A History of Royal Weddings At Windsor: The Prince of Wales & Princess Alexandra of Denmark, 1863
Royal weddings at St. George's Chapel, Windsor are relatively new in comparison to the longevity of The British Monarchy. The first such took place on March 10, 1863 between the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, His Royal Highness Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Denmark. The Princess was the second child of Their Majesties King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark. This particular match was like Royal Wedding All-Stars - just as Queen Victoria's descendants populate many European Royal families today, so too do King Christian's. Four of his six children ended up on thrones (his eldest son following him as King of Denmark, Alexandra becoming Queen of The United Kingdom, his second son becoming King George I of Greece, and Alexandra's look-alike sister Dagmar becoming Empress of Russia).
The Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra were married at St George's Chapel by The Archbishop of Canterbury, as we expect Prince Harry and Ms. Markle will be. The location was actually not a popular choice at the time - being outside of London and the chapel not accomodating the number of guests one would expect at the wedding of a future British monarch. However, Queen Victoria was still in mourning for her husband Prince Albert and would have her way (and end up staying in mourning for the next 38 years until her own death).
The Queen's gloom did not dull the magnificence of the wedding day entirely. Princess Alexandra wore a gown designed by the famous Charles Frederick Worth, made of white English silk and Honiton lace and embroidered with traditional British roses, shamrocks and thistles (these motifs are repeated on British Royal wedding dresses to this day - The Duchess of Cambridge's most recently). Prince Albert Edward gave his bride a glittering diamond and pearl parure as a wedding gift; on that day she wore the necklace, earrings and brooch.
Upon their marriage, Princess Alexandra became Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales. In January 1901 the death of Queen Victoria elevated the couple to Their Majesties, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Emperor and Empress of India. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is their great-granddaughter. Any children Prince Harry and Meghan may have will be the great-great-great-grandchildren of the first Royal couple to marry at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.
While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are not anywhere as near the throne as Prince Albert Edward and Princess Alexandra were on their wedding day, we fully expect to see their May 19, 2018 nuptials produce a new Royal Duchess, and an historic one at that!
- Written by Marcia Masenda Mack
(Top Image: 'The Marriage of the Prince of Wales with Princess Alexandra of Denmark, Windsor, 10 March 1863' by William Powell Frith; Bottom: The Prince and Princess of Wales. Princess Alexandra's was the first British Royal wedding dress to be photographed!)