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Vocapedia > UK > British Monarchy


Titles, court, ceremonies,

royal family, royal places, residences,

royal honours,

Commonwealth, history




the Stone of Scone / the Stone of Destiny




Story/0,6051,107888,00.html  - 12 April 1951








the Royals / the royals














the Firm












the Royal Mint










Royal Collection Trust










royal residences










the royal dogs










Royal Maundy > 'Maundy money'




















the establishment








UK > Queen Consort        UK / USA




















Prince Edward










Earl and Countess of Wessex / Wessexes


















a princess of royal blood








Princess Royal








UK > Princess Anne        USA

























UK > Princess Margaret    1930-2002        UK / USA










































Walter Francis John Montagu Douglas Scott

9th Duke of Buccleuch

and 11th Duke of Queensberry    1923-2007











Catherine / Kate, Duchess of Cambridge


Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, GCVO

(born Catherine Elizabeth Middleton; 9 January 1982)

is a member of the British royal family.















Sarah Ferguson

the Duchess of York

and the queen’s

former daughter-in-law 



Sarah, Duchess of York

(born Sarah Margaret Ferguson),

known as Fergie,

is the former wife of Prince Andrew, Duke of York,

the second son of Queen Elizabeth II

and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

They have two daughters,

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.









Princess Alice Christabel, Duchess of Gloucester    1901-2004


Princess Alice,

Duchess of Gloucester,


(born Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott;

25 December 1901 – 29 October 2004)

was the wife of Prince Henry,

Duke of Gloucester,

the third son of King George V

and Queen Mary.


She was the mother

of Prince William of Gloucester

and Prince Richard,

Duke of Gloucester.












Princess Alice of Battenberg

(Victoria Alice Elizabeth Julia Marie;

25 February 1885 – 5 December 1969)

was the mother of Prince Philip

and mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II.


A great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria,

she was born in Windsor Castle

and grew up in the United Kingdom,

the German Empire,

and the Mediterranean.













George V    r. 1910-36    (1865-1936)

the first British monarch

belonging to the House of Windsor






























constitutional monarch










British monarchs










British monarchy        UK / USA





podcast - Guardian podcast

































































royal prerogative of mercy

Royal pardon

for codebreaker Alan Turing (1912-1954)


25495315 - 24 December 2013


























The Crown








series > the Crown










crown jeweller






























Dean of Windsor










guardsmen from the Queen's Royal Hussars










Queen’s company camp colour of the Grenadier Guards


The Grenadier Guards are the most senior

of the Foot Guards regiments

and the Queen was their colonel-in-chief.










a dismounted detachment

of the Household Cavalry Regiment










a mounted Division of the Sovereign’s Escort










the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery










The Military Knights of Windsor

- honorary bodyguards










the Lord Chamberlain

- the most senior official in the royal household >

wand of office,

the white staff that is one of the symbols of his office,










sovereign’s piper










UK > coronation        USA


100000004345567/the-coronation-of-queen-elizabeth-ii.html - Apr. 20, 2016








Guardian archive:

coronation preparations in 1937 and 1953 – in pictures

A look back in the Guardian archive

reveals photographs taken in Manchester and London

in the days leading up

to the coronations of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II


in-pictures - Guardian pictures gallery




























throne / chair





 heir apparent to the British throne






Zara Phillips

daughter of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips

























the Act of Settlement    1701



















The Act of Settlement    1700










English Bill of Rights    1689


An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject

and Settling the Succession of the Crown












reign / reign














reign over N










renounce the Throne








the Act of Abdication








King Edward VIII    1894-1972










be proclaimed




















royal household





What does the Queen's

'warden of the swans' actually do?


The phone hacking trial

has inadvertently given us

a unique insight

into some of the stranger jobs

in the royal household











the royal family

podcast - Guardian podcast





royal watchers






self-styled royal commentator
















monarchists vs. republicans












abolish the monarchy












































Princess of Wales title


heir apparent to the British throne

after the death of Queen Elizabeth II


King Charles confirmed the change

to the roles of heir apparent Prince William

and his wife

in his first speech to the nation as monarch

on Friday evening.


He said: “Today, I am proud

to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru,

the country whose title

I have been so greatly privileged to bear

during so much of my life and duty.


“With Catherine beside him,

our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know,

continue to inspire

and lead our national conversations,

helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground

where vital help can be given.”


The Princess of Wales title

has been used since the 14th century

by the wife of the heir apparent to the English,

and later British, throne.


It has not been formally used

since William and Harry’s mother Diana died in 1997,

when William was 15 –

and is likely to be hugely emotive for many

because of the close associations with her.


When Camilla married Charles in 2005,

the decision was taken

that she would not use the title

despite her being entitled to do so,

out of respect for Diana.










Northern Ireland
















United Kingdom        USA





















God save the King








the singing of God Save the King


















he Queen / Head of State





Her Majesty the Queen





Her Royal Highness





His / Her Royal Highness    HRH





Their Royal Highnesses    TRH





House of Windsor





Royal family tree








Balmoral Castle

on the Balmoral Estate

in Aberdeenshire, Scotland










at Balmoral












Buckingham Palace


















Buckingham Palace


royal household colour bar / ban on black staff / lack of ethnic minorities














Changing the Guard or Guard Mounting








St James's Palace








Clarence House








Kensington Palace








Windsor Castle










at the Windsor Castle










Windsor Castle > royal vault


Commendation before Garter King of Arms >

pronounce the styles and titles of the Queen










Windsor Castle > Sebastopol bell


Captured from the Church of the Twelve Apostles

in Sevastopol in Crimea in 1856,

it hangs in the Round Tower,

and only tolls for the death of senior royals.










Windsor Castle > bells of the Curfew Tower










Sandringham House

is a country house

in the parish of Sandringham,

Norfolk, England.


It is the private home of Elizabeth II,

whose father, George VI,

and grandfather, George V,

both died there.


The house stands

in a 20,000-acre (8,100 ha) estate

in the Norfolk Coast Area

of Outstanding Natural Beauty.













St Mary Magdalene Church

near Sandringham House in Norfolk






















the Queen's silver jubilee    1977






The Guardian > Special report > The Queen's golden jubilee    2002















































royal housekeeper















swan upping





Ladies-in-Waiting and Equerries







The Order of the Garter











the civil list






the royal train






Earl marshal

- the duke coordinating the Queen’s funeral

and King’s coronation


The hereditary behind-the-scenes role involves

organising state funerals of sovereigns

and arranging the accession of monarchs






















Dave Brown

political cartoon

The Independent

4 December 2008

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/the-daily-cartoon-760940.html?ino=2 - broken link


Queen Elizabeth II

Background > Queen's Speech 2008 / Recession















the state opening of parliament > The Queen's speech


 Queen's speech:

your guide to all the parliamentary

pomp and pageantry


The state opening of parliament

features the Humble Address,

the Searching of the Cellars

and the Delivering of the Hostage

– but what does it all mean?

















The Queen's speech












The Queen's speech > A brief explanation 






one piece of legislation






statute book






The Queen delivers her 65th speech to parliament        2016






Queen's speech 2015


























The Guardian > Special report > Queen's speech        2009








The Queen's speech > A brief explainer        2009






The Guardian > Special report > Queen's speech        2008






The Guardian > Special report > Queen's speech        2007






Queen's speech > Prime Minister Gordon Brown        2007














Queen's speech







at the Sovereign's Entrance





the Queen's speech


Although the Queen reads it out,

the content of the speech

is entirely written

and approved by the Government.


It contains an outline

of proposed new laws

to be passed in the coming year

- Times Online        6.11.2007































the Queen's speech > a brief history






Black Rod > the role of Black Rod






the state opening of parliament > the Serjeant at arms











the Commons





the House of Lords





the chamber





the Sovereign's entrance





the Yeoman of the Guard















The Queen’s Birthday Honours






royal honours






New Year honours list








New Year's honours list: DBEs and CBEs

Order of the British Empire,

Dame (DBE)

and Commander (CBE)






New Year's honours list:

Diplomatic service and overseas

Order of the Bath,

Order of St Michael and St George

and Order of the British Empire






New Year's honours list: Commonwealth






New Year's honours: Military

Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force honours






New Year's honours list: MBEs

Order of the British Empire, Member (MBE)






New Year's honours list: Sundries

Queen's Police Medal and Queen's Fire Service Medal












Order of the British Empire    OBE








be awarded an OBE





be awarded an honorary KBE





be rewarded

with knighthoods, MBEs and other honours











knight / be knighted





receive one's / a knighthood






reject a knighthood






(be) presented with (an) honorary damehood

be made an honorary dame by the Queen for N






Damehoods and K's
















The Queen's message to the Commonwealth

















Monarchy Out


http://monarchyout.members.easyspace.com/ - broken link

















Queen's speech 2003

The Guardian



































- Guardian podcast














Corpus of news articles


UK > British Monarchy, Royals




Britain's monarchy

Chris Alden explains
what it means to be a constitutional monarch

Thu 16 May 2002
14.48 BST


What is the Queen's role?

Elizabeth II is a constitutional monarch: that is, she is Britain's head of state, but her executive powers are limited by constitutional rules. Her role is mostly symbolic: she represents Britain on state visits and on ceremonial occasions. According to the royal website, her primary role is as a "focus of national unity".

She is queen of 16 former British colonies, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand; and head of the Commonwealth, a multinational body created after the dissolution of the British empire.

What powers does the Queen have?

The Queen has the right to rule: the people of Britain are not citizens, but subjects of the monarch. Most public servants must swear an oath of loyalty, or make an affirmation of their loyalty, to the crown.

Although the Queen is politically neutral, she has the right to be consulted and to "advise and warn" ministers. Otherwise her residual powers - the "royal prerogative" - are mostly exercised through the government of the day. These include the power to enact legislation, to award honours (on the advice of the prime minister), to sign treaties and to declare war.

But royal prerogative is the subject of controversy, because it confers on governments the power to make major decisions without recourse to parliament. When Edward Heath brought Britain into the EEC in 1972, parliament was not consulted until afterwards. Similarly, Margaret Thatcher used royal prerogative to go to war in the Falklands in 1982.

The Queen has two individual powers that could cause a political crisis if they were ever exercised. She may refuse a government's request to dissolve parliament and call an election, if she believes a government can legitimately be formed. She also has the right to choose the prime minister: a formality in the case of a clear majority, but potentially controversial after an inconclusive general election. This almost happened in February 1974, when Labour failed to win an overall majority but the Conservatives considered power-sharing with the Liberals.

What land does the Queen own?

As hereditary sovereign, the Queen owns the crown estate - almost 120,000 hectares of agricultural land, plus the seabed around the UK. Its statute includes some archaic rules: through the crown estate, for example, the Queen can claim ownership of all whales and sturgeon that are washed ashore. But the estate did turn a profit of £147.7m in 2000-01, all of which was credited to public funds.

Also held by the Queen as sovereign are the occupied royal palaces, such as Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace, Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle. The Queen's private property includes the palaces at Balmoral and Sandringham.

Much of the Queen's private income comes from the Duchy of Lancaster - an estate comprising more than 19,000 hectares of land, which made the Queen £7.3m before tax in 2000-01. The Duchy of Cornwall, which comprises more than 50,000 hectares, funds the Prince of Wales.

How much does the monarchy cost to run?

The Queen's "head of state expenditure" - official expenditure relating to her duties as head of state - is met from public funds. The total spend in 2000-01 was £35m, a figure which excludes the cost of security from the police and army, and of soldiers on ceremonial duty. Apologists for the monarchy point out that this figure is much lower than the profits of the crown estate.

The most controversial part of the expenditure is the Civil List, the money provided on a 10-year cycle for the running of the Queen's household. The spend was £6.5m in 2000-01, but has been fixed at £7.9m per year until 2011 - despite the fact that the Queen made a £35.3m profit out of the money provided for the previous 10 years.

The £35m for 2000-01 also includes almost £1m which went to the Queen Mother and Duke of Edinburgh; £15.3m spent on funding the occupied royal palaces (listed above), and £5.4m spent on travel (much reduced since the decommissioning of the royal yacht). The rest went on pensions and other expenses incurred by government departments, including postal services, "equerries and orderlies", and the administration of honours. £1.5m went on the Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh.

Balmoral and Sandringham are maintained out of the Queen's personal income.

Does the Queen pay tax?

The Queen pays tax on a voluntary basis from her private income, but not on "head of state expenditure". But she did not pay almost £20m of inheritance tax after the death of the Queen Mother: this, says the royal website, is primarily because "constitutional impartiality requires an appropriate degree of independence for the sovereign".

What is the Guardian's position on the Queen?

The Guardian has launched a legal campaign against the 1701 Act of Settlement - which excludes Roman Catholics, Muslims and other non-Protestants from succeeding to the throne. It is also campaigning against the Treason Felony Act of 1848, which inhibits discussion of republican forms of government.

A Guardian editorial in December 2000 hoped that "in time we will move - by democratic consensus - to become a republic".

Chris Alden explains what it means to be a constitutional monarch,
Thu 16 May 2002    14.48 BST,






April 30, 1993


On This Day


From The Times Archive


The Queen announced
that she was opening Buckingham Palace
to the public for an eight-week period,
to help to pay for the repair work at Windsor Castle,
which was damaged by fire.
Richard Cork, The Times’s chief fine art critic,
wrote that the Queen must keep her treasures
on display for the public to see.


THE dam has burst. At long last, a substantial number of the paintings and other works of art at Buckingham Palace will be revealed to the public. The eight-week opening period is all too brief, and will surely lead to appalling overcrowding as British taxpayers jostle with tourists to view the treasures. But throwing open the doors of Buckingham Palace is a momentous event and sets a precedent that should lead to the public display of more royal treasures in the years ahead.

What will the public see when they enter the picture gallery, where most of the Buckingham Palace paintings are hung? The quality of the pictures in this wide, top-lit room, which owes much of its present excellent condition to the improvements that were organised by Queen Mary several decades ago, is beyond dispute. They rank with the finest that are already on view at Hampton Court and Windsor Castle, and include some of the greatest names in the history of European painting. Vermeer, among the rarest of great masters, stands out with a cool, exquisitely subtle interior in which a man stands next to a woman by some virginals. George IV bought this superb picture at a time when Vermeer was forgotten, showing great prescience.

Rubens enjoyed a close relationship with this country. Three of his paintings hang at Buckingham Palace, and Charles I wanted to employ him as his court painter. Frustrated in that ambition, the king settled instead for Rubens’s precociously gifted pupil Van Dyck. Five of his paintings are displayed in the Picture Gallery, including some full-length portraits. They look particularly handsome in the tall, spacious proportions of the room. Visitors will also be able to savour the astonishing collections of furniture and other objets d’art assembled by George IV. No lover of art will emerge disappointed from a tour of the Buckingham Palace collections. I hope that the Queen will soon find ways of making her treasures available for far longer periods. The royal collection has remained hidden for too long.

From The Times Archives >
On This Day - April 30, 1993, The Times, 30.4.2005,






February 25, 1981


From The Times Archive


On This Day


The romantic hopes

that attended the announcement

of the Prince of Wales’s engagement

to Lady Diana Spencer

ended in disillusion and divorce.

His second marriage

to Camilla Parker Bowles

will take place on April 8


WITH Downing Street in winter mood it is left to Buckingham Palace to cheer the spirits. Happiness that shows on the faces of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer and is shared by their families extends far and wide through the nation. The news comes as no surprise, but it is glad news and hopeful for the future.

The constitution, to Bagehot’s way of thinking, resolves itself into effective and dignified parts with the monarchy heading the latter. The monarchy similarly resolves itself into its practical and sentimental functions: there is business of state and Commonwealth to be done, and there is the place the monarchy occupies in the hearts of people in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth for whom it is a real focus of allegiance.

The practical aspect of the announcement is the betrothal of the heir to the throne. This reinforces the succession by potentially extending the direct line. The sentimental aspect of the announcement is the confirmation of a royal romance. It is something to give pleasure to all but the stoniest of hearts; and it is fitting that the Prince of Wales should enter married life when one considers the extent to which the monarchy is now regarded as an exemplar of the family.

From both the practical and the sentimental points of view his choice of bride is eminently suitable. She is not a princess of royal blood. That would once have been felt to be a disqualification. No longer. Arranged marriages are out of fashion in English society.

Lady Diana Spencer was not brought up to royal duties. She has experienced, and weathered well, one annoyance attending her new position, hot pursuit in the world’s press.

On this day,
February 25, 2005, The Times,






August 11, 1977


From The Times Archive


On This Day


The Queen visited Northern Ireland

amid very tight security.

The visit became historic

as it involved the first investiture

of its kind outside London


THE biggest security operation ever mounted in Northern Ireland ensured considerable success for the first half of the Queen’s historic visit yesterday although at times parts of the province appeared to be virtually under martial law.

The Queen flew in a red twin-engine Wessex helicopter from HMS Fife in Belfast Lough to the grounds of Hillsborough Castle, former residence of governors of the province, where she was greeted by 200 schoolchildren carrying posies and Union Jacks.

The Queen inspected a guard of honour of the Ulster Defence Regiment, most of them part-time soldiers. That was followed by the investiture of distinguished Ulster men and women, the first such ceremony in the United Kingdom to be held outside London.

Possibly the loudest spontaneous cheer came at an informal moment when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who had joined her for luncheon after a morning visit to the Harland and Wolff shipyard, waved to the crowd from an upstairs window.

In the afternoon the Queen entertained 2,500 guests at a garden party, again in formalised surroundings, white lines limiting freedom of movement.

Mr James Kilfedder, one of several Unionist MPs present, said: “The Queen’s presence here will boost the morale of Ulster people tremendously.”

MPs of the Social Democratic and Labour Party boycotted the event.

From The Times Archives > On This Day - August 11, 1977,
Times, 11.8.2005,






August 29, 1972


From The Times Archive


On This Day


Prince William,

ninth in line to the Throne,

was killed at the beginning

of the Goodyear air race


PRINCE WILLIAM of Gloucester was killed yesterday when his light aircraft crashed soon after take-off from Halfpenny Green airport near Wolverhampton at the start of the Goodyear air race.

His co-pilot, Mr Vyrell Mitchell, also died after the Piper Cherokee banked at the end of the runway, hit a tree, lost a wing and narrowly missed a house as it crashed into a bank in a lane a mile from the airfield.

The petrol tank exploded and the aircraft was engulfed in flames.

Three boys ran across a field and tried to pull the tail off in a rescue effort. “But it was no good,” one of them said. “We had to go back because of the heat.”

The Queen has ordered family mourning until the day of the funeral. Her Majesty and Princess Anne are not going to the Olympic Games at Munich today as arranged, Buckingham Palace said.

Prince William, a bachelor, aged 30, was ninth in succession to the Throne. He was the second member of the Royal Family to die in an air crash: 30 years ago the Duke of Kent was killed when his Sunderland flying boat crashed in the north of Scotland, on the way to active service in Iceland.

The Piper Cherokee Arrow in which Prince William was flying is one of the commonest light aircraft made today.

From The Times Archives > On This Day - August 29, 1972, The Times, 29.8.2005,






August 1, 1957


From The Times Archive


On This Day


Recently released FBI documents

have only added to speculation

over the wartime loyaltie

of the Duke of Windsor


EARLY this morning the Duke of Windsor issued, through his London solicitors, a statement rejecting the German wartime account of his stay in Madrid and Lisbon in June and July, 1940. Telegrams reproduced in the latest volume of captured German papers were published today in the official series, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945.

The documents reveal what was in essence a plot to induce the Duke to stay in Europe instead of leaving to be Governor of the Bahamas. The Germans hoped to make use of him on their peace campaign.

The British Government have issued a statement on the allegations, saying the Duke “never wavered in his loyalty to the British cause.” The Duke states: —

I have little to add to the statement made by the British Government relating to the communications which passed between the German Foreign Minister and the German Ambassadors in Spain and Portugal in July 1940, concerning myself. These communications comprise in part complete fabrications and in part gross distortions of the truth.

While I was in Lisbon certain people, whom I discovered to be pro-Nazi sympathizers, did make definite efforts to persuade me to return to Spain . . . It was even suggested to me that there would be a personal risk to the Duchess and myself if we were to proceed to the Bahamas. At no time did I ever entertain any thought of complying with such suggestion, which I treated with the contempt it deserved.

    From The Times Archives > On This Day - August 1, 1957,
    The Times, 1.8.2005,






June 1, 1955


From The Times Archive


On This Day


The Queen declared a state of emergency

during the national rail strike,

which caused further disruption to postal services

and the cancellation of the Trooping the Colour


ON THE advice of ministers at a meeting of the Privy Council held yesterday at Balmoral Castle, the Queen proclaimed “a state of emergency” under the Emergency Powers Act, 1920. Immediately after the proclamation, the Queen, by Order-in-Council, made a code of emergency regulations which come into force today.

These regulations will give the Government wider powers to deal with the grave situation caused by the railway strike, particularly in the matter of maintaining essential supplies and services.

It is necessary for Parliament to confirm regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act within seven days, and the State opening of the new Parliament, which had been arranged for June 14, has been advanced to June 9. The Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour) which the Queen has cancelled was to have been held on June 9 — the date on which she will now open the new Parliament.

The emergency regulations are in no sense aimed at strike breaking. There is no question of the use of troops, except for assistance to the Post Office.

The Home Secretary in a statement last night said: “The regulations represent the minimum required to enable the Government to perform their duty of securing the essentials of life to the community.”

    From The Times Archives > On This Day - June 1, 1955, The Times, 1.6.2005,






June 3, 1953


The assurance of a true monarch


From the Guardian archive


Wednesday June 3, 1953
Harry Boardman


At the opening of to-day's thousand-year-old rite the Archbishop of Canterbury presented Queen Elizabeth to the people as our "undoubted Queen", that is by hereditary right.

Three hours later she went forth from the Abbey, amid the greatest rejoicing, a crowned and consecrated Queen. No such delight has hailed a Sovereign's Coronation before.

It is easy to fall into hyperbole at such moments of mass emotion as this, but there is no exaggeration here. Others of our Queens, Elizabeth I, for example, have swayed the hearts of their people after a time, but Elizabeth II captured them from the start.

She has done it not merely in virtue of her youth and grace but because she joins to these qualities the high seriousness we have come to associate with the House of Windsor.

That gravity was hers to-day, and perfectly attuned to the occasion. It made its subtle appeal to all hearts. It stirred the sense of a young woman set apart and dedicated and even a little lonely - and greatly deserving a nation's affection and support.

But to the ceremony. Where could it be matched in its splendour, opulent colour or historic symbolism? What other ceremonial could have brought together a vast concourse of this kind with its admixture of foreign royalties, heads of foreign States, Commonwealth Prime Ministers, and the most distinguished among our commoners?

The Abbey was crammed from floor to clerestory, and that includes the great stands erected to augment the accommodation. Here, indeed, was a great cloud of witnesses.

The choir, 400 strong, had climbed in its white surplices to a high gallery looking down on the nave from the north. The transepts were cliffs of human beings.

At the intersection of nave and choir was the "theatre". Within this space took place the whole ritual. It extended from the steps rising from the nave to the Altar. It was flooded from electric chandeliers with a bright, strong, even light. Occasional sunlight from the rose windows was just not able to compete with it.

Throughout the ritual the theatre glowed like the canvas of a great Renaissance colourist. There was the Queen in her golden robes. There were the Archbishops with their mitres and copes. Then there was the whole bench of Bishops in scarlet and white ranged along the north side of the theatre.

Harry Boardman

    From the Guardian archive > June 3, 1953 >
    The assurance of a true monarch, G,
    Republished 2.6.2006,






April 1, 1953


From The Times Archive


On This Day


The death of Queen Mary,

the wife of King George V,

was followed by a simple ceremony

in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.


About 4,000 people

attended a memorial service

in St Paul’s Cathedral,

and tributes were paid

in many other churches.


THOUGH the sorrow and the hope at the heart of the ceremonies were the same, and the same words of Christian valediction were spoken, the setting of Queen Mary’s funeral contrasted with the sombre magnificence that surrounded the last journey of her son so short a while ago. No drums and tramplings of marching troops escorted this gentle lady to the grave. Quietly, as one long withdrawn from the necessary pomps of state, she came home to Windsor; her body was not borne in procession through the castle wards, but had lain for several hours behind the Military Knights of Windsor, before the mourners began to assemble.

The towering majesty of St George’s seemed to have been brought nearer to human scale. The nave, left open at King George’s funeral to receive the marching ranks of the procession, was now filled like a parish church with chairs for a seated congregation. In the choir, Queen Mary’s banner had been taken down; the stall below, now ownerless after more than 40 years, was given to the Prime Minister, who came in with Mrs Churchill a little before the ceremony was due to begin.

One could tell that outside was the changing weather of early spring; sometimes the sunlight filtering through stained glass; then a cloud would pass over and the shaded candles glowed warmer by the contrast. The rich chivalric colours seemed unusually subdued, and one was conscious less of the historic grandeur of the proud Garter shrine than of the family chapel of the historic house in which Queen Mary had been the gracious mistress for so many years.

    On this day, April 1, 2005, The Times,






July 1, 1952


Get rid of this clinging snobbery


From the Guardian archive


Tuesday July 1, 1952



Judged merely by previous settlements the new Civil List proposals [in the run-up to the 1953 coronation] are not unreasonable. Such criticism as there will be will turn on the whole question of the place of the Monarchy in the State.

Is not this an opportunity to simplify some of the ceremonial, and to get rid of some of the snobbery that still clings about the Court? To say this is to reflect in no way on the Sovereign and her consort.

They did not make the customs and the conventions, and many must be as irksome to them as they are distasteful to a growing number of their subjects. We may all agree with the Select Committee that "the colour and pageantry of state occasions, with all their historic associations, are a most precious heritage." But there are other aspects of Court life, less full of "colour and pageantry" and not truly "state occasions," which merely continue traditions of social differentiation and caste exclusiveness.

These we can dispense with - unless, say, we choose to continue presentations at Court for the sake of eager debutantes from the great American democracy.

This is the kind of thing, one supposes, that Mr Attlee had in mind in proposing that less formality at Court and less elaborate ceremonial would lighten the burden on the Monarchy.

Mr Attlee was surely right. The Monarchy's hold on the people will be no less firm if its trappings are simpler. Under the last two Sovereigns it has moved noticeably towards less stuffy ways. It could with advantage, move farther.

It would not, indeed, be surprising if the instincts of the Queen and the Duke were not rather on this side than on the side of the Victorian traditionalists. They should be given every encouragement to modernise the institution which they are custodians.

Precedent can become too much of a god. The Royal Family will give greater pleasure to the mass of the people if they reserve their energies for the really public functions it has become their custom to grace.

The conception of royalty as public functionaries, gracing almost daily occasions in national, or civic life, is relatively new. But it is growing, and, provided that their goodwill is not exploited and their energies frittered away on small and frivolous objects, it is to be welcomed and cherished.

From the Guardian archive > July 1, 1952 >
Get rid of this clinging snobbery,
G, Republished 1.7.2006,






February 16, 1952


From The Times Archive


On This Day


King George VI was laid to rest
in St George’s Chapel, Windsor,
after the coffin had been borne
in a solemn procession
through the streets of London
and Windsor.

Large crowds lined the route
to pay their last homage
as the mile-long cortège passed.


MARTIAL splendour and solemnity was lit with colour and enriched with sound on the long, last pilgrimage of King George VI from his Palace of Westminster to his chapel at Windsor.

Emotions, deeply stirred, thus found expression and release in the pageantry which attends a monarch even in death. The democratic levelling of the tomb enjoined that in the majesty of that superb shrine where the King’s mortal remains now lie.

It was “our dear brother” of whom the last rites spoke. Thus the kinship of Sovereign and people was proclaimed at the last, and that close, abiding bond which had drawn thousands of his subjects to mourn beside the catafalque up to the ultimate moment of the lying-in-state now drew thousands more to throng the route of the funeral procession.

The depth of sorrow into which that sudden passing of a beloved friend had plunged the nation and Empire found no incongruity in the beauty and splendour which fittingly attended the final earthly journey of a great monarch.

Simplicity lay at the heart of that long, winding stream of mourning which bore away the last symbolic relics of a reign. Only the flash and glitter of the Crown and regalia shone in witness to the majesty which lay upon that stark gun-carriage within the enshrouding folds of the Royal Standard.

But from end to end of the procession the presence of Kingship, splendid in death, commanded the homage as well as the loving sorrow of the multitudes.

On this day, From The Times Archive
 On This Day - February 16, 1952, Ts,
Republished February 16, 2005,






April 21 1944


Princess Elizabeth on her birthday


From The Guardian archive


April 21 1944

The Guardian


Princess Elizabeth is eighteen to-day, and all good wishes will go forward to her. They include what is perhaps the warmest and widest of any since it applies to all young people on whom the coming world will depend, that her next anniversary may see the fresh promise of spring matched by the end of war and the more hopeful shapings of peace.

She is Heiress Presumptive to the throne of this land and could reign as Queen at eighteen, as did Queen Victoria, but the real effect of last year's amendment [to the constitutional act] was to make her eligible at the same age to become a Counsell of State. For the rest, she comes of age at twenty-one as does any other citizen.

Her share of public responsibilities has been made wisely and gradually; the mixture of domestic restraints with one or two almost "royal progresses" which marked the Princess Victoria's approach to her eighteenth birthday has not fallen to the far more happily surrounded girlhood of Princess Elizabeth. We know of her as taking that girlhood in much of a normal stride — as a Girl Guide, in amateur theatricals, and with a native leaning for music and modern languages.

All that we have read or seen of her in photographs gives a vivid impression of fresh and natural charm. The future and all its problems will be with her and her contemporaries, but we would not have the Princess saddled with them too soon. "And good luck to you all!" were the closing words of her first broadcast in 1940 when she spoke primarily to young people evacuated from this country to Canada and the United States. "And good luck to you!" is to-day's response from all of us.




Marginal land. But for the war we should never have tried to crop the meadow. The first thing was to get it drained. Then came day after day of Peter's ploughing. Before the discs could be put on it we have to move the stones which were out on the surface from the old drains.

It has not been easy working with the horse as the Navy has been doing considerable practice and poor old Jo is desperately nervous and has bolted with the cart several times. But he was good with the stones. We took some eighteen loads off the meadow.

I still find it hard to believe there is the makings of a seedbed in all this roughness but "J.T." says so. He is experienced. It is less than half a year to harvest. We shall see.

Naomi Mitchison

From The Guardian archive > April 21 1944 >
Princess Elizabeth on her birthday,
G, Republished 21.4.2007, p. 32,






June 4 , 1935


From The Times Archive


On This Day


At a ceremony

to mark the laying of a foundation stone

at the new Royal Empire Society headquarters,

the future Edward VIII maintained his poise

- despite the antics of a Nazi sympathiser


THE Prince of Wales yesterday laid the foundation-stone of the new building of the Royal Empire Society, on the site in Northumberland Avenue hitherto occupied by the society. The stone, before being lowered into place and declared well and truly laid by the Prince, hung suspended by a tackle under an awning.

From the coping of one of the buildings in Craven Street, facing the Prince, hung a Union Jack with a swastika superimposed on it. A man wearing a dark uniform cap stood behind the flag. He withdrew it from sight soon after the speechmaking began, but held it aloft during the singing of the National Anthem at the end.

The Prince of Wales read a message from the King. It was in these words: As Patron of the Royal Empire Society I have received with much satisfaction their loyal assurances, and I am interested to hear that you are today laying the foundation-stone of their new building. I send my best wishes to the society on this memorable occasion, which I trust will mark the opening of an era of increasing prosperity. GEORGE, R.I.

“I think it is indeed fitting,” the Prince said, “that this day, the King’s 70th birthday, in the Silver Jubilee year of his reign, should have been chosen for the laying of the foundation-stone of the Royal Empire Society, whose service for 67 years has been consecrated to the unity of the Empire, in whose welfare his Majesty takes so deep and unceasing interest.”

The purposes of the society, the Prince continued, were twofold. First of all they provided a home for the countless visitors who came from overseas every year to the Old Country. Under its charter it was also a learned society, and for two-thirds of a century it had provided a platform from which the leading men in the Empire had imparted knowledge of what the Empire meant and stood for.

If it was true, as many believed, that the Empire was only at the beginning of its real mission to the world, then all would welcome the contribution which the society could make to that understanding of peoples so well exemplified within the boundaries of the British Empire.

Cheers followed the laying of the foundation stone.

From The Times Archives > On This Day - June 4 , 1935, Ts, 4.6.2005,






February 23, 1934


From The Times Archive


On This Day


The Queen visited the British Industries Fair

at Olympia and showed particular interest

in the toys on display


THE QUEEN, who was accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of York, the Dowager Lady Airlie, Sir Harry and Lady John Verney, and Sir Hill Child, paid a second visit to the British Industries Fair at Olympia yesterday afternoon.

The royal party spent most of their time in the toy section. The Queen expressed admiration at the beauty and perfection of the modern toy and the inventive genius which has brought it to its present state of perfection. She and the Duchess of York made many purchases, and the exhibitors reaped a rich harvest later, when a group of buyers, who followed the royal party round the Fair, gave orders for quantities of the toys which had been selected.

The Queen watched with great interest the flight of a squadron of toy aeroplanes, the sale of which at the Fair already exceeds 50,000. She also saw the flight of crash-proof aeroplanes, which, after coming down, were put together again and reflown. She described a collection of “true to life” baby dolls as the most beautiful she had ever seen. A gardening frame, with seeds and watering can, attracted her attention and when the Duchess of York joined her in looking at it, the Queen remarked: “You must not buy this, I have already bought one for Margaret Rose.”

The Queen’s purchases included a wagon large enough for one child to ride in, a scale model of Eyston’s midget car, clockwork toys and model aeroplanes. Her Majesty bought a number of boxes of toy soldiers as also did the Duke and Duchess of York, who are collecting regiments for the two Princesses. A model of the Loch Ness monster amused the Royal party, and they consented to be photographed beside it.

    On this day, February 23, 2005, The Times,






April 22, 1926


On This Day


From The Times Archive


The Duke and Duchess of York

celebrated their first child, Princess Elizabeth,

who became Queen Elizabeth II


AS ANNOUNCED in the later editions of The Times yesterday, her Royal Highness the Duchess of York gave birth to a daughter at No. 17. Bruton Street at 2.40 yesterday morning. The news was authoritatively announced at 3.30a.m., but not in the form of an official bulletin.

The following bulletin was issued later:-

“17, Bruton Street, 10 a.m., April 21, 1926.

“The Duchess of York has had some rest since the arrival of her daughter. Her Royal Highness and the infant Princess are making very satisfactory progress.

“Previous to the confinement a consultation took place at which Sir George Blacker was present, and a certain line of treatment was successfully adopted.”

The Court Circular issued from Windsor Castle last night opens with the following paragraph:- The King and Queen have received with great pleasure the news that the Duchess of York gave birth to a daughter this morning.

Their Majesties had been awakened between 3 and 4 a.m. to receive the news of the birth of their first grand-daughter.

In accordance with custom where births in the Royal Family are concerned, the Home Secretary, Sir William Joynson-Hicks, had been summoned to Bruton Street, and he was present in the house at the time of the birth.

The announcement and subsequent bulletin were posted outside the Mansion House.

    On This Day - April 22, 1926, The Times, 22.4.2005,






April 23 1917


Mr HG Wells

on the issue of monarchy


From The Guardian archive


April 23 1917

The Guardian


The "Times" of Saturday last printed a letter from Mr. H. G. Wells, the author, which managed without attacking the institution of monarchy in this country to argue for the formation of republican clubs "which could enrol members, organise meetings of sympathy with our fellow-republicans abroad, and form the basis of more definitely purposeful activities."

These activities, Mr. Wells hastens to add, need not conflict in any way with free loyalty to the "occupant of the throne". The letter is a deft piece of writing, and Mr. Wells is known from his books as a very clear, logical, and sometimes original thinker. The "Times," less deftly, scolds Mr. Wells for writing foolishly, says that it only prints Mr. Wells's letter in order to show the absurdity of republican manifestations in this country, and then reels off a good school essay on the differences between the monarchy here and in Germany, which happily are very substantial.

The argument strikes one as unreal. The fact that the King in Germany is Kaiser creates no sort of presumption that Kaiserism ever could be naturalised here. What Mr. Wells means is that there may be such a thing as a monarchical trade union of which the Kaiser is president, and that it might be useful to form a rival trade union of republican clubs.

The power and prestige of the monarchy in England went up in the later years of Queen Victoria and in the reign of King Edward and active republicanism, which was a real force in the earlier half of the nineteenth century, almost disappeared. But we do not believe in the stories of King Edward as a great originator in foreign policy, and have always regarded them as dangerous to the constitutional position of the Crown.

The foreign affairs of this country cannot be entrusted to any one man whether he wears a crown or to any one department without control. Supposing there were danger of monarchical institutions being used to work mischief between the nations, what would our first remedy be?

Not the formation of republican clubs, and still less the abolition of the monarchy but the discovery and punishment of the real culprits. The monarchy in this country is incapable of mischief of this kind except by the clear dereliction of duty [by] someone responsible to the people. The maxim that the King can do no wrong is perfectly sound, provided that Ministers of the Crown, who can do wrong, do not shirk their responsibility.

If they [do], they not only do injury to the country, but expose the Crown to danger.

    From The Guardian archive > April 23 1917 >
    Mr HG Wells on the issue of monarchy,
    G, Republished 23.4.2007, p. 34,






August 10, 1910


From The Times Archive


On This Day


Edward VII rarely visited Balmoral

during his reign.


The Scottish castle returned to royal favour

with the accession of his son, George V,

who adored the setting and field sports it offered.


THE King and Queen, who left London on Monday night, reached Balmoral shortly before 11 o’clock yesterday morning. A stop of about five minutes was made at Perth, where the engines were changed, and at Aberdeen, which was reached about 8.30, there was a wait of a quarter of an hour.

On arrival at Ballater, the King and Queen shook hands and spoke to several gentlemen on the platform, afterwards walking to the station entrance, where the Royal carriages were in waiting. Several hundred schoolchildren sang the National Anthem, and his Majesty inspected a guard of honour before leaving for Balmoral. The weather was bright and the sun shone brilliantly.

The Balmoral Highlanders, under the command of Mr John Michie, awaited the arrival of their Majesties. Addressing the King, Mr Michie said they desired to approach their Majesties with the most cordial welcome in this their first visit as King and Queen to Balmoral.

The King in reply said: “ I am much touched by the kind sympathy you have expressed, for I know you shared our great sorrow at the death of my beloved father. The Queen and I tender you our warmest thanks for the hearty welcome which you have given us here today on our first visit to our Highland home since my Accession.“

From The Times Archives > On This Day - August 10, 1910, Times, 10.8.2005,






January 23, 1901


Death of the Queen


From The Guardian archive


Wednesday January 23, 1901


From our special correspondent


The Lord Mayor of London, last night received the following:- Osborne, Tuesday, 6.45p.m. The Prince of Wales to the Lord Mayor. My beloved mother the Queen has just passed away, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. (Signed) Albert Edward.

The following bulletin was issued at Osborne last night:- Osborne, January 22,1901, 6.45p.m. Her Majesty the Queen breathed her last at 6.30p.m., surrounded by her children and grandchildren. (Signed) James Reid. R. Douglas Powell. Thos. Barlow.

The "London Gazette Extraordinary" issued last night has the following:- Whitehall, January 22, 1901. A bulletin, of which the following is a copy, has been received by Mr. Secretary Ritchie:- Osborne, 8p.m., January 22, 1901, 6.45p.m:- Her Majesty the Queen breathed her last at 6.30p.m., surrounded by her children and grandchildren. (Signed) James Reid. R. Douglas Powell. Thos. Barlow.


Incidents of the day at Osborne

Another day of fear and distress. A change for the worse set in at half-past four this morning, and the physician in attendance at once summoned his colleagues to the Queen's bedside. Sir Thomas Barlow's departure from Osborne was only temporary. He did not, in fact, leave the island. The three physicians held a consultation, and the grave view they took of the patient's case was seen in the bulletin issued at eight o'clock, announcing that the Queen showed signs of diminishing strength and that her condition "again assumes a more serious aspect." About the time this bulletin was issued the members of the Royal Family lodged outside repaired to Osborne. The Prince and Princess of Wales, the German Emperor, and the Duke and Duchess of York, who are staying in the Royal residence, were already at the Queen's bedside. Although the Bishop of Winchester was in the house, the Vicar of Whippingham was sent for, the Bishop being there in his official capacity as Clerk of the Closet, while the Vicar is the Queen's chaplain and intimate friend. How long the family stayed with the Queen is not publicly known. One of the first to leave the house was the Bishop of Winchester, who, on being asked whether the worst had happened, said, "No, nor is it likely just yet." This was between eleven and twelve o'clock. At noon came the second bulletin of the day, announcing no change for the worse, and containing the statement that the Queen had "recognised the several members of the Royal Family that are here." The news did not, however, remove the extremely grave impression produced by the previous bulletin, and the fact that the Queen "is now asleep" was interpreted as a promise that the calamity was only postponed. All day, and all night too, a patient crowd waited at the lodge gates. They consisted chiefly of journalists, probably not less than a hundred of whom, including artists, are in Cowes at the present time. They represent not only English, but American, German, French and other foreign newspapers, and their presence is significant of the world-wide interest taken in the fate of our Queen.

There has been a regular stream of callers at the lodge, and in the course of the day a curious thing happened. Three Indian gentlemen in the bright garb of their country drove up to the lodge and signalled to the driver to go on. The police stopped them, and after a parley turned them back. After a while the party returned, and made, this time, towards Osborne Cottage, where the Duke and Duchess of Connaught reside: Gently but firmly the police again interrupted and demanded explanations. The Indians, who spoke good English, explained that they were on a lecturing tour round the world, and that they had cancelled their engagement to come to Osborne and pay tribute to "our Empress." "But," they added, "your conventionalities seem to stand in the way." They expressed a wish to be allowed at least to see the Queen's Indian secretary, but this gratification was also denied them, and they departed for Cowes to await the result of official communications.

In the course of the afternoon the Earl of Clarendon (Lord Chamberlain) arrived at Osborne.

Princess Christian has written a letter to the matron of the Cowes Convalescent Home thanking her for the attention shown to the Royal party yesterday, and expressing their pleasure at the visit.

Besides the gathering of the family in the early morning and at the last scene of all there was an alarm at half-past three o'clock this afternoon, when again the family were summoned. At ten minutes past nine in the morning the Queen woke from slumber or from apparent unconsciousness and called for one of the Royal servants, whom she named, but before the servant could attend the Queen had fallen asleep again.

The people of Cowes seem stunned by the calamity, which affects them peculiarly. It is not merely that the trade of the town is sure to suffer. They had a real affection for the Queen. They knew how much she desired their prosperity and how fairly she distributed her patronage. Two or three times a week before her last visit she would drive through the streets of the town. The country generally did not know of these drives. None the less they were taken as a mark of the Queen's confidence in the townsfolk. She always went about unattended. It is feared that the Prince of Wales will not care to keep up the establishment here.

People were talking to-night about the title of the new King. "Albert Edward I.," suggested somebody. "Oh no," was the reply; "he will be Edward VII; we don't want King Alberts" - a statement that met with general approval.

From The Guardian archive > January 23, 1901,
Death of the Queen,






April 8, 1853


From the Times Archive


On This Day


The calling of the full Privy Council

to discuss the birth of Queen Victoria’s fourth son,

with the attendance of the Prime Minister,

illustrates the central role

played by the Royal Family

during the 19th century.


A few months later Prince Leopold

was found to be a haemophiliac

and he died at the age of 30

from a haemorrhage


THIS day, at ten minutes after 1 o’clock, the Queen was happily delivered of a Prince, his Royal Highness Prince Albert, several Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Hon. Privy Council, and the Ladies of Her Majesty’s Bedchamber, being present.

This great and important news was made known to the town by the firing of the Park and Tower guns. The Privy Council being assembled as soon as possible thereupon, at the Council Chamber, Whitehall, it was ordered that a Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving for the Queen’s safe delivery of a Prince be prepared by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, to be used in all churches and chapels throughout England and Wales, and the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed on Sunday, the 10th day of April.

Her Majesty and the Infant Prince are, God be praised, both doing well.

At half past 2 o’clock, the following bulletin was issued: The Queen was safely delivered of a Prince at ten minutes past 1 o’clock this afternoon. Her Majesty and the infant Prince are well.

At 3 o’clock a Privy Council was held at the Council-office, Whitehall, attended by his Royal Highness Prince Albert; Earl Granville, Lord President; the Earl of Aberdeen, First Lord of the Treasury; Viscount Palmerston, Secretary of State for the Home Department; the Earl of Clarendon, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; the Right Hon. W.E. Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer; and the Marquis of Breadalbane, Lord Chamberlain. At the Council the Archbishop of Canterbury was ordered to prepare a form of prayer for Her Majesty’s safe delivery.

Prince Albert, attended by Lieutenant F.H. Seymour, after the Council, returned to Buckingham Palace.

    On this day, April 8, 2005, The Times,






March 13 1844


Court, country and other intelligence


From The Guardian Archive


March 13 1844

The Guardian


On Monday morning the queen and Prince Albert walked in the royal gardens of Buckingham Palace. Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent visited her majesty. During the day his Royal Highness Prince Albert rode out on horseback. In the evening her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent, attended by Lady Fanny Howard, lady in waiting, dined with her majesty and his Royal Highness Prince Albert at Buckingham Palace. Her majesty's first levee, this day (Wednesday) at St. James's Palace, is expected to be numerously attended, it being the first since the year before last, and the suite of state apartments will be thrown open for the first time since they have been re-embellished.

Cowes, Isle of Wight . — Osborne House, the seat of Lady Isabella Blackford, has been taken by her majesty with an option to purchase, if approved of. The royal household are expected in May, but considerable additions must be made to the building before it can accommodate a very large establishment. It is beautifully situated in a fine park with abundance of noble timber. The views are exten sive and of varied beauty taking in Portsmouth, Spithead, &c.

The mansion has on the ground floor drawing room, dining room and library, with two ante-rooms and hall. First floor — Five bedrooms and two dressing rooms. Second floor — Nine rooms. Offices, housekeepers' rooms, servants' hall, laundry, kitchen with beds for maidservants; three beds for men over the stables.

Osborne Park and wood, with gardens &c, contains 346 acres, the whole of which is freehold. The farm contains 424 acres. The park runs down to the water. The landing and bathing are good and strictly private.

A Sunday Party. — Lord Brougham entertained at dinner on Sunday last, the French ambassador and the Countess de Ste. Aulaire, le Baronne de Langsdorf, the Marquis and Marchioness of Clanricarde. Morning Post

The Established Church in Ireland . We have not concealed our apprehensions that changes impend over the established church in Ireland. What these changes may be we are not prepared to say; not, with reference to our immediate object, is it much matter: provided we admit that they will tend to curtail the power, the dignity and the usefulness of the establishment. But that such changes will be attempted have we no more doubt than of the curious agenda of Sir Robert Peel , from which we derive the augury. Dublin Evening Mail

From The Guardian Archive >
March 13 1844 > Court, country and other intelligence,
G, Republished 13..3.2007, p. 36,






February 12 1840


A royal wedding,

reported in the Manchester Guardian


From the Guardian archive


February 12 1840

The Manchester Guardian


Monday being the day fixed upon for the marriage of her majesty with his Royal Highness Prince Albert, it was devoted from the earliest dawn to pleasure and sight-seeing by her subjects, each of whom may be said to have personally participated in the happiness of a beloved sovereign, who was then united to the object of her choice; the selected partner to whom all her domestic affections are henceforth to be devoted. It was impossible that those, whose fate and fortunes have been so much influenced by the conduct of the monarch, should not endeavour to express how deeply they sympathised with her when the moment arrived on which, it may be said, all her future peace and all her domestic joys were to be decided, without which the splendour of the throne, the pomp and pride of state, are but vain and glittering toys.

All know that such has been the manner in which the onerous burdens of monarchy have been discharged by her majesty; all are conscious that it is to the general weal of the empire she has looked. The queen was felt to be one who had a just claim, not merely upon the fealty of her people, but also upon their love and their sympathy, when she attained that epoch in her life in which she must be most deeply interested. The mar­ riage day was felt not merely as a national but a domestic festival, in which the hearts of all whispered devout aspirations for happiness, peace, and joy upon the bride-queen.

The hour fixed upon for the royal procession to move from the palace was 12 o'clock; but, in despite of constantly falling and heavy showers of rain, hundreds were to be seen clustering around the rails, and where, in order that they might obtain a view of the royal bride and bridegroom, they remained, in despite of the pitiless pelting of a storm that poured down upon them. The wish of all was the same — to see the queen going to be married, and to look upon and cheer her as the bride of Prince Albert. Persons of all ages, and it might be added of all ranks, from the richest to the poorest, thus endured the most dreadful torrents of rain.

Within the palace all was excitement; at one time were to be seen carriages, some with servants in splendid liveries, and others with the gorgeous uniform of the royal family; at another were to be seen those admitted through the side entrance in Pimlico, passing along the colonnade, the grand hall, and to portions of the grand staircase, to which none were allowed to come excepting in ball dresses. It was obvious to remark, that, amid the large body thus assembled, there was a vast number of children, upon whose minds this beauteous spectacle appeared to make a very deep impression. We have heard that her majesty, upon noticing the great number of beautiful children assembled, and exhibiting in their looks the deep pleasure they experienced, expressed the satisfaction it gave her in seeing herself surrounded at the moment by so many happy little beings.

From the Guardian archives:
A royal wedding, reported in the Manchester Guardian,
February 12 1840, G > Review, 2.4.2005,










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