A History Of Royal Weddings At Windsor: The Duke of Connaught and & Princess Louise of Prussia
Next in our wedding countdown extravaganza is another of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s children and another with unexpected Canadian AND American connections: His Royal Highness The Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, their seventh child (and third son) and Her Royal Highness Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. The Princess was the fourth daughter of TRH Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia and Princess Maria Anna of Anhalt-Dessau and the great-niece of His Imperial Majesty Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany. Queen Victoria was not keen on the match as she considered Louise Margaret rather plain, plus her parents (quelle horreur!) had an unhappy marriage and lived separately. Nevertheless, Prince Arthur prevailed in his choice, and the couple were married in St. George’s Chapel on March 13, 1879.
On her wedding day Princess Louise Margaret wore a gown of heavy white satin with a band of lace encircling the waist, and the skirt was seen with more delicate lace and decorated with garlands of myrtle leaves. The train was four meters long and was surmounted by a lace flounce that was handmade in Silesia and to which more myrtle was affixed. The veil, made from point d’Alençon lace, was woven with designs of orange blossoms, roses, and myrtle-leaves intertwined, and it was fastened by five diamond stars that were a gift from her groom.
Speaking of gifts...Queen Victoria may not have selected Louise Margaret for her son, but let it not be said she stinted on gifts! She gave Louise Margaret a diamond fringe necklace that had once belonged to her mother, the Duchess of Kent, as well as a diamond brooch, both of which the bride wore for the ceremony. Louise Margaret also wore a pearl and diamond brooch from her father as well as a gold and diamond bracelet gifted to her by her groom’s siblings and a diamond bracelet that had been presented by the Town of Windsor.
After their marriage, Princess Louise Margaret became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Connaught and Strathearn. The couple had three children, one of whom would also marry at St. George's Chapel (we’ll cover her later). Like Meghan Markle, they also have a connection with Canada and America, as The Duke was the 10th Governor-General of Canada from 1911-1916, and Duchess Louise Margaret herself became colonel-in-chief of the 199th Canadian (Overseas) Infantry Battalion or, as they were more fondly known, The Duchess of Connaught’s Own Irish-Canadian Rangers. Prince Arthur even visited The United States and met with American President William Howard Taft! Louise Margaret predeceased her husband by almost twenty-five years, and the Duke, who had been devoted to her, mostly withdrew from public life about a decade later.
- Written by Heidi Retzer
(Images: Top: Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. Bottom: 'Prince Arthur William, Duke of Connaught (third son of Queen Victoria) and Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia making their wedding vows at Windsor, Berkshire'. Original Publication: Illustrated London News- 1879)