Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh
|Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh|
|Participants||Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh|
|Location||Westminster Abbey, London, England|
|Date||20 November 1947, 11:30 GMT|
Elizabeth and Philip are second cousins once removed (by descent from Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Kassel) and third cousins (by descent from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert). Elizabeth met Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in 1934, at the wedding of Philip's cousin, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, and again in 1937. After another meeting at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939, Elizabeth—though only 13 years old—fell in love with Philip and they began to exchange letters. An entry in Chaps Channon's diary made reference to the future marriage of Elizabeth and Philip as early as 1941, "He is to be our Prince Consort, and that is why he is serving in our Navy." The couple became secretly engaged in 1946, when Philip asked the King for his daughter's hand in marriage. The King granted his request providing any formal engagement was delayed until Elizabeth's twenty-first birthday the following April. Their engagement was officially announced on July 9, 1947.
The marriage was formally consented to by the King in his British Privy Council, as per the Royal Marriages Act 1772. The same was done in Canada at a meeting of the King's Canadian Privy Council, with the Chief Justice, Thibaudeau Rinfret, standing in as deputy to George VI's representative, the Governor General of Canada..[n 1]
Before the marriage, Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles, converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism and adopted the style Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, taking the surname of his mother's British family. The day preceding his wedding, King George VI bestowed the style His Royal Highness and, on the morning of the wedding, 20 November 1947, he was made the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London.
On the morning of her wedding, as Princess Elizabeth was getting dressed at Buckingham Palace before leaving for Westminster Abbey, her tiara snapped. Luckily the court jeweller was standing by in case of emergency. The jeweller was rushed to his work room by a police escort. Queen Elizabeth reassured her daughter that it would be fixed in time, and it was. For her wedding dress she still required ration coupons to buy the material for her gown, designed by Norman Hartnell.
Princess Elizabeth was attended by eight bridesmaids: HRH The Princess Margaret (her younger sister), HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent (her first cousin), Lady Caroline Montagu-Douglas-Scott (daughter of the Duke of Buccleuch), Lady Mary Cambridge (her second cousin), Lady Elizabeth Lambart (daughter of the Earl of Cavan), The Hon. Pamela Mountbatten (Philip's first cousin), The Hon. Margaret Elphinstone (her first cousin) and The Hon. Diana Bowes-Lyon (her first cousin). Her cousins Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent served as page boys.
The royal parties were brought in large carriage processions, the first with The Queen and Princess Margaret and later a procession with Queen Mary. At Kensington Palace, Philip departed with his best man, the Marquess of Milford Haven. Princess Elizabeth arrived at the Abbey with her father, George VI, in the Irish State Coach.
Elizabeth and Philip then proceeded to Buckingham Palace, where a breakfast was held at the Ball Supper-room.
The couple received over 2,500 wedding presents from around the world and around 10,000 telegrams of congratulations.
Upon their marriage, Elizabeth took the title of her husband and became Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh. They departed for their honeymoon in Broadlands in Hampshire, home of Philip's uncle, Earl Mountbatten.
The director of music for the wedding was the Australian organist and master of the choristers at the abbey, Dr William Neil McKie, a role he was later to repeat at the Coronation in 1953. McKie also wrote a motet for the occasion, ""We wait for thy loving kindness, O God". Psalm 67, "God be merciful unto us and bless us" was sung to a setting by Sir Edward Cuthbert Bairstow. The anthem was "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" by Samuel Sebastian Wesley; the hymns were "Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven", and "The Lord's my Shepherd" to the Scottish tune "Crimond" attributed to Jessie Seymour Irvine, which was largely unknown in the Church of England at the time. A descant to "Crimond" had been taught to Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret by a lady-in-waiting, Lady Margaret Egerton; the music for the descant could not be found, so the princesses and Lady Margaret sang it to William McKie, who wrote it down in shorthand. The service started with a specially composed fanfare by Arnold Bax and finished with Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March". The abbey choir was joined by the choirs of Chapel Royal, and Saint George's Chapel, Windsor.
- Their Majesties The King and Queen
- Her Majesty Queen Mary
- Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret
- Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
- Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Kent
- The Right Honourable The Earl of Harewood
- Her Royal Highness Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark
- The Most Honourable The Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven
- The Most Honourable Nadedja, Marchioness of Milford Haven
- The Most Honourable The Marquess of Carisbrooke
- His Excellency Rear-Admiral The Right Honourables The Earl and Countess Mountbatten of Burma
- Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, and Major General The Right Honourable The Earl of Athlone
- The Right Honourable The Earl of Southesk
- Admiral The Honourable Sir Alexander Ramsay and Lady Patricia Ramsay
- Her Highness Princess Helena Victoria
- Her Highness Princess Marie Louise
- The Most Honourable The Marquess and Marchioness of Cambridge
- Their Graces The Duke and Duchess of Beaufort
- The Lady Helena Gibbs
- Colonel Sir Henry Abel Smith and The Lady May Abel Smith
- Their Majesties The King and Queen of Denmark
- His Majesty The King of Norway
- Her Majesty The Queen of the Hellenes
- His Majesty The King of the Romanians
- His Majesty The King of Iraq
- Her Majesty The Queen Mother of Romania
- Her Majesty Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain
- Their Majesties King Peter II and Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia
- Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Sweden
- Their Royal Highnesses Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands
- His Royal Highness The Prince Regent of Belgium
- Her Royal Highness Princess Margaretha of Denmark
- His Royal Highness Prince George Valdemar of Denmark
- His Royal Highness Prince Flemming Valdemar of Denmark
- Her Royal Highness Princess Katherine, Lady Brandram and Major Richard Brandram
- Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess George of Greece and Denmark
- Her Royal Highness Princess Eugénie of Greece and Denmark (also cousin of the groom)
- Her Royal Highness Princess Irene, Duchess of Aosta
- His Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
- Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg
- Their Royal Highnesses Prince René and Princess Margaret of Bourbon-Parma
- Their Royal Highnesses The Count and Countess of Barcelona
- His Royal Highness Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia
- His Royal Highness Prince Andrew of Yugoslavia
In post-war Britain, it was not acceptable for the Duke of Edinburgh's German relations to be invited to the wedding, including Philip's three surviving sisters. Other notable absentees were the Duke of Windsor, the former king, who was not invited, and his sister, Mary, Princess Royal, who said she was ill (Her husband Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood died 6 months previous). Ronald Storrs claimed that Mary did not attend in protest at her brother's exclusion.
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