They were married on February 10, 1840 in the Chapel Royal in the Palace of St. James.
Queen Victoria met her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha when she was just sixteen, and found him appealing even then. The families’ plan to unite the two happened to coincide well with the desires of Victoria and Albert themselves, and they were married on February 10, 1840 in the Chapel Royal in...
Queen Victoria met her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha when she was just sixteen, and found him appealing even then. The families’ plan to unite the two happened to coincide well with the desires of Victoria and Albert themselves, and they were married on February 10, 1840 in the Chapel Royal in the Palace of St. James.
The marriage was a love match and a great success. Prince Albert taught Victoria much about how to be a ruler in a constitutional monarchy where the monarch had very few powers but could exert much influence. He took an active interest in the arts, science, trade and industry; the project for which he is best remembered was the Great Exhibition of 1851, the profits from which helped to establish the South Kensington museums complex in London. He was also instrumental in preventing Britain from intervening on the Confederate side in the American Civil War. After he died in 1861, Victoria went into a seclusion from which she did not emerge for decades.
The Duke of Wellington was Britain’s most prominent military man of the age; his victory at Waterloo not only ended the era of Napoleon, but made Britain the most powerful and influential nation in Europe (indeed, in the world). He later served as prime minister. This is his printed blue invitation to Victoria and Albert’s wedding, February 10, 1840 – “Admit The Duke of Wellington to the Chapel, St. James’s Palace.” Guests were instructed to wear “Full Dress,” and Wellington was assigned “Seat D.”
The invitation is signed by Henry Paget, Lord Uxbridge, as Lord Chamberlain (the chief functionary of the court who is responsible for organizing all its functions). The original instruction was that ladies should come “without plumes” in their hats, but Uxbridge has crossed this out. This invitation was part of a group of Wellington letters sold a half century ago at the Parke-Bernet Galleries, which later merged into Sotheby’s; it has not been offered since.
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