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Royal Weddings

The history of Royal weddings as seen through items in the Royal Collection

Detail from a portrait of the marriage of Princess Helena
The Marriage of Princess Helena, 5 July 1866 ©

Royal weddings have long been a source of deep interest for the country. They have served as a celebration of political alliances, a focus of national unity, as well as a means of celebrating beloved individuals and welcoming new members into both the country and the Royal Family.

The Royal Collection is rich with the mementos, gifts and records of past weddings. From the dynastic marriages of the Stuart monarchs to modern-day love matches, read on to learn more royal weddings over the last 400 years.

Explore the themes below

A hand-coloured lithograph of one of the royal wedding cakes produced for the wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on 10 February 1840. Lettered below with title, publication details and a description of the cake and its decoration.This circular ca
Wedding cake

Royal wedding cakes are heavy with symbolism

Queen Victoria's parure
Wedding flowers

The tradition of floral bouquets date back to Roman times

Front and back view of a wedding gown. The dress is silver with a long train. It has a high waist and narrow silhouette.
Wedding dresses

Royal wedding dresses have often evoked contemporary fashion

DM 5396: illustrator's drawing. Visitors examining the presents; small scene, upper-right, shows visitors waiting for clocks to chime. A section cut away upper-left. The exhibition was held at the Imperial Institute. Signed and dated.

Gifts both between the family, and from the wider public, are in the collection

A desk calendar with an engagement photograph by Ghemar Freres of The Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra of Denmark (later Edward VII & Queen Alexandra) surrounded by Gothic window and trailing ivy in watercolour, with moveable date strips; within

All kinds of keepsakes have been preserved to remember the weddings

A watercolour showing Victoria, Princess Royal on her wedding day. She is shown kneeling at the alter with her face in her hands. She is dressed in a wedding dress of white moire antique trimmed with three flounces of Honiton lace. At top of each flounce
Keeping a record

Weddings have always been popular subjects for art and photography

DM 2865:  The torch-bearers forming the letter A for Albany, in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle, the Round Tower behind.  Signed and dated.
Public reception

The public have long been interested in Royal weddings

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.