The centuries-old tradition of royal weddings

The centuries-old tradition of royal weddings

Very soon, on May 19, at St. George's Chapel will be a ceremony of marriage of Prince Harry and his bride Meghan Markle. Thousands of Britons gathered on the streets of Windsor to see the happy newlyweds. Millions of people around the world will watch the ceremony on television or online.

In contrast with this wedding online epoch (second in a row after the wedding of William and Kate), you can remember how 125 years ago in 1893, the future King George V took Princess Mary Teck to wife: a couple was married in a small royal chapel of St. James Palace, where hardly fit 100 guests.

And although at different times of the royal family wedding held in different ways, some rules never change, because the British royal family always remains a bastion of traditionalism. Let us recall a few such invariable wedding traditions.

Wedding rings made of Welsh gold

The centuries-old tradition of royal weddings

On the left: a wedding ring, engagement ring and signet-ring Sarah, Duchess of York. Right: The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011

For more than 80 years there is a tradition of wedding rings for cast members of the royal family because of Welsh gold. For the first time like a wedding ring of the bride has been used 26 April 1923 at the wedding of the future King George VI and Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Ever since Welsh gold has become the constant companion of the royal ceremonies in the UK.

Wedding Rings Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, Royal Princess Anne, Princess Diana of Wales, Sarah, Duchess of York, and Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, made it out of Welsh gold. This uses only a metal shaft of St. David Wales. Gold was mined there in the days of the Roman occupation of Britain, but in the 80s of the last century its production was discontinued. Original Welsh gold remains very small. Fortunately, in November 1981 the Royal British Legion Elizabeth II presented a 26-gram bar of Welsh gold 875-carat, which is used exclusively for the casting of wedding rings of the royal family.

What are the ring Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, will be known only on their wedding day.

sprig of myrtle in the bouquet the bride

The centuries-old tradition of royal weddings

In this picture the brush of John Phillip in 1960 depicts the wedding of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, which took place in 1858

According to tradition, the bride's bouquet from the royal family must be a branch of myrtle from the summer residence - home Osbournes with the Isle of Wight in the English Channel. Why exactly is the myrtle? The British call it a plant of love and myrtle flowers symbolize innocence, happy marriage and fertility.

First sprigs of evergreen shrubs were Queen Victoria's wedding bouquet in 1840. After the wedding ceremony, Victoria myrtle planted in his garden on the Isle of Wight, where he grows to this day. Myrtle branches to the Isle of Wight present in the bride's bouquet of the royal family since 1858. However, instead of the traditional throwing of the bouquet into the crowd unmarried girlfriends Meghan Markle lay flowers on the tradition to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey in London.

bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The centuries-old tradition of royal weddings

Almost 100 years ago, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the late mother of reigning Queen Elizabeth II, the marked the beginning of yet another wedding tradition of the royal family. On the day of their wedding in Westminster Abbey, she laid her bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. So she paid tribute not only to all the British soldiers who died in World War I, but his brother Fergus, who died in 1915 at the Battle of Loos. On the day of their wedding April 26, 1923 Lady Elizabeth was the first bride, who was walking down the aisle without a bouquet in her hands, as she laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier before entering the church. Since then, the bride of royal blood in Britain include your bridal bouquet to the monument, but they do it after the wedding ceremony.

The official wedding portrait

The centuries-old tradition of royal weddings

Wedding portrait of King George V and Princess Mary of Teck, 1893

Another tradition of royal weddings - the official photo session, which is usually done between the wedding ceremony and wedding reception.

The first British monarch who made a formal wedding portrait, became King Edward VII of, the Prince of Wales. When the March 10, 1863, he married Alexandra, Princess of Denmark, sister of Russian Empress Maria Feodorovna, in a ceremony attended by numerous photographers. Then the official black and white pictures painted so that they look like portraits.

At the beginning of the XX century it became popular postcards with portraits of royal family members that the public began to collect in large quantities. So the official wedding portraits have received a new life. For example, a photo presented above - one of the exhibits a collection of photos, postcards and documents, which is owned by Miss Anna Gordon, a former maid of the royal residence.

What to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, they chose as their wedding photographer Alexei Lubomirski, one of the most popular and stylish contemporary fashion photographers. Born in England, half Peruvian and half Polish, Lubomirski has photographed a pair for their official engagement portraits.

orange blossom (orange blossom)

The centuries-old tradition of royal weddings

Queen Victoria in her wedding dress (portrait by Winterhalter) and a brooch, a gift from her boyfriend

At the wedding with Prince Albert April 10, 1840, Queen Victoria was not wearing a tiara, her head adorned with a wreath of orange blossom, flowers of orange tree (wild orange), a symbol of purity.

At the wedding of Prince Albert presented the bride brooch in the form of twigs orange flowers with golden leaves and white flowers made of porcelain and later went on to give Victoria's jewelry in this style. In the end, from 1839 to 1846 has a beautiful parure (set jewelry), consisting of a brooch and earrings with appropriate headgear, donated to the wedding anniversary.

It was thanks to Queen Victoria orange blossom and white bride became a fixture in every traditional wedding. In the Victorian era of the princess walked down the aisle with the orange blossom in a wedding dress. This tradition was in vogue and in the XX century, when it was embroidered with pearls and crystals in the form of bouquets of orange blossom, jasmine and white yorkie roses, which were combined with ears of wheat in 1947, Queen Elizabeth II married, her wedding satin ivory, symbolizing fertility.