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January 25, 1858 – Wedding of Victoria, Princess Royal,and Prince Friedrich of Prussia later German Emperor and Empress.

It was a brilliant winter day, and the streets were filled ith thousands of people waiting since dawn to watch the procession that lef drom Buckingham Palace to St James’s Chapel. With the spectators in place, the participants entedred, precede by trumpets and drums. ‘The effets was thrilling & striking as one heard the music coming nearer & nearer,’ said Queen Victoria. ‘Fritz behaved with the greatest self-possession… bowing to us, & then kneeling down before the altar in a most devotional manner.’ He wore the dark blue tunic and white trousers of the Prussian Guards and carried his shining silver helmet in his hand. 

Last came the bride’s procession,’ Victoria continued, ‘My last fear of being overcome vanished, when I saw Vicky’s calm & composed manner. It looked beautiful seeing her kneeling beside Fritz, their hand joined, her long train born by the 8 young ladies… hovering round her. as they knelt near her. How it reminded e of my having similarly, proudly, tenderly, confidently knelt beside my beloved Albert, in the very same spot… The Archbishop was very nervous.’

The bride and groom walked out of the chapel to the Mendelsshon ‘Wedding March’, composed sixteen years earlier and played for the first time at a royal wedding. They took their places in a carriage for the ride through the crowds back to Buckingham Palace. For the rest of their lives, whenever they were driving in London, Fritz always took Vicky’s hand and squeezed it when they passed the Chapel Royal. Before the wedding breakfast, the newly married couple stepped out on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to be cheered by the public below.  

{An Uncommon Woman by Hannah Pakula}