14 August 2010

Children in the Wedding

Amidst the pageantry of a royal wedding, a small group of children almost always takes center stage after the bride and groom. This troupe of tiny attendants takes the place of adult bridesmaids and groomsmen. For more about this tradition, view my guest blog at Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel Blog.

Here's a look at children at royal weddings from the past.


Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden included several of her royal godchildren and young relatives in her Stockholm wedding. The boys were dressed in sailor suits while the girls's dresses reflected the simple, clean lines of Victoria's gown. The youngsters included(from left to right) were Prince Christian of Denmark, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, her cousins Leopold Sommerlath and Ian de Geer, the groom's nieces Vera and Hedwig Blom, and Princess Catharina Amalia of the Netherlands, along with three other girls.


NOORDWIJK, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 27:  The bridesmaid's children arrive prior to the church wedding of Prince Pieter Christiaan and Anita van Eijk at 'Jeroenskerk' Church on August 27 2005 in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. The prince has not asked the Parliament's permission, therefore he will be excluded from the succession to the throne. (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)

When the Dutch Queen's nephew Prince Pieter Christiann married Anita van Eijk, the little ones in their party were dressed in pale yellow with light green trim. The girls were the classic smocked dress of generations of little girls, but the ruffles on the boys' shirts echoed a more distant past.


BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - APRIL 12:  Flower girls leave after attending the wedding ceremony of Belgium's Princess Claire Coombs and Belgium's Prince Laurent at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula April 12, 2003 in Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Claire Coombs decided to have only three girls and no boys at her marriage to Prince Laurent, youngest son of the King of Belgium. The lovely lasses were simple white dresses with pale sashes and wreathes of flowers on their heads. They were (from left) family friend Clothilde de Meulenaere, Claire's niece Emma Grant and Prince Laurent's niece Princess Luisa Maria.


29th July 1981:  A family group In the throne room of Buckingham Palace after the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Princess Diana (1961 - 1997).  Back row, left to right : Edward Vancutsen, Lord Nicholas Windsor, Sarah Jane Gaselee, Prince Edward, Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince Andrew and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones. Front row, left to right : Catherine Cameron, India Hicks and Clementine Hambro.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Most people still think of the wedding of Charles Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer when they think of royal weddings, even thought it was nearly 30 years ago. Charles' brothers, Prince Andrew in his naval uniform and Prince Edward in a gray morning suit acted as his 'supporters.' The younger boys, in suits inspired by military uniforms, were blonde-haired royal cousin Lord Nicholas Windsor and friend of the family Edward van Cutsem. The girls ranged from four-year-old Clementine Hambro, a great-granddaughter of Winston Churchill to 16-year-old royal cousin Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, daughter of Princess Margaret. The other girls were family friends Catherine Cameron and Sarah Jane Gaselee as well as the now famous designer India Hicks, a cousin of the prince on his father's side. The girls' puffy dresses in ivory satin were designed by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel to match Diana's iconic fairytale princess gown.


circa 1975:  Princess Margaret's children, Viscount David Linley and his sister, Sarah Armstrong-Jones, among the pageboys and bridesmaids at a society wedding.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Here's Lady Sarah Armstong-Jones (now Chatto) several years earlier in a society wedding where her big brother, David Viscount Linley (center), wore a red kilt.


Princess Margaret and  her new husband Antony Armstrong Jones pose for a picture with their bridesmaids at Buckingham Palace, 6th May 1960. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

At Sarah and David's mother's wedding, Princess Margaret choose her niece Princess Anne (who celebrates her sixtieth birthday this week) as her chief bridesmaid. Anne, then 10 years old, is standing on the bride's right. All eight young bridesmaids wore long white dresses with elaborate floral headbands.


20th November 1947:  Princess Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh with King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (right) and members of the immediate and extended Royal Family at Buckingham Palace after their wedding.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Princess (now Queen) Elizabeth selected more mature bridesmaids when she married the Duke of Edinburgh. Among them was her beautiful 16-year-old sister Princess Margaret (on the groom's right) and the youngest bridesmaid was 10-year-old Princess Alexandra of Kent. The two kilt-clad pageboys were royal cousins Prince William of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent, both about five years old.


1893:  The wedding at Buckingham Palace of the Duke of York, later King George V (1865 - 1936) and Princess Mary of Teck (1867 - 1953). From left to right (back) - Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh, Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Victoria of Edinburgh, the Duke of York, Princess Victoria of Wales, and Princess Maud of Wales. Original Publication: From left to right (front) - Princess Alice of Battenberg, Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, Princess Margaret of Connaught, the Duchess of York, Princess Victoria of Battenberg, Princess Victoria Patricia of Connaught.  (Photo by W. & D. Downey/Getty Images)

Jumping back a couple of generations to the wedding of the Elizabeth and Margaret's grandparents, the future King George V and Queen Mary, the 10 young bridesmaids were all princesses--sisters and cousins of the groom. They included the future Queen Maud of Norway (standing on the far right) and the Duke of Edinburgh's mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg (seated on the far left).

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