Vintage Image of the Day: The Marriage of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, 1947

Friday, April 29, 2011


Princess Elizabeth (now the Queen)
and the Duke of Edinburgh at
their wedding, 1947
Baron Studios
The Royal Collection
Today’s Royal wedding, while removed from tradition in some ways (such as the cute and charming touch of the Prince and Princess driving themselves away from Buckingham Palace in a little blue Aston Martin Volante convertible), was steeped in centuries of a set pattern for Royal marriages. From the venue—Westminster Abbey—to the protocol, the marriage ceremony was greatly similar to other Royal nuptials.

Prince William’s grandmother (while still Princess Elizabeth) wed the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. Just as Prince William and Princess Katherine were created the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hours before their wedding, Prince Phillip was created Duke of Edinburgh shortly before walking down the aisle.

The Queen wore a gown embroidered with pearls and crystals and her ring was made from made of a nugget of Welsh gold from the Clogau St David’s mine near Dolgellau. This same nugget has supplied the gold for the wedding rings of The Queen Mother (1923), Princess Margaret (1960) Princess Anne (1973), and now, Princess Catherine.

The Russian Fringe Tiara, 1830-1839
For her wedding, Queen Elizabeth wore “The Fringe Tiara.” This graduated circle of vertical rows of diamonds is also known as “The Russian Fringe” and was originally made as a necklace for King George III in 1830. Queen Victoria, in 1839, had the necklace made into a tiara. In 1910, the tiara was given to Mary of Teck who, in turn, gave it to her daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother) in 1937. Just as Queen Elizabeth II loaned “The Halo Tiara” to Princess Catherine today, the Queen Mother lent “The Fringe Tiara” to her daughter in 1947 for her marriage.

I love this image from the 1947 wedding. Her Majesty looks genuinely pleased and relaxed. Their marriage has lasted lo these many decades. It’s a good sign of things to come for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


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