Sunday, 4 February 2018

October Royal Brides: the club that's about to welcome Eugenie

A rather exclusive club is about to get a new member. Princess Eugenie of York will wed Jack Brooksbank on October 12th 2018 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor and so become the latest royal bride to say 'I do' in this autumnal month. It's not the most popular month for a wedding so Eugenie joins a select band of brides with links to British royalty who have married in October. Here's the chapter of history she'll be adding her own name to....

Isabella of Valois

Royal Wedding October 31st 1396 at Calais

Bride Isabella of Valois (daughter of King Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria)

Groom King Richard II of England (son of Edward, the Black Prince and Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent)

The royal love story Nothing so romantic as a love story here. This was a proper medieval marriage deal which was designed to promote peace between England and France. The bride was 7, the groom a 29 year old widower. 

What happened next Total disaster. Richard, who had already ruled England for almost 20 years, was losing his grip on power and reality at the time of the marriage. Within a year, what's sometimes called his tyranny had begun and in 1399 he was deposed. His death, in 1400, left Isabella a widow at the age of 11. She went back to France and married Charles, Duke of Oreleans but died in childbirth in 1409 leaving a daughter, Joan. A truly tragic story.

Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh

Royal Wedding October 8th 1905, Tegernsee, Bavaria

Bride Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh (a granddaughter  of Queen Victoria and daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia)

Groom Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia (son of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia and Duchess Marie of Mecklenberg-Schwerin)

The royal love story These first cousins first met as teenagers but their budding romance was stopped in its tracks by Victoria Melita's mother and she ended up wed to Prince Ernst Louis of Hesse. That marriage hit the buffers and they divorced in 1901. Victoria Melita had kept in touch with Kirill and when he came close to death in the Russo-Japanese war of 1905, he came home determined to wed his one true love. Their marriage, in front of just a handful of people, shocked just about everyone in Europe at the time.

What happened next The couple were very happy together and had three children. During the Russian Revolution they fled to Finland with jewels sewn into their clothes. They ended up living in Germany where they fostered hopes of restoring the Russian throne with Kirill as tsar. Victoria Melita died in 1936, Kirill in 1938.

Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein

Royal Wedding October 11th 1905, Glucksburg Castle, Schleswig-Holstein

Bride Princess Victoria Adelaide Helene Luise Marie Frederike of Schleswig-Holstein (daughter of Frederick Ferdinand and Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg)

Groom Prince Leopold Charles Edward George Albert, Duke of Albany and Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (a grandson of Queen Victoria through his father Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany. His mother was Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont)

The royal love story Hardly Mills and Boon stuff. The groom was born several months after his father died and as a teenager he was sent to Germany where he became Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha just after his 16th birthday. His cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II, had a big say in just about everything the new duke did and was instrumental in arranging this royal wedding.

What happened next The couple had five children (including Sybilla, mother of the current King of Sweden) but at the start of World War One, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha sided with Germany and ended up losing his British titles as the war came to an end. After Germany's defeat, he also lost his power in that country. He later joined the Nazi party and after the war, the fines for his involvement left him almost penniless. He died in 1954, his wife died in 1970.

Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife

Royal Wedding October 15th 1913, Chapel Royal, St. James Palace, London

Bride Princess Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise, Duchess of Fife  (a granddaughter of King Edward VII and daughter of Princess Louise of Wales and Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife)

Groom Prince Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert of Connaught (a grandson of Queen Victoria and son of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia)

The royal love story The bride had started off in life as Lady Alexandra Duff but her granddad made her a princess while her great granny, Queen Victoria, ensured the dukedom of Fife could pass to her as her parents had no son. Groundbreaking Alexandra had originally wanted to marry Prince Christopher of Greece but when their secret engagement was ended, she hooked up with Prince Arthur in what seemed to be a jolly and rather harmonious union.

What happened next The couple, who had a son together, took on a wide range of public engagements while in World War One, Alexandra worked as a nurse and Arthur was an aide-de-camp. The couple lived in South Africa in the 1920s while Arthur was Governor-General. The prince died in 1938 while the princess continued to nurse and worked throughout World War Two. She died in 1959.

Serena Stanhope

Embed from Getty Images 

Royal Wedding October 8th 1993, St. Margaret's Church, Westminster

Bride The Honourable Serena Alleyne Stanhope (daughter of Charles Stanhope, Earl of Harrington and Ellen Grey)

Groom David Albert Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley (now Earl of Snowdon)

The royal love story David Linley, nephew of Elizabeth II, had had a high profile in the tabloid press in the 1980s thanks to his well know romances. His marriage to Serena Stanhope attracted crowds of thousands to the church in Westminster.

What happened next The couple had two children together  and in 2017 they became Earl and Countess of Snowdon following the death of David's father, Tony Armstrong-Jones.

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