WINDSOR BRIDES

The Fairy Tale Brides of Britain

                                                        HM Queen Alexandra

 

Albert Edward Wettin, Prince Of Wales, Prince of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, Duke Of Saxony, Duke of Corwall, Duke of Rothsay, Count of Chester, Earl Of Dublin, Count of Carick, Baron of Renfrew, Great Steward of Scotland, Lord of the Isles, 

 

Born: 9 NOV 1841, Buckingham Palace, St.James Park, London
Baptized: 25 JAN 1842, St.George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, England
Acceded: 9 AUG 1902, Westminster Abbey, London, England
Died: 6 MAY 1910, Buckingham Palace, St.James Park, London
Interred: 20 MAY 1910, St.George's Chapel, Windor Castle, England

 

Alexandra Carolina Marie Charlotte Louise Julia Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, Princess Of Denmark, Princess of Hesse-Cassel

Born: 1 DEC 1844, Yellow Palace, Amalienborg, Copenhagen, Denmark
Acceded: 9 AUG 1902, Westminster Abbey, London, England
Died: 20 NOV 1925, Sandringham House,Norfolk,England
Interred: St.George's Chapel,Windor Castle,England

Married: 10 MAR 1863, St.George's Chapel, Windor Castle, England

Princess Alexandra of Denmark. or "Alix" as the family called her, was one of a family of six children, four of whom were to occupy European thrones, she had two sisters, Dagmar, who also became known as Marie Romanov, Grand Duchess of Russia upon her marriage to Tsar Alexander III and later became Empress of Russia and Thyra and lCrown Princess of Hanover. There were also three brothers, Frederick , later Frederick VIII of Denmark, William whom was destined to become George I of Greece and lastly Prince Valdemar of Denmark. Her parents were not wealthy and the children were brought up simply, Alix and her sister Dagmar slept in an attic bedroom and made their own clothes. 

Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, were already concerned with finding a bride for their son and heir, Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales. On one occasion, Walburga, Lady Paget and her husband were asked to Windsor for dinner, where Lady Paget sat next to the Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria. Lady Paget introduced the subject of the Prince of Wale’s marriage, and told him that she had often seen Princess Alexandra, and thought her the most charming, pretty and delightful young princess. The Prince Consort repeated this to the Queen, who asked for a photograph, and more information. Matters took their course, when the Prince of Wales approved of the Princess’s photograph, and the Queen approved for the most part of her family and character. Though Lady Paget writes of difficulties beginning to endanger the whole project, and “some of the persons I had to deal with did not possess quite easy dispositions”, it went forward, Alexandra was not their first choice, since the Danes were at diplomatically fighting with the Prussians and most of Victoria and Albert's relations were German. Eventually, after rejecting other possibilities, they settled on her as "the only one to be chosen." They enlisted the aid of their daughter, Crown Princess Victoria of Prussia, arranging a formal introduction.

On 24 September 1861, Crown Princess Victoria introduced her brother Albert Edward to Alexandra at Speyer, but it was not until almost a year later on 9 September 1862 (after his affair with Nellie Clifden and the death of his father) that Albert Edward proposed to Alexandra at the Royal Castle Of Laeken, the home of his great-uncle, King Leopold I of Belgium.

A few months later, Alexandra travelled from Denmark to the United Kingdom aboard the royal yacht Victoria and Albert II and arrived in Gravesend, Kent on 7 March 1863. The arrival of the Princess in England for the wedding in 1863, was a never-to-be-forgotten occasion.This day proved to be one of the most extraordinary days in the long history of London, with the crowds viewing the royal procession being seldom rivalled. Historians attributes this to the fact that the railway network had been recently increased, the lack of royal occasions in the previous years, and the rocess of photography, which had made it possible for pictures of the Princess to be sold in shops prior to the arrival. The City of London spent 40,000 pounds on decorations and illuminations, and the result was a tumultuous reception for the bride.Sir Arthur Sullivan composed music for her arrival and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, wrote an ode in Alexandra's honour:

Sea-kings' daughter from over the sea,
Alexandra!
Saxon and Norman and Dane are we,
But all of us Danes in our welcome of thee,
Alexandra!
Welcome her, thunders of fort and of fleet!
Welcome her, thundering cheer of the street!
Welcome her, all things youthful and sweet,
Scatter the blossom under her feet!
Break, happy land, into earlier flowers!
Make music, O bird, in the new-budded bowers!
Blazon your mottos of blessing and prayer!
Welcome her, welcome her, all that is ours!
Warble, O bugle, and trumpet, blare!
Flags, flutter out upon turrets and towers!
Flames, on the windy headland flare!
Utter your jubilee, steeple and spire!
Clash, ye bells, in the merry March air!
Flash, ye cities, in rivers of fire!
Rush to the roof, sudden rocket, and higher
Melt into stars for the land's desire!
Roll and rejoice, jubilant voice,
Roll as a ground-swell dash'd on the strand,
Roar as the sea when he welcomes the land,
And welcome her, welcome the land's desire,
The sea-kings' daughter as happy as fair,
Blissful bride of a blissful heir,
Bride of the heir of the kings of the sea--
O joy to the people and joy to the throne,
Come to us, love us, and make us your own:
For Saxon or Dane or Norman we,
Teuton or Celt, or whatever we be,
We are each all Dane in our welcome of thee,
Alexandra!
A Welcome to Alexandra by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The couple were married on 10 March 1863 the bridesmaids were:

Lady Victoria Scott -  daughter of  Walter Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch
Lady Elma Bruce -  daughter of James Bruce, 12th Earl of Kincardine
Lady Emily Villiers - daughter of George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon
Lady Feodore Wellesley - daughter of Henry Richard Charles Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley
Lady Diana Beauclerk - daughter of William Beauclerk, 9th Duke of St Albans
Lady Victoria Howard - daughter of Henry Granville Fitzalan Howard, 14th Duke of Norfolk
Lady Agneta Yorke - daughter of Admiral Charles Yorke, 4th Earl of Hardwicke
Lady Eleanor Hare - daughter of William Hare, 2nd Earl of Listowel

The wedding took place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle officiated by Thomas Longley the Archbishop Of Canterbury. The choice of venue was criticised in the press (as it was outside London large public crowds would not be able to view the spectacle), by prospective guests (it was awkward to get to and, as the venue was small, some people who had expected invitations were not invited) and the Danes (as only Alexandra's closest relations were invited). The court was still in mourning for Prince Albert, so ladies were restricted to wearing grey, lilac or mauve.