a day at windsor

4

royal meme | royal moments [2/15]

The Wedding of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert / Though Victoria was now queen, as an unmarried young woman she was required by social convention to live with her mother, despite their differences over the Kensington System and her mother’s continued reliance on Conroy. Her mother was consigned to a remote apartment in Buckingham Palace, and Victoria often refused to see her. When Victoria complained to Melbourne that her mother’s close proximity promised “torment for many years”, Melbourne sympathised but said it could be avoided by marriage, which Victoria called a “schocking [sic] alternative”. She showed interest in Albert’s education for the future role he would have to play as her husband, but she resisted attempts to rush her into wedlock.

Victoria continued to praise Albert following his second visit in October 1839. Albert and Victoria felt mutual affection and the Queen proposed to him on 15 October 1839, just five days after he had arrived at Windsor. They were married on 10 February 1840, in the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace, London. Victoria was besotted. She spent the evening after their wedding lying down with a headache, but wrote ecstatically in her diary:

I NEVER, NEVER spent such an evening!!! MY DEAREST DEAREST DEAR Albert … his excessive love & affection gave me feelings of heavenly love & happiness I never could have hoped to have felt before! He clasped me in his arms, & we kissed each other again & again! His beauty, his sweetness & gentleness – really how can I ever be thankful enough to have such a Husband! … to be called by names of tenderness, I have never yet heard used to me before – was bliss beyond belief! Oh! This was the happiest day of my life!

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s Wedding Cake

When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were married on the 10th of February 1840, their wedding was going to be nothing short of a great sceptical - and their cake was no different.

Their circular cake weighed 300 pounds and had a circumference of about 3 metres. At its highest point it was decorated with figures of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert dressed in ancient Greek costume, and was ornamented with festoons of orange blossom and sprigs of myrtle entwined together. The cake was served at a wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace. Despite its massive size, more than one cake was baked for the wedding as pieces were to be distributed to many, many people.

It is probably due to this that, incredibly, a piece of the cake and its packaging has survived to this day. The cake, exhibited some years ago at Windsor Castle, has recently fetched £1,500 pounds at auction. Its presentation box, inscribed with “The Queen’s Bridal Cake Buckingham Palace, Feby 10, 1840”, was also sold with the cake, along with Queen Victoria’s signature on its papers.

Surprisingly, many wedding cakes over the last few decades and centuries have survived, with cake from brides such as Princess Louise in 1871, Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and Princess Diana in 1981 all surviving to today.

2

Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice,The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, James Viscount Severn, Lady Louise Windsor and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the Easter Day service at St George’s Chapel on April 16, 2017 in Windsor, England.