Celebrity Wedding Friday: Queen Victoria
Most Fridays I will be covering a celebrity wedding. As you can see from this post I am quite loose in my use of the term of “celebrity” to cover historic personalities as well.
I thought Queen Vic’s wedding was an appropriate beginning because, well, she started the trend that nearly all brides follow to this day: The white dress. Before Queen Victoria married Prince Albert (a match based on Love more than anything else *) women generally wore their best gown to be married in. Of course, for those who came from noble and aristocratic backgrounds this gown would be especially made for the occasion but it was almost never white. The gown would often be made of gold, silver, silk, brocade; heavy and rich and denoting the status of the wearer and what bounty she brought to the marriage. Poorer women could never dream of such riches but they would wear their best gown.
Queen Victoria, the first ruling queen England had had since Queen Elizabeth, sought to break this trend. She wanted a dress that would suit her romantic imagination and hence a dress was made of white satin and silk with lace and orange blossoms. Queen Victoria was not the first to wear a white wedding dress but her example inspired a nation and beyond. Funnily enough she was criticised by here choice, as “At the time, Victoria’s choice was criticized for being too conservative, since she did not wear jewels, velvet, ermine furs, or a crown, and the color was unusual”(Wikipaedia). Clearly she was a woman ahead of her time.
Within a decade wearing white at the wedding was so common that “The Godey’s Lady’s Book, wrote: “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one””(Wikipaedia), even though it was a really recent innovation!
Times may have changed since then but brides still wear white on their wedding day and most love a puffy princess dress, although we are less into puffy sleeves than Queen Vic’s version!
I love the shoes she wore, you can still imagine a bride today choosing those sweet ballet flats with ballet like lacing.
Enjoy the pics below from her wedding! I love how the artists “airbrushed” her in their illustrations – somethings never change!
Till next time!
* After his untimely death Queen Victoria went into permanent mourning for her beau. If you visit Osborne House in the Isle of Wight and go to her bed she actually had “on the headboard of the bed …Prince Albert’s pocket watch and alongside it … a tinted photograph of the Prince after his death. Queen Victoria always had these two objects hanging on the headboard in each of her royal residences…Beside the bed is the Queen’s favourite painting of her husband as a young medieval knight.” (Open Learning)