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Victoria, Queen of England

by James Parton, 1868

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From: Eminent women of the age being narratives of the lives and deeds of the most prominent women of the present generation. By James Parton, Horace Greeley, T. W. Higginson, J. S. C. Abbott, Prof. James M. Hoppin, William Winter, Theodore Tilton, Fanny Fern, Grace Greenwood, Mrs. E. C. Stanton, etc. 1868.

Continued from page 11

Marriage of Victoria and Albert, after a painting by George Hayter
Marriage of
Victoria and Albert,
from a painting
by George Hayter

Portrait from www.arttoday.com
Used with permission
On the 11th [actually, the 10th - editor's note] of February, 1840,at the royal chapel of St. James, in London, in the presence of all that was most distinguished, and splendid in the life of Great Britain, the marriage was solemnized. The queen, as brides generally do, looked pale and anxious. Her dress was a rich white satin, trimmed with orange blossoms, and upon her head she wore a wreath of the same beautiful flowers. Over her head, but not so as to conceal her face, a veil of honiton lace was thrown. She was sparingly decorated with diamonds. She wore, however, a pair of very large diamond ear-rings, and a diamond necklace. Her twelve bridesmaids were attired in similar taste, and they were all young ladies of remarkable beauty. Prince Albert was dressed in the uniform of a British field-marshal, and was decorated with the collar and star of the Order of the Garter. At the moment when the queen and prince advanced to the communion-table, and stood before the Archbishop of Canterbury, the scene was in the highest degree splendid and interesting. But its splendors seemed to fade away before the majestic simplicity of the marriage service. There was really a kind of sublimity in the plainness and directness of the language employed:

"Albert, wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife?" and "Victoria, wilt thou have Albert to be thy wedded husband?" and "Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?"

To this last question the Duke of Sussex replied by taking the queen's hand and saying, "I do." Perhaps some in the assembly may have smiled when the Queen of England promised to obey this younger son of a German Duke, and when he said, "With all my worldly goods I thee endow." The queen tells us, however, that she pronounced the word obey with a deliberate intent to keep her vow, and that she kept it.

There was, of course, the wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace, which was attended by the royal family, the ministry, the maids of honor, and other personal attendants of the queen and prince. Soon after seven o'clock in the evening, the royal chariot dashed into Windsor with its escort of lifeguards, amid the cheers of the whole population of the town. The honeymoon was spent at Windsor Castle.

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