Wedding of Prince George, Duke of York, and Princess Mary of Teck
Prince George and Princess Mary on their wedding day
|Date||6 July 1893|
|Location||Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, London, England|
|Participants||Prince George, Duke of York, Mary of Teck, Queen Victoria, the Duke of Teck, the Duchess of Teck, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess Maud of Wales, Princess Victoria of Wales, Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Margaret of Connaught, Princess Patricia of Connaught, Princess Alice of Battenberg, and Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg.|
Mary of Teck's engagement to Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, eldest son of the Prince of Wales, ended after the duke's death on 14 January 1892. Even before the duke's death, his grandmother Queen Victoria had wanted to ensure the succession, and consequently desired that his younger brother and (now second-in-line to the throne) Prince George marry either Princess Marie or Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh. For his part, George was fond of his cousins, but did not want to marry early; "I still think marrying too young is a bad thing," he wrote to the Queen, and cited the circumstances surrounding the death of Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria as an example. Furthermore, the prince made it known, "The one thing I never could do is to marry a person that didn't care for me. I should be miserable for the rest of my life". In 1892 however, a tentative proposal of marriage was put forward to Marie's parents, but as she was influenced by her Anglophobe mother and governess, Marie rejected him.
His grandmother Queen Victoria was fond of the Duke of Clarence's fiancée, and made known her wish for Mary to wed his brother George (now the Duke of York). The situation was embarrassing for the couple, as the country expected their engagement and contemporary newspapers speculated wildly on the affair. Mary was still mourning the duke's death, but faced the intense pressure of her parents, among others. George on the other hand was faced with the reality of his new position as second-in-line to the throne, and had lost self-confidence after Marie's refusal. He had no idea what Mary's real opinion was towards him, and consequently had some misgivings; George was urged to propose to Mary after spending time with his beloved aunt Queen Olga of Greece. Despite this background, the couple came to care deeply for each other, and their marriage would be a success.
Several awkward encounters with Prince George went by, always in the company of others, with both individuals remaining embarrassed and shy. On 3 May 1893, Mary arranged to have tea with George's sister Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife and her husband, but when she arrived, she found George there as well. The awkward moment was saved after Louise interceded, "Now Georgie, don't you think you ought to take May into the garden to look at the frogs in the pond?" George proposed beside the pond, and their engagement was officially announced the following day.
On the morning of their wedding, George accidentally caught sight of his fiancée down a long corridor of Buckingham Palace; he proceeded to make a "low and courtly bow," a gesture Mary never forgot.
Princess Mary was attended by ten bridesmaids: George's sisters Princesses Victoria and Maud of Wales; and his first cousins Princesses Victoria Melita, Alexandra, and Beatrice of Edinburgh; Princesses Margaret and Patricia of Connaught; Princesses Alice and Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg; and Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein.
The royal parties were brought in large carriage processions, consisting of open landaus. Mary entered in the final procession with her father the Duke of Teck and her eldest brother Prince Adolphus of Teck. Mary greeted the crowds' applause with her "side-ways smile," and with "a little nervous gesture of her white-gloved right hand". As royal weddings were historically popular spectacles, the wedding attracted large crowds, many of which gathered in the route from Buckingham Palace to St James's Palace to give the couple an "enthusiastic reception".
Mary's wedding dress had a train of silver and white brocade, and was embroidered with a design of rose, shamrock, and thistle in silver. She wore the same bridal veil as her mother Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck had in 1866 - it was small, and hung down the back of the head. Her trousseau consisted partly of "forty outdoor suits, fifteen ball-dresses, five tea-gowns, a vast number of bonnets, shoes, and gloves," as reported by the Lady's Pictorial. The couple received equally lavish wedding presents, such as jewelry and plates valued at £300,000.
The Archbishop of Canterbury performed the ceremony, and was assisted by the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Rochester, and five other prelates. George and Mary then proceeded to Buckingham Palace, and the marriage register was signed by the Queen, the prime minister, and all other royal personages present.
The Groom's Family
- The Prince and Princess of Wales, the groom's parents
- The Queen of the United Kingdom, the groom's paternal grandmother
- The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the groom's paternal uncle and aunt
- The Duke and Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn, the groom's paternal uncle and aunt
- The Duchess of Albany, widow of the groom's paternal uncle
- The Empress Frederick, Queen Mother of Prussia's family:
- Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse and by Rhine's family:
- Princess and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, the groom's paternal aunt and uncle
- Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne and The Marquess of Lorne, the groom's paternal aunt and uncle
- Princess and Prince Henry of Battenberg, the groom's paternal aunt and uncle
- The King and Queen of Denmark, the groom's maternal grandparents
- The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark, the groom's maternal uncles'
- The King and Queen of the Hellenes, the groom's maternal uncles
- Prince and Princess Valdemar of Denmark, the groom's maternal uncles
- The Empress of All the Russias' family:
- The Duchess and Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, the groom's uncles
- Prince Albert of Belgium, the groom's paternal cousin, once removed
The Bride's Family
- The Duke and Duchess of Teck, the bride's parents
- The Duke of Cambridge, the bride's maternal uncle
- The Grand Duchess and the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the bride's maternal aunt and uncle
Envoys and Ambassadors
- HSH The Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
- Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, representing HM the King of Wuerttemburg
- HE the Russian Ambassador and Mme. de Staal
- HE the German Ambassador
- HE the Turkish Ambassador
- HE the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador and Countess Deym
- HE the Italian Ambassador and Countess Tornielli
- HE the Spanish Ambassador
- HE the United States Ambassador and Mrs. Bayard
- HE the Belgian Minister and Mme. Solvyns
- HE the Danish Minister and Mme. de Bille
- HE the Portuguese Minister
- HE the Romanian Minister
- The Greek Charge d'Affaires and Mme. Romanos
- HH the Maharaja of Bhavnagar
- HH the Raja of Kapurthala
- HH the Thakur Sahib of Morbi
- HH the Thakur Sahib of Gondal
- The Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury and Mrs. Gladstone
- The Lord Chancellor and Lady Herschell
- The Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lady Harcourt
- The Chief Commissioner of Works and Lady Constance Shaw-Lefevre
- The Lord President of the Council and Secretary of State for India and the Marchioness of Ripon
- The Secretary of State for the Home Department
- The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
- The Secretary of State for War and Mrs. Campbell-Bannerman
- The First Lord of the Admiralty and Countess Spencer
- The Secretary of State for Scotland and Lady Trevelyan
- The Chief Secretary for Ireland
- The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Mrs. Bryce
- The Earl Marshal
- The Duchess of Leeds
- The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire
- The Duke and Duchess of Rutland
- Hichens, p. 109.
- Pope-Hennessy, p. 249.
- Pope-Hennessy, p. 251.
- Pope-Hennessy, p. 253.
- Pope-Hennessy, pp. 253-54.
- Pope-Hennessy, p. 257.
- Pope-Hennessy, pp. 259-60.
- "England's Royal Wedding; Princess Mary of Teck Becomes The Duchess of York", The New York Times (London), 7 July 1893, retrieved 10 January 2011
- "A royal marriage". Duburque Sunday Herald (London). 6 July 1893. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
- Pope-Hennessy, p. 266.
- Pope-Hennessy, p. 267.
- Pope-Hennessy, pp. 267-68.
- Hichens, p. 111.
- "The Royal Wedding", The Sydney Mail (London), 15 July 1893, retrieved 20 January 2011
- Pope-Hennessy, p. 264.
- Quoted in Pope-Hennessy, p. 264.
- Pope-Hennessy, p. 265.
- Special Correspondent (7 July 1893), "Marriage of the Duke of York and Princess May", The Manchester Guardian (London)
- The London Gazette: . 18 July 1893. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
- Hichens, Mark (2006). Wives of the Kings of England, From Hanover to Windsor. London: Peter Owen Publishers. ISBN 0-7206-1271-3.
- Pope-Hennessy, James (1959). Queen Mary, 1867-1953. London: George Allen and Unwin Unlimited.