Winterton (1841-1913), Wife of Edward Turnour, 5th Earl Winterton; daughter of James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Abercorn.
- Lady Agneta Harriet Yorke (1838-1919), later Lady Agneta Montagu, wife of the Hon. Victor Alexander Montagu, son of John Montagu, 7th Earl of Sandwich; daughter of Charles Yorke, 4th Earl of Hardwicke.
- Lady Victoria Margaret Louisa Howard (1844-1906), daughter of 17th Earl of Suffolk.
- Lady Victoria Alexandrina Montagu Douglas Scott, future Marchioness of Lothian (and later Lady Talbot) (1844-1938), wife firstly of the 9th Marquess of Lothian and later wife of Bertram Chetwynd Talbot (son of John Gilbert Talbot); daughter of the 5th Duke of Buccleuch. 
The dresses worn by the eight bridesmaids complimented the bride’s dress and were made of white glace silk and embellished with tulle. The bridesmaids wore rose trims on their dresses and floral rose wreaths in their hair. 
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