Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lights...Camera...Action... Margaret!

The wedding of Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones, was the first ever royal wedding to be televised. What an appropriate royal family member to bring the British royalty into the lime-light of the camera lens. Princess Margaret, before and after her marriage led an exciting life and counted many celebrities as close friends. The princess was famous for many bits of scandal along the way, but as one article concerning her funeral in 2002 stated... "she was always royal." The princess and her husband, The Earl of Snowdon were eventually divorced after 18 years of marriage. The first divorce of a major royal family member. In fact, divorce and the shame that was associated with it was the reason that the princess's first love did not end in marriage as the man she loved was previously married, with two children from that first marriage. Princess Margaret led an exciting and sometimes daring life. But, in the end, she pre-deceased her mother, The Queen Mother, by six weeks. Many illness including several strokes ended her life at the age of 72 in 2002. Reportedly, the Queen was overcome by grief and publicly wept for the loss of her beloved sister, something the Queen just doesn't do... publicly display grief. I can understand her not holding back on this occasion, loosing a sibling must be terribly difficult.

The picture above is of Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon, just after their wedding. They, like so many royal couples before them, and a few after them, took to the balcony at the front of Buckingham Palace to greet the well wishes below.

Royal Wedding tidbit of the day... one her wedding day, Princess Margaret arrived at Westminster Abbey in the Glass Coach, the same coach that her sister, Queen Elizabeth, used to arrive at the abbey for her wedding to Prince Phillip in November of 1947.

Photo Credit: The Wedding of Princess Margaret, " Royal Family AlbumFrom The Days of Queen Victoria", 1960, Pitkin Pictorials Ltd.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More of Princess Margaret's bouquet...

here is a rare pic... the only color pic I have seen of Princess Margaret's wedding. It looks like one of those black and white old movies that Ted Turner decided to colorize... anyway, you can see some of the color of the orchids' throats in the bouquet. The are a very small Japhet type orchid with yellow and orange throats... if anyone knows the exact name of these small orchids, please let me know.
I thought I read somewhere that the groom had allergies and they supposedly used flowers that weren't too fragrant to keep him from sneezing through the wedding, I don't know how much of that is true, since the bouquet contains freesia, stephanotis, and Lily of the Valley... all very fragrant flowers.
Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day... David Longman of Longman's Ltd. of London created the bouquets for this wedding, he also was responsible for the bouquets of Princess Diana and Sarah, Duchess of York. Great work Mr. Longman!
Photo Credit: The Wedding of Pricess Margaret, "A Royal Family Album From the Days of Queen Victoria...", 1960, Pitkin Pictorials Ltd.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Young Victoria's Wedding Flowers

We saw "Young Victoria" this weekend. I highly recommend this movie for anyone... but, especially if you have any sort of interest in things royal.

I have done some amount of reading on Victoria, and with only a few exceptions, the movie was quite accurate. Not to mention that the scenery and costuming was exceptional.

A good friend went with us to see the movie, she wanted to see it with people who knew something about the subject, so after it was over, I was able to tell her that I noticed two things that I thought, or knew were inaccurate. First, and the movie makers clearly admitted this... that Prince Albert was not wounded by a gunman in the assassination attempt on the young queen. Secondly, I noticed that in the wedding scene, Victoria's bouquet was not correct, or at least I think it wasn't. I have read from many sources that her bouquet was composed entirely of "snowdrops", apparently her favorite flower. In the movie, Emily Blunt, playing the queen, carried a small nosegay of all stephanotis. O.K., so stephanotis is close to snow-drops, they are small, and they are white. However, the floral tiara in the movie appeared to be of orange blossom and myrtle... which seems to be accurate from all I have read. The picture above is of Victoria and Albert, I think this photo was made in 1857, however, not their wedding picture. They were married in 1840.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... reportedly, due to her station as the sovereign, Victoria proposed marriage, not Albert. In any case, their marriage was a happy one, they had nine children!
Here is a pic of snow-drops, supposedly Victoria's favorite flower and used as her wedding bouquet.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Princess Margaret- getting a handle on it...

Welcome to the 2010 blog posts... it's been a nice vacation. I received many vintage royal publications as Christmas presents. The pic here comes from a commemorative book published just after Princess Margaret's wedding in 1960. There are some great pictures, many I have never seen, that give a new and different view into the Princess's big day with the Earl of Snowdon.

This pic although small, the scanner is not cooperating, shows a rare glimpse of the rear of the bouquet where you can see the carrying handle and the exceptional construction technique... wire and tape all the way. Her bouquet contained miniature orchids, stephanotis, and Lily of the Valley. The handle of the bouquet is very trim... the designer who put this on together had great form and content. It's a smallish sized bouquet, but the condensed form of the materials, surely was very labor intensive. What a princess... lovely with that diamond tiara.

Royal Wedding tidbit of the day... when Anthony Armstrong-Jones married Princess Margaret in 1960, he was created the Earl of Snowdon by Queen Elizabeth. Their children are Viscount David Lindley and Lady Sarah Chatto.
Photo Credit: Princess Margaret's Wedding Book, by Neil Ferrier, Purnell & Sons, Ltd., London, 1960, photo pages.