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.
Prince George, Duke of York and Princess Mary of Teck were married at 12:30 on 6 July 1893 at the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace. 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.
The royal parties were brought from Buckingham Palace to St James's in four large carriage processions, consisting of open landaus. The first procession included members of the household; this was followed by the Duke of York and his supporters in the second and Princess Mary, The Duke of Teck and Prince Adolphus of Teck in the third. The final procession included Queen Victoria, the Duchess of Teck and Princes Frederick and Alexander 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".
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 Duke of York's two supporters were The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Edinburgh.
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.
Upon the announcement of the engagement, Arthur Silver, of the Silver Studio house, was approached to design the gown. Silver had designed the dress for Princess Mary’s intended wedding to the Duke of Clarence and Avondale, in 1892. This ‘Lily of the Valley’ creation had been made public just days before the Duke of Clarence's untimely death in January 1892 but had to be completely abandoned. The design chosen for the York-Teck wedding was ‘The May Silks’; the dress would feature embroidery of the emblems of a rose, shamrock and thistle, and be trimmed with the traditional orange blossom and true lovers knots.
The dress itself was put together by Linton and Curtis of Albemarle Street, London. The front of the dress was made of white satin, featuring three small flounces old Honiton lace which had been used on the wedding dress of her mother. The bodice, cut at the throat, was long and pointed and was made of white and silver brocade, also featuring a small amount of her mother's Honiton lace near the top and on the upper part of the sleeve. The veil, previously used by her mother was fastened with diamond pins gifted by Queen Victoria. Matching the orange blossom elements to the dress, small wreaths were placed all the way around the bust and on the hair. Princess Mary completed the wedding outfit with a diamond tiara from Queen Victoria; diamond rivière necklace from the Prince and Princess of Wales and diamond earrings and anchor brooch, a wedding gift from Prince George.
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 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 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
- Prince Albert of Belgium, the groom's paternal cousin, once removed
- Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the groom's first 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
- Augustus FitzGeorge, the bride's cousin
- The Grand Duchess and the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the bride's maternal aunt and uncle
Other foreign royalty
- HH the Maharaja of Bhavnagar
- HH the Raja of Kapurthala
- HH the Thakur Sahib of Morbi
- HH the Thakur Sahib of Gondal
Envoys and ambassadors
- 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 Chargé d'Affaires and Mme. Romanos
- 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
- 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
- The Illustrated American. Illustrated American Pub. Co. 1892. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- "Queen Mary's Wedding Dress". Braintree District Council. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
- Staniland, Kay (May 1997). In royal fashion: the clothes of Princess Charlotte of Wales & Queen Victoria 1796–1901. Museum of London. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- "Prince George, Duke of York & Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, 6 July 1893, Chapel Royal at St. James Palace, London". The Royal Forums. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
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- A memoir of her royal highness. 1900. Retrieved 2 May 2011.
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- 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.