Princess Charlotte of Wales | Royal Wedding 1816 | Wedding Jewels Royal Jewels History
Princess Charlotte of Wales wedding gown from her marriage to Prince Leopold of Sachsen-Coburg, later King Leopold I. of Belgium in 2nd May 1816.
....yesterday morning, at eleven o'clock, the Princess Charlotte went to Buckingham House to breakfast with her MAJESTY.
PRINCESS CHARLOTTE'S DRESS. It was composed of a most magnificent silver lama on net, over a rich silver tissue slip, with a superb border of silver lama. embroidery at the bottom. forming shells and boutpiets above the border; a most elegant fulness, tastefully designin festoons of slicer lama, and finished with a very brilliatt of lama: the body and sleeves to correspond, trimmed with a most beautiful point Brussels Lace, is a peculiar elegant style. The mantua of rich silver tissue, lined with white satin, trimmed round with a most superb lama border, in shells to corresond with the dress, and fastened in front with a moot brilliant and costly ornament of diamonds. The whole surpasst all conception in the brilliancy and richness of its effect.—Headdress, a wreath of rose buds and leaves, composed of the most superb brilliants.
The wedding dresses were made by Madame 'I'RIAUD and the superb jewellery of her Royal Highness Princess CHARLOTTE Of WALES, were made by Messrs. RUNDELL and BRIDGE.
PRINCESS CHARLOTTE OF WALES'S WEDDING DRESSES AND JEWELLERY. . wedding dress is a slip while and silver worn under dress of transparent silk net elegantly embroidered in silver lama, with abnrderto correspond, tastefully wivked hunciies flowers, form festoon' round ihe bottom: the sleeves and neck trimmed with most rich suit of Bruessels point lace. The is two yards and a half long, made of rich silver and white atlas, trimmed the same as ihe dress, correspond. After the ceremony, her Royal Highness will put on a dress of very rich white silk, trimmed with broad satin trimming the bottom, the top of which are two rows of broad Brussels point lace.
The sleeves of this dress are short and full, intermixed with point lace, the neck trimmed with point to match. The pelisse which the Royal Bride will put on when her Royal Highness leaves Carlton for Btishey Park, is of rich white satin, lined and trimmed all round with broad ermine. Her Royal Highness has also the following dresses made upon the occasion.
2. —A dress white net, embroidered in gold lama, with elegant border over white satin; the extremely rich gold brocade, with blow roses, richly w oven in very thickly all over the dress, and trimmed with broad cold lace.
3. —A dress of transparent net, worked in bright and dead silver; the border twelve deep in scollops; each scollop placed a bunch of barley corn, in bright and dead silver; the sleeves to match, trimmed with point lace, over white satin.
4. silver tissue dress, trimmed wim rich trimming silver lace and Brussels point.
5. —A gold India worked muslin, small spots, very thick and deep border to correspond, trimmed profusely with Brussels point.
6 Another dress, similar to the former, only in sprigs.
7, B.—Two Brussels point lace dresses, with homer and trimming of point lace to match; the one cost guineas, the other 300 guineas.
9, 10.— Two dresses of British blond net,elegantly trimmed with blond, and another to wear over satin slips. There are besides several dresses of plain satin, handsomely trimmed wilh lace and net.
11.—A morning dress fine muslin, with three rows broad Valenciennes lace, flounce surmounted with broad footing to ilch lace rufl and four breadths the same, and cuffs to cone
l2.— fine India muslin dress, Mechlin lace: fiuunces, cutfs, and ruff of the same, and a lace cape, trimmed twice round.
13, worked dresses for the orca ion : very rich scolloped borders of four rows, quillet with net at the top of each row. Laced and worked muslin ruff and cud's to match. Several other dresses arc nearly similar.
The Jewellery is the most magnificent description, consisting of a
beautiful wreath for the head, composed of rose buds and leaves superb brilliants; a necklace a single row large brilliants fines lustre, with large drop ear-ring correspond, and brilliant of Cestus of great value. Her Royal Highness has also a pearl necklace and bracelets with diamond rlngs equally splendid. Her Royal Highness's casket contains other ornaments; consisting of coloured stones, richly encircled with jewels. She has besides rich diamond armlet, presented by the Prince of Coburg.
WEDDING. Yesterday being the day appointed for solernnizing the Nuptials of the Princess Charlotte of Wales, the presumptive Heiress of these Realms, with Prince Leopold of Cobourg, public curiosity was wound up to the highest pitch. At an early hour the space opposite Clarence House was thronged with anxious gazers, eager to gratify their curiosity with the sight of a Prince, who, as consort of such an important Personage, is likely to form a figure in the annals of our history. His Serene - Highness frequently appeared in the balcony, and was as frequently cheered by the heartfelt acclamations of the spectators, at which he seemed highly delighted, and returned their cheering with bows and smiles. At te,n o'clock ten beautiful grey horses stopped opposite Clarence House, on their.way to Oatlands, having been selected by. Sir B. Bloomfield, for the use of the royal pair. His Highness came out to view them, and seemed highly delighted with their appearance. At two o'clock his Highness went in a curricl3 to Carl:on-Home, and paid a morning visit to his bride, and returned to Clarence House, about half past three, when the crowd was so immense, and pressed so strongly upon the carriage, that the footmen had nearly been forced under the wheels.
After taking some refreshment, he walked over to York-House, the crowd forming a lane for him to pass, but nearly stunning him with their Stentorian huzzas. He he was introduced in due form to the Duchess. At four o'clock the Royal Bride left the Queen's Palace in a carriage and four, the windows of which she ordered to be let down, to gratify the eager curiosity of the populace; but the crowd was so extremely great, that it was in vain for the coachman to attempt to proceed; he therefore returned, and went through the Park. Her Royal Highness's residence was again thronged with distinguished persons, anxious to pay their respects to her.. The Prince of Saxe Cobourgh . had a select party to dinner at half past five o'clack,at Clarence House. As had the Prince Regent at Carlton-House, consisting of the Duke of Clarence, the Lord Chancellor, the Bishop of Exeter, &c. Princesses Augusta, Elizabeth, Mary, and Princess Clorlotte of Wales, dined with her Majesty at her Palace. The Princess Charlotte dressed at the Queen's Palace.
A party of Life Guards marched into Pall-mall„ with Sir N. Conant and Mr. Birnie, the Bow-street Magistrates, at the bead of about 30 officers and constables; and had it not been for their joint exertions, it would have been impossible for the coaches to have drawn up, from the extreme pressure of the people. The Hall of the Queen's Palace was filled with Ladies and Gentlemen, elegantly dressed.
About half past seven o'clock the Princess Sophia of Gloucester arrived at the Queen's Palace, to accompany her Majesty and the Princesses to Carlton-House. The Princess Charlotte came down stairs a few - minutes afterwards, conducted by Princess Augusta on her right, and Colonel Stephenson on her left, and proceeded to the entrance of the Grand Hall, where she was met by the Queen; when they en tered a carriage with Princesses Augusta and Elizabeth ; Princesses Mary and Sophia of Gloucester followed in another carriage, escorted by a party of Life Guards. The voice of the people cheered the Princess Charlotte loudly all the way to Carlton-House, tbut he greatest order and deco rum prevailed. They entered the house by the garden gate, where they were received by the Prince Regent. The Prince of Saxe-Coboureh left Clarencehouse a little before half-past eight o'clock. was preceded by a carriage, in which was Lord, James Murray, Baron Hardenbrock, and Sir Robert Gardener. The Prince was attended in his carriage by Baron Hue, the Saxon Minister, and Mr. Chester, the Assistant Master of the Cerernok getting into his carriage he Was interrupted by a number Of who patted him on the hack, and implored blessings on his head. This opportunity for a number of men to take the from a l e carriage, with intent to draw it
THE LONDON CHRONICLE themselves; btlt they desisted at the yequest of his Highness, who was fearful of accidents. Another attempt, however, was made, which required the utmost exertions of the Guards to prevent. arrival at Carlton-Hoase, his Highness, with the members of the Royal Family, and the Duke and Duchess of Orleans, were conducted to the royal closet. The company, consisting of the r!oreig,n ALT lbai• sadors,. the- Cabinet inistera, the great Officers of State, and a numerols assemblsge of Nobility being assembled in the great crimson room, where a temporary altar had been fitted up, and the ceremony being ready to be proceeded on, the Lord Chamberlain returned to the closet, and conducted the Prince of Saxe Cobourgh to the altar. His Lordship then went again to conduct the Princess Charlotte, and was accompanied, by the Duke of Clarence, who conducted his Royal Niece•on his arm to the altar, where she was receivecity the Prince Regent. The marriage ceremony was performed in the most solemn and impressive manner by his Grade the. Archbishop of Canterbury, and the whole was as interesta scene as ever took place at Canton-House. — The Princess Charlotte was •given away by her Royal Father the Prince Regent. His Royal Highness appeared in e!.:cellent health ; he was dressed in regimentals, and wore all his splendid orders. His Royal Highness conducted the Queen to a state chair to the right of the altar, where her Majesty sat during the ceremony. At the conclusion the Royal Pair retired, arm in arm, and received the hearty congratulations of an present. They soon after set off in a traveling carriage for Oatlands. On a signal being given from Carlton-House at the conclusion of the ceremony, a douVe royal Si lute was fired by the gnus in St. James's Park, and the tradesmen of her Royal Highness, engaged for the new establishment, illuminated their houses.
Princess's romances at an end. Parliament voted through a bill naturalising Leopold as a British citizen, awarded him £50,000 per year (equivalent to £4.07 million in 2021), purchased Claremont House for the couple, and allowed them a generous single payment to set up house. George also contemplated making Leopold a royal duke, the Duke of Kendal, though the plan was abandoned due to government fears that it would draw Leopold into party politics and suggestions that becoming a 'mere duchess' would be viewed as a demotion for Charlotte. Fearful of a repetition of the Orange fiasco, George limited Charlotte's contact with Leopold; when Charlotte returned to Brighton, he allowed them to meet only at dinner, and never let them be alone together.
The marriage ceremony was set for 2 May 1816. On the wedding day, huge crowds filled London; the wedding participants had great difficulties in travelling. At nine o'clock in the evening in the Crimson Drawing Room at Carlton House, with Leopold dressing for the first time as a British General (the Prince Regent wore the uniform of a Field Marshal), the couple were married. Charlotte's wedding dress cost over £10,000 (equivalent to £814,352 in 2023). The only mishap was during the ceremony, when Charlotte was heard to giggle when the impoverished Leopold promised to endow her with all his worldly goods.
The couple honeymooned at Oatlands Palace, the Duke of York's residence in Surrey. Neither was well and the house was filled with the Yorks' dogs and the odour of animals. Nevertheless, the Princess wrote that Leopold was "the perfection of a lover". Two days after the marriage, they were visited by the Prince Regent at Oatlands; he spent two hours describing the details of military uniforms to Leopold, which according to Charlotte "is a great mark of the most perfect good humour". Princess Charlotte and her husband returned to London for the social season, and when they attended the theatre, they were invariably treated to wild applause from the audience and the singing of "God Save the King" from the company. When she was taken ill at the Opera, there was great public concern about her condition. It was announced that she had suffered a miscarriage. On 24 August 1816, they took up residence for the first time at Claremont.
Princess Charlotte was George IV’s only legitimate child, but died in childbirth at the age of 21 in 1817. Her marriage to Prince Leopold a year earlier was considered one of the most important royal weddings of the era. Her silk embroidered bridal gown is the only royal wedding dress that survives from the Georgian period, though it appears to have been significantly altered from its original form, in keeping with the Georgian practice of repurposing and recycling clothing. The Princess followed the tradition for European royal brides to wear silver, despite white wedding dresses becoming popular by the end of the 18th century. Princess Charlotte’s mother, Caroline of Brunswick, also wore silver for her wedding to the future George IV in 1795.
Earliest surviving British royal wedding dress goes on display in new exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery The wedding dress of George IV’s daughter Princess Charlotte of Wales, on display for the first time in over a decade, is among more than 200 works from the Royal Collection that go on show at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Style & Society - Dressing the Georgians 21 April 8 October 2023.
Princess Charlotte of Wales | Royal Wedding 1816 | Wedding Jewels Royal Jewels History
Sources:Princess Charlotte's Wedding Dress , Royal Collection;Morning Herold;THE LONDON CHRONICLE;
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