Monday, April 29, 2013

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: Mary of Teck’s Handkerchief from Her 1893 Wedding

Honiton Lace Handkerchief, 1893
The Royal Collection
Since today is the second anniversary of the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (known better in the U.S. as Prince William and Catherine), let's revisit some objects which have been part of other previous Royal weddings.

There's truth to the old notion that people cry at weddings. Even Royal eyes need daubing and even Royal noses need the occasional wipe. Of course the bride would carry a pretty, little handkerchief. Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (known upon her husband’s (George V) ascension to the throne as “Queen Mary”) was never one to be without the appropriate accessories.

This crisp handkerchief of fine Honiton lace (matching her veil) is embroidered with her initials, “V.M.” A label sewn into the handkerchief, written in her own hand, states that she, “Victoria Mary, Duchess of York” used the handkerchief on her wedding day, July 6, 1893.
Mary's Wedding Gown
The Historic Royal Palaces

At the time of their marriage, the Royal couple had not yet been styled as The Prince and Princess of Wales (George was created Prince of Wales in 1901) and were called, The Duke and Duchess of York. They were married at the Chapel Royal at St. James Palace. Much as it is this week, all of London rejoiced.

The Times wrote of Mary’s dress:

Of silver and white brocade with its ingeniously clustered shamrocks, roses and thistles [the national official flowers of the empire] hampers the bride’s graceful movements . . . The bridal veil of fine old Honiton point is caught back of the face, and trails and clusters of orange-blossoms, together with the inevitable bouquet of white flowers carried in her hand . . .

The event was carefully photographed as well as the subject of several paintings and drawings. Enjoy these historic images from The Royal Collection of that lavish 1893 wedding.

The Future King George V and Queen Mary
on their wedding day, 1893.
The Royal Collection

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