Monday, March 05, 2018

Royal Wedding

So, it's not the weekend, but since I was tearing my hair out with deadlines, we have our royal wedding today!  I thought, since their anniversary is just past, we could look at Princes Mary, the Princes Royal, and Viscount Lascelles.  They are little known today, but at the time their wedding was a source of much fashionable fascination.

Princess Mary was born Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary (but always called Mary) in 1897, the only daughter and third child of George V and Queen Mary, at the time the Duke and Duchess of York.  (it was the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, and she suggested the baby be called "Diamond."  Luckily, this was ignored).  She became Princess Royal in 1932.  All her life she was an enthusiastic patron of charities, especially hospital and the Girl Guides, who she led from 1920 until her death.

She was the first of her siblings to marry.  In November 1921, she became engaged to Henry, Viscount Lascelles, son of the Earl of Harewood, who was 15 years older than herself, and who it seems she hadn't really known very long.  (There were later rumors the marriage was not very happy, but their son declared they "got on well together, and had a lot of friends and interests in common").  Queen Mary wrote after the engagement:

 “At 6.30 Mary came to my room to announce to me her engagement to Lord Lascelles! We then told G. (King George V) & then gave Harry L. our blessing. We had to keep it quiet owing to G. having to pass an order in council to give his consent. Of course, everybody guessed what had happened & we were very cheerful & almost uproarious at dinner. We are delighted.”

They were married at Westminster Abbey on February 28, 1922, the first marriage of the child of a monarch there since 1290.  Her gown was quintessentially 1920s, dropped waist, bandeau headpiece, pearl beadwork, created by Reville LTD of Hanover Square.  Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons, a few years later to be the princess's sister-in-law, was one of the bridesmaids.

The couple, later Earl and Countess of Harewood, had two sons.  The earl died in 1947, and Princess Mary in March 1965.

You can see a list of her truly eye-popping collection of wedding gift jewels here
There is also a fascinating story of the journey of Queen Victoria's sapphire bandeau (one of those gifts) here

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