The Princess Brides Part 1
On April 26th, three days before Prince William marries Kate Middleton, it will be the 88th anniversary of the wedding of his great-grandparents, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and Prince Albert, Duke of York (who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth). They are of course the couple recently depicted in the Oscar-winning movie, The King's Speech. Despite being almost ninety years apart the weddings have some things in common. Neither bride is of royal birth although Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon as the daughter of an earl was an aristocrat. Both grooms are second in line to the throne, "Bertie" as he was known, after his brother, Edward and William, after his father Prince Charles. William and Kate's wedding will take place in Westminster Abbey as did Bertie and Elizabeth's.
Back in the early 20s, making the wedding a public affair instead of at a royal chapel was a break with tradition. It is believed this decision was taken to lift the spirits of the nation following the ravages of the Great War which had ended 5 years before.
Elizabeth's dress, made by Madame Handley Seymour, had a medieval look to it and was long, narrow and had a drop-waist which was in the height of fashion for the times. It was made of ivory chiffon moire embellished with pearls and silver embroidery. Her veil was loaned to her by the groom's mother, Queen Mary and was anchored with a band of myrtle and a York rose on each side. Prince Albert wore full RAF dress.
There is silent footage of the wedding and a great many photographs but the event took place before the days of television; nor was it broadcast on the radio because the Archbishop of Canterbury was concerned that men might listen to it in public houses.