Royal Happily Ever Afters | Royal Wedding 2018
Royal weddings are very historic affairs around the world, and when a country has a Royal wedding everyone shares in the exhilaration. Prince Heinrich Rudolf of Bavaria, second son of Prince Ludwig and Princess Irmingard of Bavaria married Henriette Gruse at Andechs Abbey, Southern Bavaria on the twenty second of April 2017, Henriette wore a stunning diamond and sapphire tiara and a beautiful wedding gown overlaid with an intricate lace detail and sweetheart neckline. The bride arrived at the Abbey in a cabriolet car escorted by her brother, the attendants were the groom’s niece Princess Olivia Sophie Marie Gobertina of Auersperg and nephew Prince Louis-Ferdinand Ludwig Beatus Bernhard Christopher Julio Patrick of zur Lippe-Weissenfeld, the wedding breakfast was at the Furstentrakt were many other Royal wedding receptions have been held over the years. Prince Ernst August of Hanover walked down the aisle with Ekaterina Malysheva on the eighth of July 2017 at the Marktkirche in Hanover before six hundred guests, Father Paul Habsburg performed the wedding service.
The bride wore three stunning Sandra Mansour gowns for the wedding celebrations, one of the opulent gowns was adorned with hundreds of pearls and Chantilly lace, which was inspired by the bride’s Russian heritage, and an heirloom antique floral tiara belonging to Princess Maria of Hanover, the bride also wore a pair of her mother’s diamond stud earrings a very personal touch. Sacha and India Casiraghi were page boy and flower girl and Princess Alexandra was the bridesmaid, they wore Marie-Chantal outfits.
The bride and groom had a traditional Guard of Honour who saluted as the church bells pealed, the couple rode by horse drawn carriage through the streets of Hanover to the wedding breakfast at the historic Herrenhausen Gardens, which was then followed by a private evening reception at the iconic Marienburg Castle. Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Nassau one of the Luxemburg Royal family members married Antonius Willms at the Ermita del Santo Cristo Church in Marbella, Spain on the second of September 2017, Prince Jean of Luxembourg walked his daughter down the aisle. The bride wore a sleeved white gown with a scooped back and floral detail, designed by Lorenzo Caprile, the train had ten thousand glittering Swarovski crystals adorned on it, she wore a long veil with the eye-catching Grand Duchess Adelaide Tiara made of diamonds set in white and yellow gold with a cushion set sapphire in the centre and diamond designs in leaves and berries created with rose cut diamonds worn for the first time at a Royal wedding. They invited three hundred guests the wedding breakfast. Prince Ferdinand of Leiningen married Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia at Amorbach Castle in the Chapel on the sixteenth of September 2017, Princess Viktoria wore an off the shoulder full white lace gown and lace trimmed veil, held in place by the imposing Prussian Meander Kokoshnik Tiara which has diamonds set in platinum and nine large diamonds centred around it, Princess Viktoria chose seven flower children as attendants, they were Countess Anna and Countess Maria-Theodora zu Erbach-Fürstenau, Count Georg zu Erbach-Fürstenau, Duchess Katharina of Oldenburg, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, Prince Carl Friedrich and Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. On October the seventh 2017 Prince Philip of Serbia married Danica Marinkovic, Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine hosted a dinner for the couple at the Royal Palace in Belgrade the evening before the wedding. They were married the following day in a traditional Serbian Orthodox Ceremony and the bride was escorted down the aisle by her father Milo Marinkovic at St Michael Cathedral of the Archangel in Belgrade in Serbia.
The elegant bride wore a modern interpretation of a beautiful white gown with sculptural bow detail at the front, sheer sleeves and a simple v neckline and long sweeping train, the gown was designed by Roksanda Illncic, the bride also wore exquisite diamond and emerald earrings and her veil was held in place by elegant pearl hair pins. After the ceremony well-wishers and guests sprinkled the happy couple in confetti petals as they left down the steps of the Cathedral, they were then taken to the wedding reception in a vintage car. An afternoon reception was held at the White Palace and in the evening Crown Prince Alexander hosted a Gala Dinner at the Palace in the couple’s honour.
One of the principal weddings of this year was the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wedding. The guests arrived, walking up to the South Door of St Georges Chapel, there was an air of composure and coolness, each guest arriving eloquently dressed as they strolled past the public who were invited to watch the proceedings from the castle grounds. The guests looked relaxed and happy as they sat in the Chapel, the floral arrangements of white and green tranquilly hanging from the walls of the Chapel, waiting for Prince Henry of Wales to marry Ms Meghan Markle. Prince Harry arrived with his best man The Duke of Cambridge, both looking resplendent in their Blues and Royals frockcoats with figured braiding of Regimental pattern. As they entered the Chapel at the West Steps, violins and a solo flutist played perfectly while being conducted by Christopher Wren. The bride accompanied by her mother was seen driving down the Long Walk to Windsor Castle waving to the public as they passed by in a classic Rolls Royce Phantom IV belonging to Her Royal Highness The Queen. Prince Harry sat in the Chapel looking slightly nervous while chatting to Prince William, looking up on occasion and smiling to the guests that caught his eye, waiting for the arrival of his bride. The bride’s mother Ms Ragland exited the Rolls Royce at Windsor Castle ready to make her way St Georges Chapel, looking lovely in her pistachio green dress with matching summer coat which had white floral embroidery around the hem and was designed by the creative directors of Oscar de la Renta, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, and a charming hat made by milliner Stephen Jones O.B.E.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall where next to arrive at the Galilee Porch, the Duchess wearing a delightful ice pink silk marocain asymmetrical coat dress designed by Anna Valentine and an ice pink feathered hat designed by Philip Treacy, paired with grey shoes and a striking pearl necklace with diamonds and a pale pink stone in the centre. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh made their entrance, Her Highness stepping out of her car in a lime green flared Stewart Parvin dress with a purple floral pattern which she matched with a silk tweed coat and a matching Angela Kelly hat in the same lime green shade, Anello and Davide shoes and a Launer handbag. The Royal Fanfare team heralded the arrival of Her Majesty as The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh entered the Chapel. The vintage Rolls Royce’s bringing the little bridesmaids and pageboys chaperoned by their mothers drove up to the West Steps of the Chapel, the bridesmaids and pageboys waving happily as they passed the cheering crowds, as they exited the cars they were brought together by their mothers and led up the steps of the Chapel, The Duchess of Cambridge wearing a primrose yellow wool silk tailored coat designed by Alexander McQueen, a hat designed by Philip Treacy and shoes by Jimmy Choo, escorted Prince George and Princess Charlotte up the steps, just in time, as the Phantom Rolls Royce carrying the Bride and two of the pageboys arrived, twins Brian and John Mulroney, who had the very special task of holding the Brides train while accompanying her down the aisle. The bridesmaids were dressed in ivory silk Radzimir dresses with puffed sleeves and silk ribbon tied in a bow, designed by Givenchy Haute Couture Atelier in Paris, with floral headpieces carrying small bouquets and leather Aquazurra shoes monogrammed with their initials, the pageboys wore frockcoats made by Dege & Skinner on Savile Row, in a miniature version of Prince Harry’s Blues and Royals uniform with their initials embroidered in gold on their shoulder straps. Meghan’s wedding dress was designed by Clare Waight Keller from the House of Givenchy, it was a flawless white gown with a bateau neckline and three-quarter length sleeves, epitomising timeless elegance, and made of silk with a petticoat in silk organza, the five-metre-long silk veil comprised of floral details representative of fifty-three countries of the Commonwealth and her favourite flowers Winter sweet and California poppy hand embroidered in silk thread around the edge of the veil, the veil was kept in place by a diamond bandeau tiara, lent to her by The Queen, the bandeau has a removable brooch made of ten diamonds, the tiara has eleven segments adorned with platinum and diamonds, her earrings and bracelet where created by Cartier and her wedding shoes made of silk duchess satin. Her hair was styled by Serge Normant, pinned up into a low chignon, and make-up by make-up artist and friend Daniel Martin. Flowers where handpicked by Prince Harry from the gardens at Kensington Palace, you could not get a more romantic gesture, to be included in her bouquet designed by florist Philippa Craddock which comprised of forget-me-nots, sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, astrantia and a sprig of myrtle with the stems wrapped in a silk ribbon.
The Royal fanfare sounded the bride’s arrival, she looked a little nervous, and then a little smile appeared as the beautiful tones of Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and principal trumpeter David Blackadder resonated down the Chapel as she started her walk to the Quire, with her processional of attendants, the two older pageboys holding her train and doing an excellent job and the bridesmaids and smaller pageboys happily holding hands. His Royal Highness Prince Charles then greeted her ready to walk down the Quire to Prince Harry, the Prince then took his place next to Her Royal Highness The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall. The service started, taken by The Right Reverend David Conner the Dean of Windsor, the couple held hands, smiling sweetly as the Reverend spoke about their marriage vows, and especially when the Reverend mentioned children, Harry wryly smiled at Meghan. The choir and guests then sang ‘Lord of All Hopefulness’, Harry lifted Meghan’s veil and The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby the Archbishop of Canterbury began to officiate the vows of marriage, Prince Harry said, “I do” and the guests laughed cheerfully, and Prince Harry smiled, Meghan smiled too as she said, “I do” and there was another ripple of laughter, the guests were asked and gave a rousing ‘we will’.
Lady Jane Fellowes made her beautiful heartfelt speech ‘Song of Solomon’, the choir then sang ‘If ye love me’ by Thomas Tallis angelically, conducted by James Vivian. A rousing, enthusiastic and very witty address was given by The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry. Prebendary, Rose Josephine Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to The Queen movingly said a prayer, then His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, the General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church eloquently recited a prayer, followed by the Lord’s prayer, then the hymn ‘Guide me, O thou great redeemer’ was sung by the congregation, the newly married couple then left the chapel to sign the Register with His Royal Highness Prince Charles and the bride’s mother Ms Ragland. The first piece of music played, by Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason was ‘Sicilienne’ by Maria Theresia von Paradis followed by ‘Apres un reve’ by Gabriel Faure and finally ‘Ava Maria’ by Franz Schubert, and was played exquisitely, accompanied by violins and a solo harpist conducted by Christopher Wren. The Royal Fanfare sounded out as the couple returned into the Chapel with smiles all round, the pageboys holding the veil, still doing an excellent job, were followed by the bridesmaids and smaller pageboys, then seamlessly the Royal Fanfare team began to play ‘God Save the Queen’ joined by the congregation, cheers could be heard clearly from the waiting crowds outside the Chapel, ‘symphony in B flat’ by William Boys was then played as the processional walked back down aisle of the Chapel and out into the glorious sunshine, as they emerged they were saluted by two Household Cavalry soldiers with their ceremonial swords extended, as they appeared at the chapel door they stopped for ‘The Kiss’ at the top of the Chapel steps.
The Kingdom choir could be heard singing reverently inside the Chapel as the couple descended the West Steps, were the Stair Party stood proudly in their ceremonial uniforms on each side, the crowd cheered loudly as Prince Harry helped Meghan into the Landau Carriage that took them on the processional around Windsor Town. The Royal wedding party emerged from the Chapel to wave the couple off, Prince Charles chatting to Meghan’s mother as they smiled cheerfully. As the carriage appeared on the Long walk The Band of the Irish Guards played the first line of ‘God Save the Queen’, the happy couple waved to the guests who had been invited into the castle grounds as they passed by, as they left Windsor Castle the bells at the Chapel started to peel. As the Royal family began to leave the Chapel the National anthem was played, as Her Royal Highness The Queen departed in her Rolls Royce to more cheers from the crowd. All the Armed Forces units looked smart as they lined Windsor castle, the Windsor grey horses had red sashes attached to their harnesses with their riders in smart black jackets and top hats, the Household Cavalry in their Ceremonial red uniforms with silver and gold helmets with red plumes, riding horses with the most remarkable black shiny coats, as the processional preceded to Windsor Town the couple chatted to each other and waved to the crowds, who waved flags in a show of excitement, the heart of Windsor was adorned with an abundance of brightly coloured flowers, bunting and flags lining the streets, the weather was absolutely glorious. Meghan looked happy but relieved as they re-entered the gates of Windsor Castle, and as they approached the Castle the Household Cavalry rode off to the left as the carriage went through the Arch and up to the Castle, ready to attend the Lunchtime Reception, hosted by The Queen at St Georges Hall, for the six hundred guests invited to wedding. The official wedding photographs were taken by Alexi Lubomirski in the Green Drawing Room and the East Terrace at Windsor Castle following the Carriage processional through Windsor Town.
Guests at the Reception at St Georges Hall were served with a choice of canapés, Scottish Langoustines wrapped in Smoked Salmon with Citrus Crème Fraiche, Grilled English Asparagus wrapped in Cumbrian Ham, Roasted Vegetables and Shallot Jam and Warm Asparagus Spears, bowl food was also served with a choice of Fricassee of Free Range Chicken with Morel Mushrooms and Young Leeks, Truffle Oil and Parmesan Crisps, the final course was a choice of Sweet canapés, Champagne and Pistachio, Macaroons, Orange Crème Brûlée Tartlets and to drink the guests were served with Pol Roger Brut Réserve Non-Vintage Champagne, and an assortment of wines and soft drinks including apple and elderflower mocktail and Sandringham Cox’s apple juice. Sir Elton John performed at the Lunchtime Reception, Sir Elton has a close association with Prince Harry and the Royal family. After the Reception Lunch the newlyweds cut the wedding cake created by Claire Ptak, a light sponge cake with elderflower syrup made at The Queen’s Sandringham Estate, and a filling made from Amalfi lemon curd and elderflower buttercream and was decorated with Swiss meringue buttercream and a hundred and fifty fresh flowers incorporating roses petals and peonies. The Duke of Cambridge acted as compere for the Reception and speeches were made by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and Prince Harry. For the Evening Reception at Frogmore House hosted by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex departed Windsor Castle in a silver blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero, with the number plate showing the wedding date. The Duchess appeared in a high-necked bespoke gown in lily white made of silk crepe designed by Stella McCartney, before being escorted to the Jaguar by The Duke and driven to the evening reception at Frogmore House.
The next Royal wedding will be Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York, Her Royal Highness The Queen’s granddaughter, to Mr Jack Brooksbank, announced by Buckingham Palace, to take place on Friday 12th October at St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle, The Duke and Duchess of York were thrilled to announce the engagement of Princess Eugenie to Mr Jack Brooksbank in January 2018. The couple got engaged on holiday in Nicaragua, Central America after Jack asked the Duke of York for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The official engagement photographs were taken in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace, Princess Eugenie wore a lovely Erdem floral cocktail dress for the occasion. The couple have been together for seven years and met in Verbier in Switzerland. The engagement ring is an oval cut rare coral padparadscha sapphire surrounded by a circle of diamonds and set in a gold band, both Princess Eugenie and Jack designed it together. The couple lived at St James Palace but recently moved into Ivy Cottage in Kensington Palace. We are looking forward to hearing who will design the Princess’s wedding gown, and will she choose her sister Princess Beatrice as her bridesmaid, are Prince George and Princess Charlotte going to be her attendants, will the cake be a traditional one or will they choose to go with a contemporary modern design, are the flowers and her bouquet going to be flamboyant or simple, and who will be on the guests list, will it be a huge or a small affair, and will they choose to ride on one of the Royal carriages? We will have to wait and see.
Credits Photo by David Iliff, Axel Hindemith, Alexi Lubomirski, Aurelien Guichard, Gill Hicks, Matthew Smith, Matt Miller, Travel Spot, Bookmundi