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Detail from a portrait of the marriage of Princess Helena
Royal Weddings

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

Public reception

Weddings have always captured the interest of the public. When Queen Victoria emerged from the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace she was met with loud applause from waiting crowds. Celebrations of royal weddings occured nationwide, long before radio and film allowed the public to follow the procession and ceremony.

Following the First World War, the wedding of George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1923 was made as public as possible to lift the nation's spirit. The wedding was not broadcast on radio and ocurred before the age of television. However, it was made accessible in other ways. Stands were erected on the street and details of the procession were published to ensure that as many people as possible could catch a glimpse of the royal couple in their open carriage. HM The Queen's wedding to Prince Philip in 1947 took this one step further; it was broadcast to 200 million radio listeners around the world.

Celebration is not exclusive to the wedding day. When Danish princess Alexandra and the Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna landed on English soil, crowds gathered to greet them. Tennyson, as Poet Laureate, wrote each an ode of welcome, published in The Times on the days of their 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.