Iconic Wedding Dresses : Queen Mary, 1893
Princess Mary of Teck married the future King George V, grandson of Queen Victoria, in 1893, wearing a beautiful gown created by London-based designers Linton and Curtis.
The wedding dress was an ornate Victorian masterpiece featuring floral appliques, a bardot neckline, corseted waist and an A-Line skirt. Unlike future royal wedding dresses, this particular one had only capped lace sleeves. Therefore the dress look ahead of its time.
Princess Mary of Teck was the daughter of a German Duke. She had originally been engaged to marry Albert Victor, George’s older brother, but he died six weeks after their engagement. So, a year later, she was instead engaged to George.
After their two-month engagement, George and Mary married during the summer of 1893 in the Chapel Royal.
The watercolour above, painted by Laurits Tuxen, portrays their colourful ceremony. You can see Queen Victoria in her customary black attire sitting just to the right of George.
Victorian Wedding Dresses
The slight pop of colour that you see on Mary’s wedding dress from the flowers may seem uncommon to the modern eye. In reality white wedding dresses only became the norm during the late 19th century and 20th century.
For the majority of the Victorian era, and the centuries before, wedding gowns consisted of fine opulent fabrics but in many colours. That did include white and ivory hues but were not restricted to those tones.
Numerous Victorian wedding gowns were in the style of evening gowns as they were worn multiple times at events. This was because they were considered their best dress.
It was actually King George V’s grandmother Queen Victoria who chose to wear white on her wedding in 1840. This caused the fashionable rise in white wedding gowns and set the trend that we still see today.
Mary’s Wedding Dress
Mary’s extravagant wedding gown was trimmed with ostrich feathers and orange blossoms. As is traditional in the Royal Family, everything was manufactured in Britain.
The exquisite pattern of Mary’s gown consisted of Rose, Shamrock, Thistle, Lily of the Valley and Orange Blossom. The design was produced with white silk tissue and silver threads, and was woven at the East London Silk Mills.
Pictured above are some features of Mary’s bridal attire that are kept at Kensington Palace to this day. In the top right image, you can see the Honiton lace handkerchief that Mary is holding, which was embroidered with her initials.
On the top left is the wedding favour that was given out to the children that were invited to watch the bridal procession. The above middle image is a picture of Princess Elizabeth with her grandmother.
Mary’s long train was rather plain, in contrast to the extreme detailing featured on the front of her gown.
The front was created from white satin edged with silver, and featured fine Honiton lace gathered into three flounces. There were long trails on either side of the gatherings.
A small wreath of orange blossom was carried all the way round the bust with a little bouquet on each shoulder, and a larger one in the centre, with which a little white heather was placed.
Mary wore her mother’s floating lace veil, which left her face in full view. This was secured with diamond pins presented to her by Queen Victoria. Mary also wore a diamond tiara from Queen Victoria, as well as a diamond necklace. The necklace was a wedding gift from the Prince and Princess of Wales.
We’ve got plenty more elaborate Royal Wedding photos for you to browse through here