Friday, April 15, 2011

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip Wedding
20th November 1947
With the decision of King George IV to broadcast by radio the wedding service at Westminster Abbey people in nearly every part of the world were able to share directly in the marriage service of Princess Elizabeth, heiress presumptive to the British throne, when she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on Thursday; 20 November 1947.
Although a certain amount of austerity overshadowed the happy day, the wedding procession encompassed all the traditional splendour and the sight overwhelmed the thousands of jubilant onlookers to whom the Second World War was a thing of the recent past. The Duke was dressed in his naval Service uniform. The Princess wore an embroidered ivory satin gown with a long train of silk tulle.

After the wedding ceremony The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh rode together in the Glass Coach back to Buckingham Palace, where the crowd chanting 'We want the bride and groom' brought them out on to the balcony.
The occasion served to testify to the people's feelings for the royal family and to the continued stability of the monarchy.

Her gown was designed by Norman Hartnell and was made from at the queen mother’s request an unusually rich, lustrous stiff satin which was made at Lullington Castle, combined with a silk, from the Scottish firm of Winterthur near Dunfermline used at Hartnell’s discretion.  The design was only finalised three months before the wedding date.

The beading on the gown was quite extravagant and was scattered from the neckline to the hem using twenty thousand pearls from America. Softly spaced throughout the dress were garlands of pearl orange blossom, syringa, jasmine and White Rose of York. These were skilfully combined with flowing lines of wheat ears, the symbol of fertility, and worked in with the pearl and diamante. The traditional cathedral length train and double strand of pearls completed her sophisticated royal look.

Despite the many attempts of the press to bribe Hartnell's staff, the only glimpse newspapermen had of the dress, was when the covered four foot box containing the dress, left Hartnell's salon the day before the wedding.

Karen xx


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