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.


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When the Dutch Queen's nephew Prince Pieter Christian 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.


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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.


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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.


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At Princess Anne's first wedding, she had just two attendants. Her baby brother, Prince Edward, wore a traditional kilt while her little cousin, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, wore a dress in a similar medieval style as hers with a Juliette cap.


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Princess Margaret chose her niece Princess Anne 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.


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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 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.


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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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